Who will be top dog? Who will call the shots? Can two completely different personalities make peace with each other in the one body?
“It was really the main draw for me that I would get to play two characters in the one person. And that’s the way I looked at it. It’s two separate women, and just because physically you don’t see one of them for the majority of the film doesn’t mean they’re not there. I really enjoyed doing that,” she says.
Ronan is holding up really well considering this is her second week of promotion for the film. What’s it been like, I ask her?
“They keep asking me about kissing boys all the time. Like, ‘Oh it must be so difficult for you to be kissing two boys in the one film,’ and I’m saying, I really don’t care.”
That Irish directness undercuts all the Hollywood starlet nonsense that surrounds her. It’ll protect her from most of the nonsense that accompanies being a star at her level now.
And as she’s growing up quickly it has become time to explore more romantic roles -- but Saoirse Ronan-style romantic roles, which mean strong and independent and fiercely proud.
“There’s a lot of pushing and pulling in this film and I think that’s something you get in every relationship you have with another person. I had never gotten to play a role like that before, where the romance was such a focus in the story,” she says.
At 18, isn’t it the perfect time to explore romantic roles, I ask her?
“I had done romantic scenes but for the story to be so much about love. Then the film I did straight after, How I Live Now, was also very much about love. It was the right time for that to happen. Maturity wise I think it was the right time for that to happen too.”
Ronan is currently filming The Grand Budapest Hotel with director Wes Anderson. The cast is a who’s who of Hollywood royalty, including Bill Murray, Ralph Fiennes, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Edward Norton and Owen Wilson. It’s heady company for the young actress but, as they say in Carlow, there’s not a bother on her.
In fact, for the first time ever she’ll be playing a role in her own Carlow accent. “I didn’t know that was going to be the case,” reveals Ronan. “Wes Anderson and I were just talking about it one day. It was actually my very first meeting with him.
“I only have a few scenes where there’s dialogue. Everyone has a couple of main scenes in the film. And we were chatting away and I asked, ‘Listen, what sort of an accent do you want me to do for it?’”
Anderson is great because he’s very open to changes, Ronan says.
“He has a very clear idea of what he wants but he’s also so relaxed about everything. At the drop of a hat he decided, ‘Okay, let’s use your Irish accent.’ I had never used it before and I think he said yes because I had never done it before.
Ronan is well aware that she could lose half the America audience.
“He said, ‘Read the scene in your Irish accent.’ I did, then he said, ‘Make it slightly milder,’ because as you can hear I have quite a strong one. We just stuck to that. Everyone in the film is from different places and it’s set in a hotel. Tilda (Swinton) is English and Ralph (Fiennes) is English and I’m the Irish one.”
It’s almost Easter, which means The Host opens the same weekend she gets a little time off after months of non-stop filming. She’s beaming at the thought of a dinner with friends and family in Ireland on Sunday.
“Just to be home,” Ronan sighs. “I mean, I haven’t talked to my mam properly in a few months and I really miss her. We get home to Carlow on Saturday and I’m really looking forward to Easter Sunday dinner and having lamb and being with my dog and going for a walk by the sea!
“I’m really looking forward to that. It’s a good reality check to go home and be with the people I love.”
Watch the trailer for 'The Host' here:
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