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SAORISE RONAN

 by Karen Tortorella and FKO! Cub Reporter Alyssa Ruffini

Saorise Ronan

In her latest action/fantasy movie, City of Ember, coming to theatres in October, Saoirse Ronan finds herself in the role of a heroine. The movie is based on the book City of Ember written by Jeanne Duprau.

She plays Lina Mayfleet, a strong young woman whose main mission is to save not only herself, but all of the people in a fantasy city called Ember before all the lights go out.

She is competing with time to unlock the ancient mysteries of a city's existence which exists underground in bright lights.

Lina finds a puzzling document and her friend, Doon Harrow, has made discoveries down in the pipe works of the city. The City of Ember is one of those action movies that keep you on your toes.

For Kids Only! asked Saorise if she is anything like the character, Lina Mayfleet that she portrays in her upcoming fantasy/adventure film. "She is a responsible person when she has a job to do. I'm like that, and she always tries to look on the bright side. I always try and look on the bright side too," she explained.
     
But, she admits the character wasn't always easy for her to play. It was a lot of physical work.
    
I had to do a lot of stunts. I had to hang on hard to things and jump up on a lot of things. It could be physically tiring by the end of the day. But, it was still fun," she added.
    
Saorise RonanSaorise Ronan, 14, was nominated for an academy award last year as a supporting actress in her role in Atonement, only a year after debuting in Amy Heckerling's movie, I Could Never Be Your Woman as Izzie. In Atonement, she played, Briony Tallis, a wealthy 13 year old aspiring writer in 1935, with a poison pen. She forever changes the lives of her family, and her sister's romantic life after creating a fictional world which becomes too real.
    

Saorise Ronan didn't do the audition circuit like many young actresses and actors to obtain roles in movies. She sent in tapes she made with her dad, actor Paul Ronan. Paul Ronan was born in  Ireland and has had roles in "The Devil's Own" and "Veronica Guerin".
     
Paul Ronan has described Saoirse in many interviews as having an “innate (natural) imagination" and how "she would elaborate on her own many fantasy characters, even as a small child, inventing her own English and American accents."
   
“My dad has been acting for a long time. He is very supportive, and with me all of the time. He is my mentor and he helps me and comments on my roles and gives me little tips all of the time. He is a very special person and acting wouldn't be the same without him," she revealed.
   
Saorise has also been described as becoming the character she plays and having great empathy (understanding) for their character and situation.
    
For Kids Only! asked Saorise what message she thinks her upcoming film, The City of Ember gives to kids and their parents.
    
"Lena and Doon are basically trying to save the people of Ember.  I think that kids get a really good message in this movie, because it basically means if we are going to keep going the way we are with planet earth maybe we will end up like the city of Ember with our resources.
    
It is telling us to take better care of our planet, like the message in the prequel to the book.  Lena and Doon want everyone to live on a safe and sound planet," she explained. 
    
But, Saorise tells FKO! that her character and Harry Treadaway's character, Doon, as well as the inhabitants of the City of Ember are living in a state of fear.
     
Saorise Ronan"They are living in fear of the blackouts, fear of the lights going out for good, fear of food running out, fear that the generators that power the light bulbs will go out and the life of the city is running out. There seems to be nothing they can do and they don't know the difference.  But, they are determined to find out what they can do to save themselves and the people of Ember.
     
When asked about her most enjoyable character in the films she has acted in so far, Saorise said it was impossible to answer that.  She said, "I love them all...I really couldn't pick one."  But, she did use     the word special in describing Lovely Bones where she costars with actors such as Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci and Mark Wahlberg.
     
When speaking about her upcoming movie Lovely Bones, she mentioned her character, Susie Salmon and why she found her the hardest character to portray so far in her career.
     
"Every character is different, but Susie Salmon was a hard character to portray.  I understood her, but it was hard because she changes so. She dies, but she comes from being such a full of life kid to portraying the opposite.  That took a lot of thought and changes of feelings,"  she revealed.
     
She also revealed that the easiest thing about filming City of Ember were her co-stars like Harry Treadaway, Bill Murray and Liz Smith who made it easy to work her scenes.
     
When asked if there was anything in her personality that connected with the personality of Lina Mayfleet in City of Ember she quickly replied.
    
 "I do alot of running. I like to run around a lot. I have a lot of energy like Lina and Lina is a messenger. She is very fast and she runs around all over the place.  I live in the country in Ireland and I am always running and running around with my friends..I am active like her and full of energy. And, I was lucky to work with the director, Gil Kenan because Lina wouldn't have come out the same way without him," she replied.
    
Saorise Ronan started acting in television in two Irish tv shows, The Clinic as Rhiannon Geraghty and Proof as Orla Baland. She lives in County Carlow in Ireland and attends the FCJ convent in Bunclody, Ireland.
     
FKO! asked her the difference in performing in television and movies.
     
"It depends on the television show, but it is very much the same. In movies you get to attend premieres and there is the editing process with films.  Television is so much faster.  But, an actor is an actor at the end of the day,' she explained.
      
FKO! had to ask Sorise what were her plans in the future?  Would she like to try her hand at anything else, besides acting?  One of the reasons Saorise felt lucky to play the character Lina in city of Ember was the director, Gil Kenan.
      
"I would love to direct a movie some day.  Lina wouldn't have come out the same way without the director, Gil Kenan. In a movie I was in called "Lovely Bones" Peter Jackson was a writer on the script and he was so involved in every aspect of the story line as a director also.
      
I get to meet these people who learn the process of filmmaking and see the written word they have created come alive.
      
Saorise's other movie roles include Death Defying objects where she plays Benji which is based on the life of Harry Houdini and his love for a woman from Edinburgh, Scotland, which features Catherine Zeta-Jones. 
      
As far as advice from other adult actors and actresses "I think I learned most about the publicity part of it. They have taught me how to deal with the whole media thing.  You just take it as it comes along and no matter what happens you have to always remember to keep your feet on the ground!" she said.
 

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