Saoirse Ronan turns 21 today. According to IMDb, the Irish actress, who is known for her roles in Atonement, The Lovely Bones, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, was born in New York City to Irish parents on April 12, 1994. Her role as Briony Tallis in the 2007 film Atonement, for which she received an Academy Award nomination, brought her international recognition.
Here’s a list of her top ten quotes, on everything from her name, her passion for acting, and what it was like being nominated for an Oscar:
1. “It's not work, it is more of a passion. It is so much fun and it is really makes you feel great at the end of the day. You feel like you are really after doing something good and you are after accomplishing something. Acting is one of these things that I can't really describe - it's just like, why do you love your mum and dad? You know, you just do.”
2. “Be the person I'm playing. That's what acting is. You're pretending to be someone else.”
3. "'Seer-sha' is how Irish people pronounce my first name, but I would pronounce it 'Sir-sha,' like 'inertia'. It's Irish for 'freedom.' I recently found out that my middle name, Úna, means 'unity' in Ireland. And I think my last name means 'seal.' So I’m a free, unified seal."
4. “I never expected this in a million years to happen. I can't believe it. I'm really proud as well that two Irish paddies have been nominated for an Oscar for the same film. It's really great for Ireland, great.” - on being nominated for an Oscar.
5. “I would write something but it wouldn’t come as naturally to me as some people. I just don’t think I’ve delved into it enough but I would like to do it. I always thought I’d need to have more life experience before I was able to write something honest.”
6. “So far this year, I haven’t found the right thing. I’m 21 now and it’s a tricky age to find the right role. You’re kind of somewhere around that coming-of-age girl and a young woman, especially when you’ve started out at such a young age. It can be difficult to prove to people you’re not thirteen anymore,” she told Her.ie about turning 21.
7. “I think it’s important to wait for the right role. It’s hard to have that balance between steady work, if you’re lucky enough to have it, and waiting for the right stuff to come along.
8. “For so long, even though I’ve had a great childhood, I was always away working and that’s not very relatable for a lot of people my age.”
9. “The personalities that we see, the celebrities we see, actors, musicians – they are very sexualized. I think if kids are seeing that from an early age on billboards and in magazines and on the TV and in music videos, and it is not done in a sort-of artistic way, then that pressure is put on the kids straight away and that’s our fault for letting that happen.”
10. “There are very stereotypical roles out there for women but I think it is starting to change with things like Girls and SNL as women are such a huge part of that force. I think there’s so many of us that we need to make a change and push for more interesting female roles.”