Wild child un­leashes hell

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies -

IR­ISH ac­tress Saoirse Ro­nan is full of sur­prises on screen, whether it was her chill­ing Os­car-nom­i­nated per­for­mance in 2007’ s Atone­ment at the age of 14, her tour de force role op­po­site Cate Blanchett ( top left) and Eric Bana in the new ac­tion film Hanna or one of the other high-qual­ity films she has made in re­cent years.

In an in­ter­view in Bev­erly Hills, Ro­nan ( pic­tured and in­set with Bana), who just turned 17, shocks again. ‘‘ Can I tell you a se­cret?’’ she asks. What comes out of her mouth next are words deeply up­set­ting to any true blue Aus­tralian.

‘‘ I kind of want to be a Kiwi as well,’’ Ro­nan says with a straight face.

The rev­e­la­tion comes af­ter it is pointed out to the teenager that her amaz­ing body of work is linked to some of Aus­tralia’s great ac­tors and film­mak­ers.

In Hanna, Bana plays her fa­ther who, af­ter years train­ing her to be an as­sas­sin in the wilds of north­ern Fin­land, re­leases her on a mis­sion to kill a ruth­less CIA agent, played by Blanchett.

Last year Aus­tralian di­rec­tor Peter Weir cast Ro­nan in the epic The Way Back.

In 2007 an­other Aussie di­rec­tor, Gil­lian Arm­strong, hired Ro­nan along­side Guy Pearce in the drama Death De­fy­ing Acts.

When it is put to Ro­nan, who lives with her par­ents in County Car­low in north­east Ire­land, that her links to Aus­tralia are so deep she prob­a­bly could pass for an Aussie, she agrees, but then of­fers up her de­sire to also be a New Zealan­der.

‘‘ I know I’m not sup­posed to say that, but I have to be loyal to the Ki­wis,’’ Ro­nan says.

One of Ro­nan’s other lauded per­for­mances was in New Zealand for the 2009 crime­drama-fan­tasy film The Lovely Bones by New Zealand di­rec­tor Peter Jack­son, a role many be­lieved Ro­nan should have scored the sec­ond Os­car nom­i­na­tion of her young life, play­ing a girl mur­dered by a pae­dophile neigh­bour.

The dark themes of the movie did not dampen her love for New Zealand, al­though she is a lit­tle con­fused about one thing.

‘‘ Is Vegemite Aus­tralian or New Zealand?’’ she asks.

One thing Jack­son or the Aus­tralian elite that have worked with the young blonde are not con­fused about is her acting tal­ent and ma­tu­rity. It was put to the test in Hanna, a film shot in - 30C tem­per­a­tures in the north­ern ice fields of Fin­land, in scorch­ing + 50C heat in the deserts of Morocco and re­quired the teenager to pull off ac­tion scenes as com­plex as any in the Bourne or James Bond films.

Adding an­other layer to the role, Ro­nan’s char­ac­ter is a clone cre­ated dur­ing a CIA ex­per­i­ment who has lived the ma­jor­ity of her life in seclu­sion.

One mo­ment she bat­tles CIA agents and thugs, the next she is a wide-eyed girl pro­ject­ing won­der­ment when en­coun­ter­ing a TV set or other teenagers for the first time.

Hanna’s fa­ther keeps her in a hut near the North Pole in Fin­land, home-school­ing her with en­cy­clo­pe­dias, fairy­tales and hand-to­hand com­bat drills un­til he be­lieves she is ready to em­bark on the mis­sion to kill CIA agent Marissa Wiegler.

‘‘ She’s amaz­ing,’’ Blanchett says of her young co-star.

‘‘ She’s this sunny, gor­geous, switched-on teenager and then she gets in front of the cam­era and has this un­be­liev­able work ethic and is able to go to re­ally dark places, but yet be so emo­tion­ally healthy as a girl.

‘‘ She’s like a clone her­self in the sense of you think ‘ Where is the flaw here?’.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.