Com­ing of age as an Amer­i­can teen

Ire­land’s Ro­nan gain­ing crit­i­cal ac­claim for her Lady Bird role

Metro Canada (Edmonton) - - World - Steve gow

She may only be 23 years old but Saoirse Ro­nan has seemed pretty de­ter­mined to cover as many char­ac­ters as pos­si­ble in her young ca­reer.

Af­ter all, the ac­claimed Ir­ish ac­tor has gained heaps of praise play­ing ev­ery­thing from a blood­thirsty vam­pire to a ruth­less teenage as­sas­sin and will soon even be por­tray­ing tragic tru­elife royal Mary, Queen of Scots. Her lat­est film, how­ever, is get­ting Ro­nan a stag­ger­ing amount of at­ten­tion sim­ply for play­ing an av­er­age teen com­ing of age in Cal­i­for­nia.

“Some­times with comin­gof-age films it can be overly dra­ma­tized or fo­cused on the ro­mance of one par­tic­u­lar re­la­tion­ship,” said Ro­nan dur­ing a call from Lon­don about the dram­edy Lady Bird. “But with this, there’s so much at­ten­tion to the whole world that she’s in (that) it doesn’t feel like it’s not real; it doesn’t feel like any­thing’s been hyped up.”

One thing that has been “hyped up” about Lady Bird is the grow­ing crit­i­cal ac­claim the film’s been re­ceiv­ing for its hon­est and en­dear­ing por­trayal of the tem­pes­tu­ous re­la­tion­ship be­tween an aim­less stu­dent who in­sists on be­ing called “Lady Bird” and her nag­ging, metic­u­lous mother.

Writ­ten and di­rected by ac­tor­turned-film­maker Greta Ger­wig (Frances Ha), the com­ing-of-age premise may sound fa­mil­iar to some but it has struck such an authen­tic chord that even the New York Times la­belled it “bigscreen per­fec­tion.”

“She’s fig­ur­ing out who she is and we’re watch­ing her do that and make mis­takes and then watch­ing her suc­ceed,” stated Ro­nan of the role many pre­dict will land the ac­tor her third Os­car nom­i­na­tion. “To be some­one with so much light and shade; so much self-be­lief and also self-doubt at the same time is real and it’s a chal­lenge to play.”

Ro­nan is quick to credit Ger­wig for craft­ing such a pro­found, pre­cise char­ac­ter — but she also ad­mits it was a role that wasn’t ac­tu­ally all that fa­mil­iar to the U.K.-raised thes­pian.

“Grow­ing up in Amer­ica is very spe­cific to Amer­i­can kids and I grew up in the coun­try­side in Ire­land,” laughed Ro­nan of play­ing an Amer­i­can teenager living in Sacra­mento. “It was cool to tap into that be­cause that was re­ally some­thing I had only ex­pe­ri­enced through watch­ing on Sab­rina the Teenage Witch.”

ro­nan on her roles Brook­lyn (2015)

“It was a re­ally emo­tional job,” the Ir­ish ac­tor said of the Os­car-nom­i­nated im­mi­grant drama. “It did feel like there was a re­spon­si­bil­ity to my coun­try.”

hanna (2011)

“It was my first role be­ing that phys­i­cal and I ab­so­lutely loved it,” Ro­nan said of the teenage as­sas­sin thriller. “You can re­ally find a char­ac­ter on a deep level when phys­i­cal­ity is a big part of who they are.”

atone­ment (2007)

“It al­ways will be one of the most spe­cial jobs for me,” Ro­nan said of the Os­car-nom­i­nated hit costar­ring Keira Knight­ley and James McAvoy. “It was like my in­tro­duc­tion to how spe­cial a film set can be.”

Con­trib­uted

saoirse ro­nan plays an aim­less stu­dent who in­sists on be­ing called “lady Bird” and has a tem­pes­tu­ous re­la­tion­ships with her nag­ging, metic­u­lous mother (played by lau­rie met­calf).

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