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Toronto 2012: Saoirse Ronan Talks 'Magical,' 'Gory,' 'Twisted' 'Byzantium' (Video)

The actress is the latest to join Hollywood’s vampire craze in Neil Jordan’s deadly thriller.

Saorise Ronan continues her streak of dark dramas with Byzantium, Neil Jordan’s vampire-themed thriller that premiered Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

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But before Ronan hit the red carpet at the Ryerson Theatre, the actress stopped by The Hollywood Reporter’s TIFF video lounge with co-star Gemma Arterton and director Jordan.

“The center of the movie is Saoirse is trying to tell this story, which Gemma here never allows her to tell, and anybody who resists has to get violently and horribly killed because the knowledge can never come out,” Jordan tells THR. “Which is a great structure for a film. You’ve got the present, in the beautifully rundown seaside town in England, and you’ve got the past, which mainly happens in the same town but it’s a totally different environment.”

Arterton plays Clara, a 200-year-old vampire prostitute, and the mother of Ronan’s character, Eleanor. “For me, it was just the most amazing part. I just felt it gave me an opportunity to be all these things I wanted to do,” says Arterton.

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Ronan, who recently wrapped filming on the Stephenie Meyers-adaptation The Host, reveals a bit more of her own storyline in Byzantium.

“When you go into the past, you see that Eleanor was an orphan and she was given to an orphanage when she was only a baby. And then Clara comes back and saves her by giving her this eternal life,” says Ronan. “The whole story feels like a storybook almost. It really feels like a story is being told here from this young woman’s point of view, and it’s quite magical and gory and twisted at the same time.”

Beyond the blood-sucker storyline, audiences can expect “arresting” and “striking” visuals on screen, says Arterton, adding that Jordan’s Company of Wolves is one of her favorite films. “I feel like this is a follow up,” she notes.  

For more from the trio, watch THR’s video above.