Saoirse Ronan speaks about her mother’s advice
Irish star Saoirse Ronan has revealed she often worries that she will forget how to act as she gets older.
She also said that she found it easier to deal with stardom when she was younger than she does today.
Ronan was nominated for her first Oscar when she was just 14 years old, when she starred opposite Keira Knightley in Atonement.
She said: “When I was a kid, it felt—not in a big-headed way—but it felt like it was so easy. And the older I got, the more insecurities start to take hold of you.”
She was talking to Jodie Foster for Interview Magazine, who like Ronan, was nominated for an Oscar as a teenager for her role in Taxi Driver.
Ronan said: “I felt exactly the same way as you (Jodie); that I’m going to forget how to do this. I won’t be able to do it as easily as when I was younger.”
Ronan is nominated for a Best Actress Oscar at this year’s ceremony, following her critically acclaimed performance in Brooklyn.
However, the thought that she may lose her momentum is still a concern for her. She said: “That’s the worst thing for me. I’m a huge worrier as well.
“The thing that I would worry about after being nominated again is, ‘How do I keep that up?’ Not in relation to awards, but keeping up performances.”
Ronan was born in New York to Irish parents, before the family returned to Ireland. She gives her parents plenty of credit for preparing her for the acting world. Her father was an actor and her mother has given her a great deal of support and practical advice about the industry.
She told Foster: “My mom has always been so wonderful and she’s always said to me exactly what you said: to always trust your instincts.
“And whether it’s about a script or whether to live in this city or live in that city, if you’re questioning it, maybe it’s not quite right for you.
“Even the way I work is very instinctive. It’s always been based off of instinct.”
One of the best bits of advice that Ronan received from her mother was the importance of ‘acting with her eyes’. It is something she applies to every role.
She said: “I think it was from that moment that my eyes became a huge part of how I would communicate on-screen. So the best life advice and the best professional advice have been from one woman.”
Ronan’s mother also helps her to stay grounded and always make sure to treat people with respect, no matter how big a star she becomes.
Ronan said: “The choices we make in our career, in business, in the character are to be as good a person as you can. And that translates to how you treat people, how you treat the actors and the technicians you work with, how you collaborate with people, and how you encourage and inspire other people to be creative.
“Or how you are a gentleman in business life. When you shake someone’s hand and say, ‘I will do this,’ or ‘Yes, I will be there at eight o’clock in the morning.’ Then you show up.
“That whole, like, ‘You are the person you are at work’; that’s a reflection of who you are.
“I feel like that really came from my mom. And it’s been a real guiding light for me.”
Ronan moved to London two years ago when she was 19 as she wanted to cut the apron strings and find her own way in the world. She is now living in New York and will make her Broadway debut later this year.
She said: “I wanted to leave Ireland and have anonymity while I was young so I could be stupid and relaxed, I suppose.
“So I lived on my own and got used to paying bills every month and washing dishes and not leaving them in the sink for five days. New York was always the end goal for me.
“It was always inevitable that I’d move here because I’d had such a strong connection with it from a very young age.
“I guess because I know I have roots here, and the energy is really palpable. As soon as you land, you feel like invigorated or something. I feel like it’s a good place to be when you’re young.”