Wonderland: Talk us through the films you have coming out.
Saoirse Ronan: At the start of the year I did Stockholm, Pennsylvania. It’s a tiny film written and directed by Nikole Beckwith. It was her first time directing and we did it in 19 days, on a million dollar budget. I’d never done anything like that before. It was interesting to see how somebody, especially a new filmmaker, could handle that kind of pressure. After that I had about a week off, before moving onto Brooklyn.
W: It’s certainly intriguing. What’s the role like?
S: Stockholm is about a girl called Leia who’s in her early twenties. At the start she’s rescued, after seven years, from her kidnapper, who raised her in a basement. She has never seen the light of day until she is handed back to her biological parents in the second scene, but she doesn’t know these people. It’s mainly about the relationship between Leia and her mother, and how she doesn’t see why it’s wrong to be completely in love (in a childlike way) with her kidnapper, despite what he did. Her mother, played by Cynthia Nixon, spirals out of control, imprisoning Leia in a different way. Both films are centred on women. Brooklyn is based on a book by Colm Tóibín. It’s set in the 1950s and follows Eilis Lacey’s journey to New York to start a new life. It follows immigrants and Irish people in general, who made that trip, showing its difficulties, wonders and heart-breaks. I’ve never been so affected by a film before. The screenplay was written by Nick Hornby; it’s a gorgeous and very simple take on life.
W: He does it so well, doesn’t he?
S: He really does. It spans two years of Eilis’s life within the first half hour – going over to New York, getting a job and meeting a boy, before a family tragedy brings her home after a few months. It’s about how her relationship with home has changed, which I really got. Once you move away from home, it’s never quite the same again. You expect everything to be just as you left it, and it never is. It’s almost the first step into adulthood, realising you’ve got to make your own way.
W: You’ve picked two quite independent films to star in. How do go about choosing roles?
S: The story always comes first – it’s paramount. A lot of actresses who I’ve worked with have said that this is a tricky age – you can’t quite do the coming of age roles anymore, or maybe you don’t want to, and nobody has seen you as a young woman yet. Brooklyn was perfect for me. I’ve done a couple of biggish movies, but it was never down to exposure or money. I remember there was a toss-up between a big action film and Atonement, but I knew what I wanted to do. People make different decisions regarding their work, for different reasons. I keep it as simple as I can.
- See more at: http://www.wonderlandmagazine.com/2014/09/saoirse-ronan/#sthash.9NOxvbJ9.dpuf