Ireland is sadly not known to produce many big-name Hollywood actresses. There’s the legendary “The Quiet Man” star Maureen O’Hara, and there’s “Brotherhood” and “Lost” actress Fionnula Flanagan, but it’s mostly an Irishman’s world when it comes to Green Hollywood.
But with break-out Irish stars such as Saoirse Ronan popping on to the scene, it looks as if the lack of Irish women in Hollywood is soon to be a thing of the past.
Here are 10 Irish starlets to watch out for on movie theater marquees and the silver screen:
New York-born Irish teenage actor and Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan is becoming a big Hollywood star, though the 15-year-old has definitely got a good head on her talented shoulders.
"Hollywood is okay, but I wouldn't want to live there. As I said to my Mam, I might buy a house there for my work but that's it.
But after an amazingly creepy performance as Briony in "Atonement," the Motion Picture Academy has recognized her talent and she is now an actress in demand in Tinseltown.
Her highly anticipated film, "The Lovely Bones" with director Peter Jackson, is set for release in December 2009 – right smack dab in the middle of Oscar season. Coincidence? I think not.
She wowed audiences as the older sister in 2002’s “In America,” and now Sarah Bolger, 18, has really come into her own as a formidable Irish actress. (Younger sister Emma is another Irish acting force to be reckoned with).
So far, Bolger's film credits include “A Love Divided,” “Tara Road,” “Stardust” and "The Spiderwick Chronicles,” and for the past two seasons, she’s portrayed Lady Mary Tudor alongside Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Showtime’s “The Tudors.”
Look out for the talented young Dubliner in the upcoming thriller “Iron Cross.”
Kerry Condon, a 26-year-old County Tipperary native, has already appeared in big-name films such as Frank McCourt’s “Angela’s Ashes” and 2003’s “Ned Kelly” starring Heath Ledger. She also played Octavia of the Julii in the hit HBO series “Rome.”
Next up for the Irish actress is J.J. Abrams’ medical drama “Anatomy of Hope,” and the Leo Tolstoy biopic “The Last Station,” in which she’ll act alongside the likes of Helen Mirren and Paul Giamatti.
Award-winning Irish actress Elaine Cassidy made her stateside TV debut in the new CBS series “Harper’s Island.” You can catch Cassidy, 30, on Saturdays starring as Abby Mills in the new 13-episode murder mystery series.
The County Wicklow native is well known in Ireland for her breakthrough starring role in the William Trevor novel-turned-film “Felicia’s Journey” and for her role in the hit movie “Disco Pigs” with Cillian Murphy.
For this performance, Cassidy was awarded the 2003 Irish Film and Television Award (IFTA) for “Best Actress in a Feature Film.”
Evanna Lynch is one of several Irish actors to appear in the epic “Harry Potter” movie series.
The now-17-year-old was chosen among nearly 15,000 girls to play Luna “Looney” Lovegood in "Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix” in 2006, and will reprise her role in this summer’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
The County Louth-born actress has been named a “standout” in the “Potter” films, and is a huge Harry Potter fan herself.
The 27-year-old Dubliner, who has an Irish mother and an Ethiopian father, has already won recognition as the Irish Shooting Star at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival and is a regular on Irish and British stage and TV.
Sophie Vavasseur broke on to the Hollywood scene when she gave a moving performance as Pierce Brosnan’s daughter and title character in the 2002 film “Evelyn.”