The Untold Truth Of Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan is quickly becoming a household name — even if many people struggle to correctly pronounce her moniker (for the record, it's SER-sha). With her starring roles in critically acclaimed films like Brooklyn, Lady Bird, On Chesil Beach, and Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Little Women, Ronan's star power is only growing brighter by the minute. Ryan Gosling, who directed Ronan in the 2014 film Lost River, called the actress a "genius," telling the Irish Sun, "I felt like I was working with a master, like someone from the Golden Age. Someone superior to my skills as an actor in every way." Gosling continued, "She's Meryl [Streep] reborn."

Despite her fame, Ronan gives the impression of an incredibly down-to-earth person — one who has managed to avoid becoming entangled in the trappings of stardom. In fact, Ronan doesn't even consider herself to be a star. "I'll always have that mentality of 'no one knows who I am,'" the actress told The Guardian. Added Ronan, "And I like that."

So, how did this Irish gal become a Hollywood starlet? Here's a look at the untold truth of Saoirse Ronan. 

Saoirse Ronan auditioned for this fan-favorite Harry Potter character

The Harry Potter franchise has captured the imaginations of children and adults alike since the first book in the series was released in 1997. Since then, Harry, Hermione, and Ron, along with their magical professors and peers, have permanently carved out a place for themselves within pop culture history.

Of course, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint will forever be associated with their Harry Potter film franchise counterparts. And, had things played out the way Saoirse Ronan hoped they would, the Lady Bird star would also have had unbreakable ties to the magical series. 

According to a July 2011 interview with The Independent, Ronan auditioned for the role of Harry Potter's eccentric classmate Luna Lovegood in 2006 — a part that ultimately went to actress Evanna Lynch. "I was too young — but at the time I thought, 'I'd love to be in Harry Potter,'" Ronan told the publication. She continued, "When I was younger, I used to think [the Harry Potter actors] had the best job in the world."

Saoirse Ronan designed one of Ed Sheeran's tattoos

Fans may not know that Saoirse Ronan has dabbled in tattoo design. However, if this 2018 interview on The Graham Norton Show is any indication, the Little Women star should probably stick to her day job. 

As Ronan explained to Norton, she spent an evening with Ed Sheeran while the two were filming the music video for his song "Galway Girl," one of many Ed Sheeran music videos with small details fans may not have noticed. One scene in the music video features Ronan writing "Galway Grill" on Sheeran's arm, only for the singer-songwriter to have her handwriting permanently inked on his skin by a tattoo artist with a misspelling. 

"It wasn't my idea to do the bad spelling," Ronan insisted during her appearance on The Graham Norton Show. She continued, "[Ed's] been saying to people at his gig that I just misspelled the word 'girl,' but I didn't!" According to Ronan, the "Galway Grill" tattoo idea was the brainchild of Sheeran's tour manager. 

New York has played an important role in Saoirse Ronan's life

She might be an Irish girl, but New York has quite a special place in Saoirse Ronan's heart. 

In 2015, the actress starred in the Academy Award-nominated film Brooklyn. Based on the novel of the same name, Brooklyn follows Eilis Lacey, a teenager forced to travel from her home country of Ireland to seek better opportunities in 1950s New York.

In an October 2015 interview with The Telegraph, Ronan became emotional while discussing the film. As the actress explained, her parents moved from Ireland during a recession in the 1980s and settled in New York, where Ronan was later born in 1994. Her family eventually moved back to Ireland when Ronan was 3 years old. However, the path back home was riddled with hardships. "They had nothing, and they were illegal for a few years so they couldn't leave because they wouldn't be allowed back in," Ronan revealed. She continued, telling the publication, "[My mother] came to see the film at Sundance, and for me she was the most important critic, because I wanted her to feel like it had authentically portrayed her struggle."

Saoirse Ronan's mother was "fiercely protective" of her as a young actress

Much like her Little Women character, Jo March, Saoirse Ronan is incredibly close to her own mother, Monica Ronan. And, as the actress has revealed in numerous interviews throughout the course of her career, her mom has played a significant role in protecting her from the abuse-of-power sexism and politics that seem to run rampant in Hollywood.

Speaking to the Irish Times in 2018, Saoirse Ronan opened up about how her mother helped her navigate the world of show business as a child. "My mam was brilliant. Everyone loved my mam," Ronan revealed. She continued, saying, "She was always fiercely protective of my rights."

Ronan gushed about her mother more in a 2019 interview with Harper's Bazaar, admitting, "I don't know what would have happened if she hadn't been around." The actress continued, "I wasn't unaware that there were people in the industry who abused their power, or who were seedy or untrustworthy. But because of her I was never a victim and I'm very, very thankful."

This is how Saoirse Ronan bonded with her Little Women co-stars

When watching Little Women, viewers might find themselves forgetting that the actresses portraying the four March sisters onscreen are not, in fact, actual sisters. Instead, they're world-renowned stars Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, and Saoirse Ronan. Still, the chemistry between the four is palpable. According to Ronan, this is likely due to the close-knit bond formed between the four actresses behind the scenes. 

In a November 2019 interview with Dazed, Ronan recounted how easy it was to bond with her co-stars. "Me and the girls, as soon as we met, we just clicked," Ronan revealed. The Lady Bird star continued, saying the experience was "incredible" and recalling that she and her co-stars would often playfully wrestle and exchange "filthy jokes" with one another. 

"It was just this amazing energy that existed between all of us straight away," Ronan revealed. The star continued gushing about how at ease she felt with her onscreen sisters, saying, "Physically we were all really comfortable with each other, we would sit on each other, wrap ourselves around one another." 

Saoirse Ronan feels acting is her calling

While Saoirse Ronan certainly loves her job, she doesn't discount the fact that acting is indeed work. That said, Ronan delights in the work she does, and she never takes for granted the career she dreamed of having as little girl. 

In an 2018 interview with Vogue, Ronan revealed, "[Acting is] very intimate." She continued, "There are certain moments where it feels like it's just you and the lens." Considering Ronan has been acting since her youth, a film set feels much like a second home to the star. Describing the camera, Ronan told Vogue, "It's something that has been a very stable, consistent thing in my life. The camera has been the thing that has stuck around the longest."

Starring in movies meant her teen years were far from normal, but Ronan doesn't seem to feel any sense of regret about missing out on typical high school experiences. "Of course when you're a teenager you want to belong to something," Ronan said. She continued, telling Vogue, "For me that was being on a film set, so I worked a lot."

These are the only types of roles Saoirse Ronan will accept

Compared to some of today's most celebrated actresses, Saoirse Ronan is a bit of a newcomer. However, the Brooklyn star has stayed consistent throughout the course of her young career — both in her powerhouse performances and in the roles she chooses to tackle. 

In a 2013 interview with Backstage, Ronan dished about what she looks for when deciding whether or not to take on a new role, revealing she tends to favor scripts and characters that don't resemble anything she's done before. "I don't want to form a pattern or anything like that," the star explained. 

Ronan went on to reveal in a January 2019 interview with Harper's Bazaar that she's most interested in playing fleshed-out characters who capture her interest and hold her attention. "From a purely selfish point of view, I've always wanted to play characters who are well-rounded and interesting and smart, or who are intelligently written," Ronan told the publication. The star continued, saying, "That was always a priority for me, to play someone who — even if they were only in a few scenes — really had something to them."

Saoirse Ronan starred in her first acting gig alongside her father

Saoirse Ronan might be the most well-known actor in her family, but she isn't the only one. Ronan's father, Paul, is an actor as well. In fact, according to Ronan's October 2015 interview with The Telegraph, her father's acting skill is what led her family back to Ireland from New York when she was just a tot. "My dad started out in construction, then he became a bartender, and eventually he was discovered by another Irish actor in the bar," Ronan told the publication. 

According to a December 2018 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Ronan's very first acting gig was a "short Irish art-house film" in which her father also appeared. As Ronan tells it, this initial experience in front of the camera is what inspired her to pursue acting as a career. "They needed a kid for it, and they just asked me to do it as a favor," Ronan revealed. She continued, "I just loved it as soon as I started."

Saoirse Ronan's impression skills won her family the trip of a lifetime

During a January 2019 interview on The Graham Norton Show, Saoirse Ronan revealed an exciting prize she'd won in her youth — a trip to Florida. Of course, while those of us who live in the United States might not consider a Florida vacation to be the trip of a lifetime, the Irish actress couldn't have been more delighted about the possibility of traveling to the Sunshine State. 

As Ronan explained to Norton, Shrek 2 had just come out, and a local radio DJ was giving away a "holiday to Florida" to the caller who could deliver the best impression of a character from Shrek. With the encouragement of her mother, the 9 or 10-year-old Ronan called up the station and gave her best impression of the Gingerbread Man. "Five days later, he phoned up and told me that we had won," Saoirse revealed. 

Luckily for fans, Norton played the clip featuring the actress' best Gingerbread Man voice — as well as her squeals of delight the moment she realized she'd won. 

Saoirse Ronan doesn't feel like a famous person

There's no question that Saoirse Ronan is quickly becoming one of the most recognized and celebrated actresses of her generation. However, as famous as she might be, Ronan revealed in a 2018 interview with Vogue that she doesn't exactly feel like a star. 

Speaking about her encounters with adoring fans, Ronan told the publication, "I still get completely shocked that anyone knows who I am." When asked if she'd prefer to do her work without the trappings of fame, Ronan quickly replied, "Yeah, I would. But I'm not ... famous." The actress explained, "I just genuinely don't think I am," noting, "Selena Gomez is famous."

As Ronan revealed to Vogue, she tries to avoid reading a lot of media coverage about herself, which helps the actress to stay grounded and feel more like an average person. In Ronan's words, "If you're not aware of how often you're in a newspaper, then it's like it's not really happening."

Greta Gerwig is a source of inspiration for Saoirse Ronan

In 2017, Greta Gerwig made a splash with her first solo directorial effort, Lady Bird. Starring Saoirse Ronan, the coming-of-age story was a hit with moviegoers and critics alike, grossing over $78 million worldwide. The pair teamed up again for 2019's Little Women, which was adapted for the screen and directed by Gerwig. And, according to Ronan, the actress-turned-director has been a massive source of inspiration. 

Ronan told The New York Times, "A lot of women think a job like director, which is so authoritative, is one where a woman can only succeed so much." The actress continued, "It's only watching Greta that's changed my perspective on what I might achieve. And I've always thought of myself as a confident person."

When the Hollywood Foreign Press Association nominated Ronan's performance in Little Women for a Golden Globe but failed to recognize Gerwig's directorial work, the actress made her feelings on the matter crystal clear (via Vanity Fair). In her thank-you statement to the HFPA, Ronan wrote, "My performance in this film belongs to Greta as much as it does myself and I share this recognition completely with her." 

Saoirse Ronan told Greta Gerwig she had to play Jo March

Jo March, the heroine of Little Women, is one of the most famous and beloved characters in literary history. So, when Saoirse Ronan received word that a new Little Women adaptation was in the works with Greta Gerwig set to serve as both screenwriter and director, the actress knew she needed to lock down the role immediately. 

According to a 2019 interview with Variety, Ronan revealed she approached the director about the role while on the awards campaign trail for Lady Bird. "[I] tapped Greta on the shoulder and said I heard she was doing Little Women, and that I needed to be Jo," Ronan told the publication. 

While Ronan remembers Gerwig insisting she needed to "marinate" on the idea, Gerwig told Variety that Ronan's admirable straightforwardness was the very thing that landed her the role. "I am not taken to showing up in offices and telling people they have to hire me," Gerwig explained. She continued, "It's not something I do, and it's not something Saoirse has ever done. I'm so lucky that she basically told me she was going to play this part."

Saoirse Ronan's relationship with feminism has evolved

In a 2013 interview with The Independent, Saoirse Ronan struggled when asked if she would consider herself a feminist. "I don't know," the actress replied. She explained, "There are a lot of people who say, yeah yeah, I'm a feminist and they're not actually. I wouldn't want to throw that word around because it's a very strong thing."

However, as the years have passed, Ronan hasn't shied away from embracing feminism and speaking out about the issues facing women in the film industry, as well as in the rest of the world. Speaking with Grazia in 2018 (via People Magazine), Ronan revealed that long conversations about feminism with Greta Gerwig helped to deepen her understanding of the subject. "I feel like feminism has gone from quite a considered thing for me to something that is just in my bones," Ronan told Grazia. The actress continued, "We've gone from saying, 'Yes, we really need to make a change and we've all got to stick together,' to 'Oh f**k, we really need to make a change.'" 

Added Ronan, "Now more than ever, feminism is at the core of my life."

Timothee Chalamet keeps Saoirse Ronan on her toes

Saoirse Ronan's friendship with Timothée Chalamet has been of popular interest ever since the two starred alongside each other in the 2017 coming-of-age flick Lady Bird. Their onscreen chemistry has prompted plenty of people to speculate on the nature of their relationship — with many fans hoping for a real-life romance to blossom between the two. 

While it seems as though Ronan and Chalamet are nothing more than close friends at the time of this writing, the two stars never shy away from gushing about one another. In an October 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ronan said of her co-star, "He keeps me on my toes — I'm never quite sure what he's going to do next." Added the actress, "It helped that we do have a very natural rapport with each other."

For his part, Chalamet has found that working with Ronan makes his job easier. "In the least clichéd way possible, it really doesn't feel like [I'm] acting sometimes [with her]," Chalamet told Entertainment Weekly. The actor, who also starred in Little Women together, continued, "When it's someone you're actually friends with, it makes it easier."