March Girl Crush: Saoirse Ronan
During the month in which we celebrate all that is green and lucky, our March Girl Crush is fittingly the talented Irish beauty and upcoming star of The Host, Saoirse Ronan.
After earning an Academy Award nomination at age 13, Saoirse (now 18-years-old) has joined the ranks of Hollywood’s elite whose names you’re probably mispronouncing. In many interviews, Saoirse (pronounced SIR-sha) good-naturedly explains how to pronounce her unique moniker, which means “freedom” in Gaelic.
Born to Irish parents in New York City, Saoirse moved to Ireland at age three. Her father was an actor which is how she first became interested in the craft but meeting Brad Pitt at an early age probably didn’t hurt! While Saoirse has an adorable Irish accent, she is also quite adept at other accents, especially an American one which she has done uncannily in several films.
Saoirse first gained international acclaim at age 13 as Keira Knightley’s little sister in Atonement, a dark and heart-wrenching drama based on the now-classic novel by Ian McEwan. Saoirse’s character naively mistakes something to be a terrible crime which sets into motion a chain of events that forever alters the lives of the other characters. For her guilt-ridden supporting role, Saoirse was nominated for a Golden Globe and Academy Award.
Next, Soairse starred in the science fiction fantasy film, City of Ember, alongside Hollywood heavyweights Bill Murray and Tim Robbins. Based on the first book in the young adult series, Saoirse played a teenager who tries to save her dystopian underground city before time runs out.
In The Lovely Bones, based on the bestselling novel, Saoirse played a girl who attempts to come to terms with her grisly murder while watching from “the in-between” as her friends and family cope. Starring alongside Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg and Susan Sarandon, Saoirse was directed by the legendary Peter Jackson who convinced her parents to allow her to do the film despite its heavy subject matter. Saoirse confessed to reading the book only after making the film in order to keep her performance original, which clearly worked because she earned a Critic’s Choice Award.
Saoirse reunited with Atonement director, Joe Wright, for the 2011 action thriller, Hanna, in which she played a trained assassin. Acting alongside Australian stars Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana, Saoirse got into butt-kicking shape by strengthening her core and learning how to do her own fighting and stunts. But even big movie stars worry about what their parents think which became an issue for Saoirse when her mom and dad were on set while she had to kiss her costar.
No stranger to book-to-movie adaptations (this will be her fourth!), Saoirse’s role in The Host, set to be released March 29, is bound to make her a correctly pronounced household name. In this adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s science fiction follow-up to her tremendously popular Twilight series, Saoirse plays two characters: one of the last humans surviving on Earth and also the alien which later inhabits her body. Sounds creepy, but leave it to Stephanie to make sure Saoirse’s character also becomes entangled in a love triangle with two cuties. Sound familiar?
In her free time, Saoirse supports several charities and has expressed interest in getting involved in more, just like her role model, acting legend Vanessa Redgrave. Since the Irish Blue Cross reunited her with her dog after it ran away, Saoirse helped to raise over $500,000 for the charity, which provides medical care for pets with underprivileged owners. She is also an ambassador for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), which advocates children’s rights and provides services to children in need.
While she had hoped to be an elf in the second installment of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, Saoirse couldn’t commit to the year of filming in New Zealand needed, which is not surprising because she currently has six other movies in the works.
Since she has proven herself capable of conveying heavy drama, non-stop action, as well as romantic intrigue, we can’t wait to see our March Girl Crush Saoirse become Young Hollywood’s Next Big Thing.
Photo: We Heart It