Some say that no-one will ever be able to compete with Meryl Streep, yet if you asked me who could give her a good run for her money among the new generation of young female actors, my answer would probably be Michelle Williams, Emma Stone, and Saoirse Ronan.
Williams and Stone have the indubitable benefit of being born and bred in the United States, a country where children are trained to shine in the arts, since their early childhood.
Two-time Academy award nominee Saoirse (pronounced ser-sha) Ronan, on the other hand, had a far tougher hill to climb, considering she grew up in Ireland, where she was shielded from the spotlight for as long as her parents could manage.
Saoirse was 19 when she moved from her parent’s home in Ireland to London to pursue her acting career although she comes from good acting stock; her father, Paul, was a stage actor who initially moved to New York then back to Ireland, since acting jobs in the Big Apple were scarce. Saorise is aware of how fickle the acting industry can be, and how important luck, timing and knowing the right people are.
Upon being selected as one of TIME Magazine’s 10 Next Generation Leaders (she appeared on the magazine’s June 2016 cover), she told journalist, Eliana Dockterman, “Ma watched Dad lose out on parts or star in shows off-of Broadway and make buttons (earn a pittance). She watched these really talented people never get the shot they deserved. So they prepared me to be realistic. And that’s good, because the moment fame becomes a priority, you should give it up.”
Saoirse is a bit like actor Jake Gyllenhaal in that whenever either of their names are attached to a project, you know it’s probably going to be memorable. Call it having the lion’s share of good role offers, call it a keen eye for great scripts – whatever the magical ingredient is, they have it in abundance, as do actors like Joseph Gordon Levitt…
Words Marisa Cutillas