Irish teen star Saoirse Ronan was at the Toronto International Film Festival last week promoting Byzantium, a movie about girl vampires directed by Oscar winner Neil Jordan.

Though the film didn’t receive the greatest of reviews, it was snapped up by IFC Films and will be released in 2013.

“Eighteen years after Interview With the Vampire Neil Jordan returns to the genre and proves it was worth the wait. This beautiful, riveting and emotionally involving film is every bit as inventive as we could have hoped for. Gemma Arterton and (co-star) Saoirse Ronan are mesmerizing. We are incredibly excited to work with Neil and the entire team behind the film,” IFC said in a statement.

Vampires are hot these days, no doubt about it. Ronan, 18, says she’s quite pleased with the end product, which sees her and the vampire played by Arterton traveling around 19th century Ireland in an effort to survive.

“I liked the idea of playing a teenager who was 200 years-old and was sort of stuck in limbo and a bit saddened by this burden that she had.  I liked that and I was very excited about the idea of playing the piano actually because I've always wanted to learn and finally got the incentive to learn for the movie,” Ronan told the website HitFix.

The teen, born in the U.S. but raised by her Irish parents in Co. Carlow, took her piano lessons quite seriously. She tickles the ivories by herself without a double in the film, and she learned all of what she had to do in only 10 weeks. She liked it so much that she intends to continue to learn and play.
Working with Jordan was also a special experience, Ronan offers. 

“Well, the amazing thing about Neil is that he is very, very humble as a director and doesn't feel like he should get in the way of actors being actors.  He's very respectful of what we do, which is lovely,” she says.

Next year will be another big one as far Ronan’s career is concerned. On March 29 The Host, a film based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, will open, and reaction will likely be huge given that Meyer is the high priestess behind the Twilight series.  Ronan stars as the main character Melanie in the romantic thriller.

Byzantium at the Toronto International Film Festival 2012

Saoirse Ronan at the Toronto International Film FestivalPhotocall Ireland