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Sunday 15 September 2019

Saoirse Ronan says new movie Brooklyn 'story of my people'

Saoirse Ronan said her life was 'an emotional open wound' when she made Brooklyn
Saoirse Ronan said her life was 'an emotional open wound' when she made Brooklyn

Saoirse Ronan has described her new film, Brooklyn, as "the story of my people".

The Irish actress, whose leading role sees her play a young Irishwoman in New York, said her own move to London made her feel like "an open wound emotionally".

Ronan, 21, said the move to the capital resulted in a feeling of loneliness and homesickness which meant her personal life and character's life "ran parallel in every way".

In an interview with Radio Times, she said: "I needed to leave Ireland. I love it but I needed to be anonymous.

"I was recognised quite a bit at home and I was very aware of growing up in an industry where everything is done for you.

"On a film you are picked up in the morning, you are told when you are working, your meals are provided, your clothes are washed for you and then, to go back to your mum and dad's house where the same thing happens, it didn't feel like a natural way to move into adulthood.

"So I told my parents I wanted to know how to pay my own bills, cook a meal, do my own washing - but it was tough."

She added: "By the time I did Brooklyn, I was like an open wound emotionally. I felt very vulnerable.

"It was the first time ever, professionally, where my personal life and my character's life ran parallel in every way.

"It was like being forced to stare at yourself in a mirror close-up and not being able to look away."

Ronan was born in New York City to Irish parents. They returned to Ireland when she was three.

Speaking about the film, which is an adaptation of the award-winning novel by Irish author Colm Toibin, Ronan told the magazine: "This is the story of my people. There's barely a family in Ireland that doesn't have someone who emigrated. My Mam and Da were economic migrants."

She added: "They lived in a terrible little apartment in the Bronx and because they were illegals, they were really badly treated and did some awful jobs."

Ronan recalled a time when her father was called to the Waldorf Astoria because the hotel sewage pipes had burst and "he had to literally shovel s*** out of an elevator shaft for several hours".

:: Brooklyn will be released in cinemas on November 6.

PA Media

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