Thursday 22 February 2018

Ronan: I refuse to play the part of the 'dumb woman'

Saoirse on the cover of 'Time'
Saoirse on the cover of 'Time'
Saoirse at the Oscars in Hollywoood last February Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Actress Saoirse Ronan refuses to play dumb women on screen as she strikes a blow for "strong, complex women" in Hollywood.

The 22-year-old graces the cover of the new edition of 'Time' magazine and was interviewed as part of a series on 10 "next generation leaders".

The Carlow-born actress insists that she needs strong and intelligent roles to keep her satisfied in her acting career.

"It's important for me to play intelligent women, because I think in art, you have a responsibility to portray real life.

"It's even more important now that there's such a massive shift towards feminism that men and women see strong, complex women on screen.

"I'm not being big-headed, but I'm not a dummy," she adds. "So I don't want to play someone who is a dummy on screen. It's just boring."

Ronan says that actors should reconsider their profession, if finding fame and money is their only incentive.

The two-time Oscar nominee acknowledges that she has been lucky with several roles including her breakthrough as Briony in 'Atonement'.

"Briony was supposed to be this brown-haired, brown-eyed, middle-class English girl - she was supposed to look like she was related to Keira," Ronan recalled. "But this dialect coach suggested me, even though I was completely wrong for it.

"It's funny, because you can work as hard as possible, but if you don't have a bit of luck and someone who puts your name forward, you may not get anywhere."

She speaks about how she still talks to her mother several times a day, and how her parents kept her grounded while living and working in New York.

"Ma watched Dad lose out on parts or star in shows off-off-Broadway and make buttons. She watched these really talented people never get the shot they deserved. So they prepared me to be realistic.

"And that's good, because the moment fame becomes a priority, you should give it up."

The article notes how the star drinks liquorice tea to preserve her voice, as she is currently appearing on Broadway in Arthur Miller's play 'The Crucible'.

Ronan follows the likes of U2 and Enda Kenny in appearing on the cover of 'Time'.

Irish Independent

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