Tuesday 23 January 2018

Saoirse Ronan: '50s fashion was a celebration of women's curves

Colm Tóibín and Saoirse Ronan attend the screening of Brooklyn at the London Film Festival Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
Colm Tóibín and Saoirse Ronan attend the screening of Brooklyn at the London Film Festival Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
Eileen O'Higgins also stars in Brooklyn

Eleanor Bley Griffiths

Saoirse Ronan has spoken of her love for the 1950s period depicted in new film 'Brooklyn' - because it was an era when women were allowed to have a figure.

The actress plays Eilis Lacey, a young Irish migrant to New York, in the adaptation of the Colm Tóibín novel.

She said: "The 50s outfits were so womanly, and it encouraged women - as opposed to now, it encouraged women to have the curves and a bum and boobs and all that stuff.

"Girls are so strongly encouraged to be almost waif-like now, and not have any shape at all."

Struggling to find work in her home town in Ireland, Eilis moves to New York, leaving behind her sister and mother.

Ronan (21) said this resonated with her because she herself had just moved out. The actress, who first rose to prominence in 2007's 'Atonement', was born in New York but moved back to Ireland with her family when she was three. At the time of filming she had just moved to London and now plans a move back to New York.

Ahead of the European premiere in London's Leicester Square, she explained: "I really do feel the weight that you experience, the heaviness that you experience when you're homesick. I'm leaving home for the first time, and haven't quite settled anywhere.

"You can't quite go back to where you're from - but you're not quite settled in this place that you're moving towards either."

She added: "Ireland offers me what it offers Eilis: that sense of home, and childhood and security ... But New York is very much the place I want to be when I'm young."

Directed by John Crowley, the film is Nick Hornby's adaptation of the award-winning novel.

Hornby said: "It's frightening because the book is so loved and so special to its readers, and of course there's a tension: are we going to mess this up? But Colm was so incredibly generous and hands-off.

"We met once and Colm told me that I shouldn't say 'rashers of bacon', I should just say rashers; 'mammy' not 'mummy'; and that was pretty much it as far as consultation went."

Irish Independent

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