The Sundance Institute website has posted a new interview in which Saoirse talks about “Stockholm, Pennsylvania” and “Brooklyn”, her two films that are premiering during the festival this year. Read it below.
Saoirse Ronan is ready for the second act of her career. Over a decade after first appearing on Irish television, and eight years after her take-notice performance in Atonement garnered Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, Ronan is already a veteran movie actress. Yet somehow she’s also just 20 years old. With two new films in this year’s Festival, she’s leaving behind precocious child roles and embracing the knotty, less certain terrain of early womanhood. Rather than flip the script to present a familiarly confident, butterfly sexy, fully-formed new Saoirse, she’s instead exploring characters in transition – characters that to some degree shadow her own attentive emergence.
In Nikole Beckwith’s Stockholm, Pennsylvania, she plays Leia, a woman who’s returned to her parents and childhood home two decades after being abducted and raised by a kidnapper. She’s effectively an alien to her parents – she hasn’t been outside of a basement bunker in years, doesn’t know how to engage in public or social settings, and espouses a hippie apocalyptic belief system – but she’s also a smart, fully formed young adult. Hard as her parents try to re-raise her, to train her into being a dependent child again, she’s grown into her own, albeit disoriented, person. And in John Crowley’s Brooklyn, Ronan is Ellis, a young Irish woman who immigrates to America to start a new life in Brooklyn. From starting a new job in a department store to adapting to the new climate, culture, and crushing loneliness, Ellis’s days are trials, but also opportunities for growth, for adventure, and for love. When tragedy brings her back to her homeland, she’s caught between who she’s most comfortable being and who she might become. In both films, Ronan does far more than bank on the power of her famously translucent eyes – she freights the full weight of expressing emotions great and small, of embodying and representing complications of living that are perennially incomprehensible.