Best Lesser Known Roles of Saoirse Ronan

american-irish actress Saoirse Ronan boasts an impressive array of roles and accolades, and has earned recognition from critics and fans alike for her versatile and convincing acting in period dramas, comedies or thrillers. Born in 1994 in the Bronx, she grew up in Ireland and started acting at age 13 in the clinic, a medical TV series set in Dublin. However, it wasn’t until she played Briony Tallis in Atonementopposite Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, she made her international debut, nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress.

Since then, she has been nominated for 3 Oscar roles: brooklyn, Lady Birdand Greta Gerwig little womenand received a Golden Globe for Lady Bird.

In fact, she is second only to Jennifer Lawrence for having secured 4 Oscar nominations before the age of 25. You must have admired Saoirse Ronan’s expressive blue eyes and subtle portrayals in The Lovely Bones (for which she won Best Young Artist), Ammonite, Mary, Queen of Scotsor The Grand Budapest Hotelbut she has given notable performances in other films.

Related: Best Saoirse Ronan Movies Ranked

Izzie—I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007)

Saoirse Ronan as Izzie in I Could Never Be Your Wife
Bauer Martinez Entertainment

In this romantic comedy written and directed by Amy Heckerling, 45-year-old Rosie (Michelle Pfeiffer) falls in love with a younger man (Paul Rudd), with a little magical help from Mother Nature (Tracey Ullman). Ronan plays Izzie, their feisty, headstrong, foul-mouthed 13-year-old daughter who is experiencing her first crush.

Keep an eye out for the scene where the teen sings and dances to Britney Spears Oops!… I did it again using your own explicit lyrics, and this charming exchange:

Rosie: Congratulations! You are a woman.

Izzie: Let the games begin.

Rosie: I’m trying to be mature.

Izzie: That’s really not your style.

Benji—Death Defying Acts (2007)

Saoirse Ronan as Benji in Death Defying Acts
Third Rail/Myriad of Photos

Death-defying acts is a supernatural romance directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Catherine Zeta-Jones as Mary McGarvie, a false psychic who deceives and seduces renowned illusionist Harry Houdini (Guy Pearce) on his tour of 1926. Ronan plays Mary’s daughter and apprentice, Benji, who helps her with her music hall sessions by subtly gathering information from the crowd in attendance. She also narrates the film with a beautiful Scottish accent.

benji: It wasn’t death that scared Mr. Houdini. He has been in deep water all his life. What scared him was the truth. It wasn’t his body that was chained; it was his heart.

Hanna—Hanna (2011)

Saoirse Ronan's Hanna Movie Is Becoming A TV Show
focus features

Hannastarring Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana, it is directed by Joe Wright, who previously worked with Ronan on Atonement. The titular character is a gifted teenager who is the sole survivor of a failed genetic experiment. She is raised off the grid and trained in the arts of combat by her adoptive father, a former CIA agent, with the sole purpose of turning her into an assassin capable of defeating the head of that aborted project.

Related: Best Joe Wright Movies Ranked

Daisy—Violet & Daisy (2011)

Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan in Violet & Daisy
MV Nepenthes/Cinedigm

A surreal comedy thriller, Violet and Daisy was written, produced and directed by Geoffrey Fletcher, and follows two emotionally immature teenage hit men in New York City: the strong-willed and practical Violet (Alexis Bledel) and the naive and lively Daisy (Ronan). The girls like fashion, pop music and sweets, but are generally relentless when it comes to hitting a target… until a new mission makes them question their line of work.

Daisy: Now I don’t normally talk to people like you in the first place. But if I did that kind of thing, I’d say you girls should have a TV show. And that they should call this show “The Adventures of Donnie’s Bitches”. But like I said at the beginning, I don’t usually talk to people like you. Because talking to people like you doesn’t make much sense.

Man: What do you mean people like us? What the hell are we?

Daisy: Dead.

Eleanor—Byzantium (2012)

Byzantium film by Neil Jordan
IFC Filmes

In this film directed by Neil Jordan, Saoirse Ronan plays Eleanor Webb, a 200-year-old vampire with a painful past who yearns for human connection. She writes her story and expresses her feelings on pieces of paper which she then throws away. She travels the world with her mother, until their journey takes them to a deserted seaside inn. With his naturally pale complexion, lithe frame and brooding expression, Ronan’s portrayal of a melancholy, tortured vampire in Byzantium it’s a testament to his acting depth and maturity. Furthermore, she had been practicing for weeks to play a difficult part of Beethoven’s piece. Piano Sonata Opus 2, No. 3.

Leonor: My story can never be told. I write again and again, wherever we find shelter. I write about what I cannot speak, the truth. I write everything I know, then throw the pages to the wind. Perhaps the birds can read it.

Florence — on the beach of Chesil (2017)

Saoirse Ronan as Florence in On Chesil Beach

Dominic Cook’s Feature Film Directorial Debut on Chesil beach is a romance drama based on the bestselling book of the same name, and delicately explores two newlyweds’ anxious expectations, sexual ingenuity and lack of communication in the early 1960s. Ronan plays Florence Ponting, a shy, sensitive musician and talented from a wealthy background and an overbearing and possibly molesting father.

Florence: I want to make you happy. But I guess I’m always a disappointment. You are always moving forward; I’m always pulling away and we can’t talk about it. We can never just be happy… or just be. You’re always demanding more, and I’m useless at… And you’re silent and unhappy, and it’s all my fault. And when I do… I mean, when I say yes to something, even if I don’t really want to, I know there’s going to be something else that I’m expected to do. I’m not good at these requirements.

Whether as a main or minor character, Ronan always manages to capture your attention (and your heart) and is sometimes considered the most redeeming quality of an indie film.

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