You may know her as the girl from Atonement, or the girl from The Lovely Bones. Two roles which played up her innocence, with disastrous results. In her new film, HANNA (Focus Features, in theaters April 8th), Saoirse Ronan gets to play a character going after disastrous results, with her innocence coming out in absolutely brilliant ways. Hanna’s theme is two parts fairy tale, one part deadly assassin, much like River Tam before her. Saoirse was kind enough to sit down with Pop Bunker at Friday’s junket, and chat about her life and the movie. Part one of the interview is the personal side, with part two coming later in the week.
Pop Bunker: So, from your accent, you’re from (long and drawn out) Ireland?
Saoirse: Yes. Seemed like a bit of a guess. I was actually born in New York, I was born in the Bronx, as you can probably tell from my accent. Headed back to Ireland when I was about three years old, cause my mom and dad were born and Ireland, they’re fully Irish, and they wanted to raise me there. Y’know there family is there, lots of their friends and stuff. So we moved back when I was about three and a half and I’ve been there ever since. It’s handy because I’ve got the dual citizenship, which is really handy…
PB: You still live in Ireland, that’s so cool.
Saoirse: Yeah, I live in the country, which is fine. I love Dublin though, I really like the city.
PB: My college roommate goes to UCD (Ed: shout-out to Olga!)…
Saoirse: Yeah there’s UCD, DCU, and Trinity. I wouldn’t mind going there.
PB: Do you think you’ll go to college?
Saoirse: I would. I’m not sure…well I have a few ideas, maybe in New York somewhere, or in Ireland. I think if I were in Ireland I’d go to Dublin. But you never know, we’ll have to wait and see. But college is definitely something that I’d want to do. As I’m sure you know, the experience tends to be great, definitely something that you don’t want to miss out on.
PB: For sure, and it seems like the young actors who have gone to school have faired better in their later careers.
Saoirse: I think it’s good to have a life outside of film or acting or whatever you do. Because it is brilliant and I love it so much, and it is a big part of my life, but to have a life outside of that as well is healthier.
PB: Speaking of health, you had to do a bunch of running and jumping for this film. How did you train?
Saoirse: There is this man called Jeff Imada. He was the stunt coordinator for the film. He’s worked on everything; he worked on all the Bourne films. Just everything you could think of, he’s worked on like 400 projects. I went to LA for a couple of weeks last year and I started training with him. Just for him to know what my body was like and what kind of strength I had. Then I went back to Dublin and a member of his team came back with me. We trained in the gym for two hours a day, and then we would train in martial arts for two hours a day, so four or five hours of training a day. I built myself up, I was kind of ripped at the end of it, which freaked me out I have to say. I’m not into muscles at all. I suddenly had muscles on my back that I didn’t know were there. Suddenly my back was this wide. And even in my legs I have a bit of muscle there that I didn’t have before. I don’t like it, at all.
Keep your eyes out for part two of this interview,
running later in the week! here!