Saoirse Ronan: Brooklyn made me feel vulnerable

Saoirse Ronan felt “vulnerable” while shooting her new movie Brooklyn.

The 21-year-old actress’ latest big screen outing sees her play Eilis, a young girl from Ireland who embarks on a life-changing journey to New York during the 1950s. Saoirse admits getting into character wasn’t too difficult, as she shares many similarities with Eilis.

“(Brooklyn was) very challenging, but the most rewarding film I’ve ever done,” the Irish-American star revealed during a Screen Talk with LFF Connects at the BFI London Film Festival. “Just the effect it has on me… I don’t know what it is; I’m still very much awash with emotion. Eilis, and Eilis’ story, is just a huge part of who I am…

“I think because it was so close to me, to not have any separation at all was actually a lot scarier, and it was a lot more vulnerable.”

In the past Saoirse has preferred to play characters which are her polar opposite in real life, appearing in movies such as Atonement and The Lovely Bones. However, having been born in New York City before spending most of her early years in Ireland meant the actress immediately identified with ambitious Eilis.

“It’s an incredibly emotional film,” Saoirse explained. “We all know what that feeling (of leaving home) is like, what that heaviness is like.

“The realisation sets in that you can’t go back, that once you’ve made that step, you can never go back to how it was, before you left, and you can’t prepare yourself for that, you know? That’s not something that anyone tells you about really, when you leave home.

“I was so desperate to get out of there, and then over the last few years I have started to mourn the simplicity of it; the beauty of living in a place where everyone knows each other.”

Brooklyn has been adapted from a novel by Colm Toíbín and is directed by John Crowley.

Despite juggling a busy schedule, the young star has no plans to slow down anytime soon.

When asked about her future career, Saoirse hinted she is eager to show off yet another side to her personality. Revealing that her favourite films include the classics Dirty Dancing and Grease, the star expressed her desire to sing and dance on the big screen.

“For years, I’ve really wanted to do a musical” Saoirse laughed.

– Cover Media