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The go teen
Having just played an assassin in Hanna, currently starring as a sweet but isolated Borrower in the Japanese animated film Arrietty, and with roles as vampires and hit-women in the future, Roe McDermott was pleased to find that the Oscar-nominated Saoirse Ronan wasn’t anywhere near as scary as her CV might suggest. She reveals how her assassin training, a ukulele and a hula-hoop are going to land her a headlining slot at Oxegen next year.
Roe McDermott, 23 Aug 2011
I fall for the Ronan family’s natural charm seconds after picking up the phone. Expecting the clipped professional tones of an American PR agent, I’m instead greeted by the Dublin accent of Monica Ronan, who cheerfully tells me that if I’m ready, “the rugrat” is ready to have a chat.
The “rugrat” is also known as Saoirse Ronan, the 17-year-old Oscar nominee whose intimidatingly impressive CV makes me feel very old and very unproductive.
“Roe, what are you talking about, you work for Hot Press. That’s amazing, it’s so cool!” she exclaims.
Now obviously, everyone at Hot Press is the epitome of cool. Still, we can’t quite compete with Oscar nominations and working with Peter Jackson, Joe Wright, Peter Weir, Stanley Tucci, Cate Blanchett and Ed Harris to name just a few.
This month Ronan lends her vocal talents to Arrietty, the Japanese animated film from the Oscar-winning team behind Spirited Away. Ronan plays the titular character, a tiny Borrower girl who lives with her family below the floorboards of a regular house. Much like her roles in Hanna and The Way Back she plays a young girl isolated from her peers and surrounded by people much older than her. The film holds some personal resonance for the actress, growing up as she has on film sets.
“It’s just kind of normal for me really. People ask, ‘What’s the normal you like?’, but this is my normal life. When you’re surrounded by adults all the time you embrace it. You also try not to forget that you are a kid. I don’t ever try to be an adult because I’m not – I’m 17 years old. I think you become open to so many different types of people on a film set. When you’re in that kind of artistic atmosphere the whole time, it does change you. In the film business you grow up. You have to deal with a lot of crap, like with the media.”
Whoops. That’d be me, then.
She laughs. “It’s not just the media, there’s a lot of crap within the industry that other people wouldn’t hear about too. It’s just people who aren’t genuine, and dealing with it is definitely a big step in growing up.”