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Oscar hopeful Saoirse Ronan: 'I was so homesick making new movie'


Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan

Brendan and Domhnall Gleeson

Brendan and Domhnall Gleeson


Saoirse Ronan

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan was the picture of style as she arrived at the premiere of Brooklyn at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Decked out in Chanel Resort collection the actress posed for pictures with fans outside the Winter Garden Theatre.

The film tells the story of a young woman named Eilis who moves from a rural town in Ireland to the bright lights of Brooklyn as she tries to follow her dreams.

Saoirse said she could strongly identify with the character of Eilis. "By the time we made the film I'd essentially gone through Eilis's journey," she told Now Toronto.


"Even talking about it I get very emotional. I was right in the middle of feeling a deep, deep homesickness, missing my own mom and figuring out where I belonged in between these two places.

"When you move out on your own, you go through an identity crisis. 'Who am I when I'm a grown-up?' It was raw for me to go through that, in life and in front of a camera."

Star Wars actor Domhnall Gleeson - who plays Saoirse's love interest in the film - also attended the Canadian premiere, arriving with his dad Brendan.

The majority of the movie - an adaptation of Colm Toibin's 2009 novel Brooklyn - was shot in Ireland.

While Domhnall enjoyed being on home turf, he admitted spending hours filming several beach scenes along the Irish coast was tough going.

"My nipples nearly broke off when I got into the Irish Sea but, apart from that, it was kind of a shortish job for me," he told reporters on the red carpet.

The film is set in the 1950s and Saoirse relished dressing up in vintage clothes.

"The costumes were so beautiful, and I didn't realise how much healthier women's body types were back in the 1950s," she said.

"The shapes of the clothes are much more womanly, allowing for curves. Women were encouraged to have boobs and have a bum."

Brooklyn - directed by John Crowley - has received favourable reviews since its world premiere at Sundance earlier this year.

The New York Post said Ronan's performance was "awards-calibre" while Variety said the film was "rich in history and full of emotion".

The book was adapted for the big screen by award-winning British novelist and screenwriter Nick Hornby, who wrote both the book and screenplay for 2002 film About a Boy.

Saoirse said she was taking any "Oscar buzz" with a pinch of salt.


She has just finished filming Michael Mayer's movie version of The Seagull, in which she shares the screen with legend Annette Bening.

The young actress will also make her Broadway debut in the revival of Arthur Miller's classic 1953 drama The Crucible in February 2016.

Brooklyn was not the only Irish film creating a stir at the 2015 TIFF.

Lenny Abrahamson's Room screened at the event last night.

Based on Emma Donoghue's award-winning novel, the movie stars Brie Larson and William H Macy.

Quirky film The Lobster - starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C Reilly, Olivia Colman and Ashley Jensen - will also screen as part of the festival.