Saoirse Ronan 'almost missed out on an Oscar nomination'
It was Saoirse Ronan's breakthrough movie that garnered her an Oscar nomination.
But her dad, Paul, said that Atonement "almost never happened" for her.
Paul (right), a professional actor, has just been confirmed to play a bad guy in the new Love/Hate series.
But he said it was a close call for Saoirse (left) to select Atonement.
"We had an offer of another film which was a larger budget film and a much bigger role," he said. "But we were talking to the agent and looking at the script and thinking, 'It's a better deal and a better role for her'. As it turned out, she was nominated for an Oscar."
Paul said his talented daughter (20) showed star quality from an early age -- even as a toddler.
"She started off very young. She showed signs of being a performer when she was in nappies," he said.
Saoirse was first inspired by the Riverdance phenomenon and would regularly perform the dance routines for her parents in their Bronx sitting room.
Saoirse on set in Enniscorthy.
"She was obsessed with this show. She had the whole routine. I actually videotaped her doing the whole thing -- she wasn't even two," said Paul.
"We'd be watching her and she'd be in her own world. It was amazing."
He added that Saoirse had a "natural gift" for acting, and he and wife Monica never wanted to interfere too much with it.
In her first movie at the tender age of six, Saoirse never received any formal training and was home-schooled by a former teacher as she juggled her acting work with her studies.
She has made 18 movies, has collected a string of awards and is currently filming Brooklyn in Ireland.