October 9, 2008 / 6:03 PM / 9 years ago

Teen Saoirse Ronan feels her age

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oscar-nominated teen actress Saoirse Ronan likes the sound of being a rising star.

Speaking in her native Irish accent, unrecognizable from the characters she has played, the 14-year-old says that despite all her accomplishments and spending most of her time around adults on film sets she still feels like a teenager.

“I am becoming more well-known as an actress, which I like the sound of that, that’s OK,” Ronan told Reuters in an interview for her new film “City of Ember,” which opens in the United States on Friday and stars Bill Murray and Tim Robbins.

“If I am around my friends, even if they are a bit older, I am a 14-year-old, I act like a 14-year-old,” said the actress, whose screen roles include a girl who accuses her sister’s lover of rape and a girl who is raped then murdered.

But she said sometimes she feels, “maybe 17,” such as when she is talking about “filmmaking and all this cultural stuff, but then when I am with my friends I feel like a kid again.”

Actress Saoirse Ronan poses inside her hotel room in New York October 3, 2008. Ronan stars in the upcoming film "City of Ember", which tells the story of an underground city lit entirely by a power generator that is starting to fail. The film opens in theatres across the U.S. October 10. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The New York-born teen moved to Ireland aged three and shot to international fame when she received an Oscar nomination in 2008 for her best supporting actress role in the English war romance “Atonement”.

“In most of my movies I have been with adults. I mean in ‘Atonement’ I was with adults pretty much all the time,” she said sitting in jeans in a New York hotel room where her father Paul, who is also an actor, sat nearby.

Actress Saoirse Ronan poses inside her hotel room in New York October 3, 2008. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

“I would love to work with girls my own age, I think that would be lots of fun,” Ronan said.

She has finished filming a sought after role in director Peter Jackson’s upcoming film adaptation of the bestseller novel “The Lovely Bones,” in which she plays a murdered 14-year-old who watches her family from heaven.

And in her new film “City of Ember,” based on the Jeanne DuPrau 2003 novel of the same name, she plays an orphan looking to find a way out of an underground city, speaking in an American accent.

“I have never done an Irish accent in any of the movies I have been in, so em, I suppose (accents are) one of the things I would be known for,” Ronan, who put on a refined English accent for “Atonement,” said humbly. “I just did not realize it as a talent until I started to do it in movies.”

Editing by Michelle Nichols

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