Saturday 23 March 2019

'What's nice about Lady Bird is that it shows Catholicism in a positive light' - Saoirse Ronan had 'lovely experience' at Catholic school

Saoirse Ronan at a VIP screening of Lady Bird hosted by Universal Pictures and Image Magazine at the Light House Cinema, Dublin
Saoirse Ronan at a VIP screening of Lady Bird hosted by Universal Pictures and Image Magazine at the Light House Cinema, Dublin
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

Saoirse Ronan may be the toast of Hollywood right now, having secured her third Golden Globe nomination for her leading role in Lady Bird, but she's keen to return to her roots with a part in an Irish play for her next project in 2018.

The 23-year-old received rave reviews for her work in The Crucible, which played on Broadway in 2016, and says she wants to dip her toes back into the theatrical world.

"I love films but I'd like to do more stage," she said.

"I think I'd like to do a new Irish play and I've worked before with director John Crowley [on Brooklyn] and we said we'd work together again.

"But it's a big commitment and the last one was such a long haul that it would have to be the right thing."

Ronan is hotly tipped for awards season glory for her part playing an angst-ridden teenager in Lady Bird.

Set in California's Sacramento in 2002, it's already generating lots of Oscar buzz amid talk of a possible third nomination for the talented star, whose character attends a Catholic high school.

Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, it's due for release in Ireland in February next year. Ronan has revealed that what actually drew her to the Golden Globe-nominated film is that it portrays Catholicism in a more flattering light than some other movies.

"What's nice about it is that is shows Catholicism in a positive light," she said.

"I went to a Catholic school and had a lovely experience. Greta did as well.

"She's not Catholic but she went to a Catholic school and had relationships with incredible teachers that taught her so much.''

She also paid tribute to the talents of Tracy Letts, who plays her father in the film.

The actress said the wonderful thing about his acting is that he was happy to take a back-seat to the two female protagonists in the movie.

"I love Tracy so much. He plays that role so well because I've had that experience before where the film was mainly focused on a female relationship and the supporting male can't wrap their head around the fact that they're not the lead," she said.

"I remember being in something and it was going to end with me and this other actress and the actor was like, 'Maybe we should come back to my character at the end of the film'.

"And it was like, 'No, you cheated on the mother and you left 40 minutes before the film finished'.

"So to have someone like Tracy who was more than willing to just support us was great.

"In the movie, he's like a mediator between the two of them. He's the one that loves both of them so much."

Speaking at a VIP screening of Lady Bird at the Light House cinema, Saoirse said that she's looking forward to a quiet Christmas at home with her family.

Saoirse, who bought a house in Wicklow recently, said she can't wait to "not get out of my pyjamas and eat some turkey", as she enjoys some well-deserved time off.

Also at the VIP screening was her good pal Hozier, who has also splashed out on a new house in Wicklow as he dipped his toes into the property market after a spectacular few years of success.

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