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Saoirse Ronan is creating a lot of buzz this awards season with her starring role in Lady Bird, where she plays an opinionated and strong-willed teenager. She sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for the Actress Roundtable — alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Allison Janney, Jessica Chastain and Mary J. Blige — to discuss the film, which is based on director Greta Gerwig’s life.
Ronan said she was “terrified I was going to mess it up I think, since she was there every day. It’s not necessarily autobiographical, but I think what we’ve been saying is when Greta and I came together, Lady Bird was born. She kind of came from us but she’s very sort of separate from us too, and she’s sort of like the girl we aspired to be when we were 17.”
“She’s like a ballsy girl as well. She’s confident and she’s got a lot of self-belief and she’s also got a lot of self-doubt,” she added. “Just having well-rounded female characters is so important and it’s something we’re all going to gravitate towards because we want to do good work.”
The film could bring Ronan her third Oscar nomination, having been previously recognized for Atonement at age 13 and for Brooklyn at age 21. She became the second-youngest actress to ever get two Oscar nominations, behind only Angela Lansbury.
While she has largely stuck to smaller indie films, the actress said she would take on a big-budget film if the right part came along.
“I think it would be wrong to pigeon-hole yourself as just an indie actor or a movie star or whatever,” Ronan said during the roundtable. “It was one of the best pieces of advice that someone gave me recently that you should never do something because you should do it, you should only do it because you want to or feel like you need to,” which she said is something she’s had to work on.
Ronan also joined the conversation on Hollywood’s recent sexual harassment allegations, saying she was particularly affected by the audio recording of Harvey Weinstein admitting he had groped model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.
“What was incredible about it was she was brave enough to go back the next day because she knew it was important for this to come out,” she said. “The fact that she put herself in that position again and made herself vulnerable and still nothing was done about it.”
She expressed frustration about how people have known about these allegations “for the past few years but haven’t done anything with it, it’s just been swept under the carpet,” and believes that the world now needs to show these women support, whether they want to go public with their experiences or not.
For the full Actress Roundtable interview, click here.
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