Saoirse Ronan tipped to take on role of drug smuggler
Saoirse Ronan is been tipped by bookies to play drugs mule Michaella McCollum, if her story is made into a movie.
McCollum, from Co Tyrone, was arrested at Lima airport with Scottish woman Melissa Reid in August 2013. The pair had 11kg (24lb) of cocaine in their luggage, worth nearly €2million.
She was recently released from prison following new Peruvian laws granting early parole for foreign inmates. She must stay in the country but is allowed to work freely and there are no laws forbidding her from telling her story.
Speculation is rife that McCollum’s story will be made into a film and Irish bookmaker Paddy Power have immediately installed Saoirse Ronan as the favourite to play the role.
Ronan is one of the hottest properties in Irish film at the moment. She was Oscar-nominated for her role in Brooklyn, in which she played a young Irish woman struggling to adapt after making a life-changing move to New York.
Paddy Power have placed odds of 8/1 on Ronan playing McCollum. Brie Larson and Alicia Vikander are the next in the betting, with both priced at 10/1 at the time of writing.
McCollum sent shockwaves throughout the Irish and British media recently when she gave her first interview following her release from prison.
She described her crime as a “moment of madness” and insisted “I’m not a bad person. I want to demonstrate that I’m a good person”.
McCollum intends to work with an AIDS charity for the rest of her time in Peru.
However, some commentators are criticising the 23-year-old, accusing her of being untrustworthy. When she was initially arrested she claimed she had been kidnapped and forced to transport the cocaine by gunmen. These claims were later proven to be false and in fact McCollum attempted to carry out the crime for her own financial gain.
Some critics are saying telling her story and having it turned into a movie is just another act of greed by McCollum.
Despite the controversy, it appears a film could well be made. McCollum was sporting a brand new look in her first interview after release, with blond hair and stylish clothes.
A Paddy Power spokesperson said: “Michaella has gone from slammer to glamour following her release and we very much doubt that we’ve seen the last of her on our screens.”