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Saoirse Ronan: 'Brooklyn saved me'

Published 03/01/2016

Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse Ronan

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan had been desperate to play someone her own age before landing the lead in Brooklyn.

Actress Saoirse Ronan sees Brooklyn as her "guardian angel".

The actress plays Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey in the movie, who moves in New York in the 1950s and feels herself torn between the Emerald Isle and Big Apple. Not only does it mark the first role true to her own heritage but it's also the first time audiences see Saoirse play a woman rather than a juvenile.

"I mean it’s interesting because even when I was a kid, I never was involved in children’s films apart from maybe one or two," she explained to The Stanford Daily. "They were always quite grown up, and so when I got to the age of about 18 and 19, I was really ready to play someone older, and certainly by the time I reached 20.

"When Brooklyn came along, it was perfect, and it was like a b***dy guardian angel or something coming down and kind of going, 'Okay, you’re ready now.' I think just going through that experience, I felt quite changed afterwards, but I was very much ready to take that step."

Not that her younger roles didn't gain attention; she was nominated for an Oscar at the age of 13 for her performance in Atonement opposite Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. And her latest performance has been tipped for another nomination at this year’s (16) ceremony.

Considering it was her first grown-up role, 21-year-old Saoirse wasn't fazed by the intimate scenes required of her and her Brooklyn co-star Emory Cohen.

"I've never found sex scenes awkward," she previously told People magazine. "With kissing you can do whatever, but sex scenes have to be choreographed - like, what do I do with my hands? Do I take his shirt off? It's very technical."

And the actress wasn't alone with her Irish roots, as Domhnall Gleeson joins her in the heart-warming flick.

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