Teen actress Saiorse Ronan carries heavy roles lightly
By Zorianna Kit
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Irish actress Saoirse Ronan was only 13-years-old when she took the part of a murdered girl who watches over her grieving family in "The Lovely Bones." But even at such a young age, she never once worried about playing a dead person.
"I never really thought of Susie Salmon as someone who was dead," says Ronan, now 15, of her "Bones" character. "Although her body is dead, her soul is still there. That's what makes Susie who she is and that's what I love about her."
Ronan's performance in the film, which opens in U.S. theaters on Friday and is an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, seems impressive for such a young woman. Then again, the last few year of Ronan's life have been pretty impressive, too.
The Irish actress (whose first name is pronounced Sir-sha) earned an Oscar nomination for her role as Keira Knightley's younger sister, Briony Tallis, in 2007's romantic drama "Atonement."
In "Bones," Ronan finds herself carrying an entire movie, with a little help from a stellar cast and crew that includes director Peter Jackson, and Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg as her devastated family.
Despite being adept at handling such heavy subject matter, Ronan seems a typical, carefree teenager. She loves clothes and spending time with her friends back home in Ireland.
"I don't see my friends as often as I would like to, so it's always nice to meet up with them," she said. "We talk and laugh and listen to music. We also dress up and have a fashion show with the premiere dresses I have at home."
The gown count in her closet is only likely to increase in years ahead. While "Bones" has earned mixed reviews, Ronan's work has been well-received. There are more films on the way, and Ronan says she expects to make a career as an actress. Continued...