Tuesday 19 March 2019

'Saoirse Ronan is just amazing... but I don't know how to say her name' - Grease film star

Saoirse Ronan in a still from On Chesil Beach
Saoirse Ronan in a still from On Chesil Beach
Grease stars Olivia Newton-John and Didi Conn, pictured, are still friends after 40 years. (Jeff Spicer/PA)
Saoirse Ronan attneds a special screening of 'On Chesil Beach' at The Curzon Mayfair on May 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan in a Together For Yes video
Award-winning actors, including Saoirse Ronan (pictured), Cillian Murphy, Liam Cunningham, Aoibhinn McGinnity, Andrew Scott and Tom Vaughan Lawlor, have united in support of the Together4Yes campaign in a video appeal released yesterday urging voters to repeal the Eighth Amendment. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for IFP
Try an off-kilter clash in zingy orange and pink, like Saoirse Ronan in Cushnie et Ochs
Saoirse Ronan attends "The Seagull" premiere during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Grease actress Didi Conn has heaped praise on Saoirse Ronan, calling the Irish star "phenomenal".

Didi (66) starred as Frenchy in the 1978 musical alongside John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

She saw Lady Bird star Saoirse (24) on the Broadway stage last year when she starred in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, but admitted she struggles to pronounce her name.


"I don't know how to say her name. She's phenomenal, come on," she said.

"She's so great. I saw her on Broadway on stage and she is just amazing. You guys are really great.

Didi, who has visited Ireland many times over the years with her composer husband David Shire, also said she hopes the Eighth Amendment will be repealed in the upcoming referendum.

"I believe in a woman's ability to choose. That's just the bottom line," she said. "Children need to be wanted. I think you feel it in the womb.

"There just are so many horrible things that can happen that women need the choice."

Although she was already married by the time she filmed Grease, the New Yorker admitted there was some behind-the-scenes flings on set, mostly thanks to actor Jeff Conaway, who played Kenickie.

"There was some rockin' and rollin'. Jeff Conaway's trailer was always rockin' and rollin', what can I say?" she told the Herald.

"There was true affection between John and Olivia, although they both had relationships, but there really was an attraction."

Didi admitted that none of the actors in Grease ever suspected the film would become the favourite of so many fans around the world when they were making it.


"No, trust me. I would definitely have asked in my contract for them to put some points in there. I had absolutely no idea," she said.

"We really all had a good time. A lot of people in the movie were in the Broadway show, so they really knew these characters."

Didi was recently in London celebrating the 40th anniver- sary of the film.

She launched a Now TV "slumber party screening" pop-up earlier this week, which was an exact replica of Frenchy's bedroom.

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