“In Time” London Premiere – Videos
31 October, 2011 · Posted by under Public Events, Videos · No Comments

Liam Hemsworth, Kit Harington, Dane DeHaan and more testing for “The Host” opposite Saoirse Ronan
31 October, 2011 · Posted by under The Host · No Comments

Jennifer Lawrence got her pick of leading men, and now it’s Saoirse Ronan’s turn. The next highly sought after project for young actors everywhere is alien invasion actioner “The Host”, based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer (she also wrote some vampire books you may have heard of). Andrew Niccol is set to direct Ronan as Melanie Stryder, a young woman whose body is invaded by an alien “soul” named Wanderer but whose will to survive is so strong that she refuses to vacate and thus co-exists with two personalities inside one body.

There are two male leads in the film – to form that inevitable love triangle – and Variety reports eight of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars are gearing up to test opposite Ronan in the coming days. Liam Hemsworth, Kit Harington, Max Irons and Jai Courtney are testing for the role of Jared, Melanie’s boyfriend, while Dane DeHaan, Thomas McDonnell, Augustus Prew and Jake Abel are up for the role of Ian, a young man part of Melanie and Jared’s small pocket of human resistance, who falls for the alien soul residing inside of Melanie’s body.

Liam Hemsworth is perhaps most familiar with this process after successfully beating out a number of fellow up and comers to take the role of Gale opposite Jennifer Lawrence in “The Hunger Games.” His bulk and menacing appearance certainly fits Jared’s character

Kit Harington plays Jon Snow on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and has been venturing into a film career lately, most recently becoming a finalist for David Dobkin’s “Arthur and Lancelot.” We are big fans of Harington but really feel he would be a more fitting Ian than Jared. His inclusion on the Jared list is curious…

Max Irons played good-guy Henry to Shiloh Fernandez’s bad boy Peter opposite Amanda Seyfried in “Red Riding Hood” and while we thought he might end up as the big breakout actor from that film, he has been conspicuously missing from casting news since.

• Aussie Jai Courtney popped up on our radar when he landed a pivotal role in “One Shot” opposite Tom Cruise. Courtney previously starred on Starz’s “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” with late fellow countryman Andy Whitifield, who took Courtney under his wing and got him his start in the industry.

• One of our favorites, Dane DeHaan, has been landing one high profile role after another lately. After breaking out on HBO’s “In Treatment” and “True Blood”, he quickly joined the casts of “The Wettest County in the World”, “The Place Beyond the Pines” and will headline upcoming sci-fi thriller “Chronicle.”

Thomas McDonnell played the bad boy anti-prom guy in Disney’s “Prom”, then went on and landed something much bigger, as a younger Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s vampire saga “Dark Shadows”, based on the classic soap opera.

• Someone who hasn’t been on our radar previous to now is Augustus Prew, who starred with Zach Efron in “Charlie St. Cloud” and played Prince Alfonso on Showtime series “The Borgias.” Must admit, though I was an avid fan of the show, I couldn’t tell you who Prince Alfonso was.

Jake Abel has appeared in teen friendly action fare like “Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief” and “I Am Number Four” and has one advantage over his competitors, having already appeared onscreen with Ronan in Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones.”


The Lir Opening
29 October, 2011 · Posted by under Image Gallery, Public Events · No Comments

Saoirse attended the opening of The Lir held at the National Academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland on last Friday night.

Gallery Link:
Public Appearances from 2011 > 10.21.11: The Lir Opening at National Academy of Dramatic Art, Trinity College

No love scenes for me, vows teen star Saoirse
29 October, 2011 · Posted by under Articles · No Comments

Thanks to Jessica for the tip.

SHE’S maturing into one of Hollywood’s hottest young properties — but don’t expect teen Irish star Saoirse Ronan to grow up too quickly.

The Lovely Bones and Atonement actress has no plans to shed her clean-cut image by shooting a love scene.

And the 17-year-old, who is starring in Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s new movie The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn argues that risque roles are very rarely necessary.

Speaking to the Herald, the Oscar-nominated actress admitted that when choosing her roles she was always very conscious that some scenes were just added to make things edgy.

“I’d definitely be cautious about it,” said the Carlow teenager.

“A lot of it is unnecessary. I do read a lot of scripts where it’s just put in there for the sake of it, really, to make things more edgy when it doesn’t need to be.

“For me it’s always about the story. It has to benefit the story in some way and if it doesn’t then I think there’s no need to do it,” she said.

But one thing Saoirse will be embracing is her fashion sense. The Irish star has been tipped to become the face of a new fashion range in the next year, after wearing a range of Burberry dresses at red carpet events last year.

Although she remained tight-lipped about any future fashion campaigns, Saoirse admitted she was making great contacts in the fashion industry.

“I would only be a style icon because of my stylist Grace Moore. She’s Irish and she helps me with everything. But I do really love fashion and I’m definitely getting more interested in it as I get older. I’m developing relationships with designers as well,” she explained.

The Hanna star made the comments while hosting the Irish premiere of the Tintin movie. Saoirse introduced special guests on Sunday evening at the Savoy cinema on O’Connell Street.

The actress, who previously worked with Jackson on The Lovely Bones, revealed that she speaks to the famous director all the time. “I’m here mainly because I’ve worked with Pete before and he asked me to open it. I’m still in touch with him all the time. I was only talking to him today and I told him I was coming out for the premiere and he was pretty happy about it,” she said.


Irish “Tin Tin” Premiere – Videos
29 October, 2011 · Posted by under Image Gallery, Public Events, Videos · 1 Comment

Thanks to M and Jessica for the videos of Saoirse at the Tin Tin premiere.

Gallery Link:
Public Events > 10.23.11: Irish Tin Tin Premiere

Please click here for another video.

Saoirse to play Sheriff St girl in Jim’s biopic
22 October, 2011 · Posted by under Projects · No Comments

She first appeared on our screens playing upper-class English girl Briony Tallis in wartime drama Atonement.

But actress Saoirse Ronan will sound more like Bill Cullen in her new movie, a working- class drama set in Dublin’s Sheriff Street, by director Jim Sheridan.

The Diary can exclusively reveal that the My Left Foot director has signed up the 16-year-old to play local girl Frances in the autobiographical tale on which he is currently working.

“Saoirse has the Sheriff Street accent off to a tee. It’s like listening to Bill Cullen; the way she sounds, she could have been selling penny apples in Moore Street with Bill back in the day,” said an insider who heard the Carlow girl reading her part this week.

Sheridan has been at his best when telling his own story in films like In America, the semi-autobiographical tale of Irish immigrants trying to make it in New York; or My Left Foot, which tells writer Christy Brown’s struggle to be accepted in poverty-stricken 1930s Dublin.

But, in recent times, the 61-year-old has had mixed results making studio films, including the poorly received supernatural thriller Dream House, starring Daniel Craig.

Now Jim wants to play to his strengths by returning to his home patch of Dublin’s Sherriff Street.

So autobiographical is his new drama, the main family featured are called the Sheridans.

“It’s centred all around this one working-class family living in early ’60s Dublin, before the visit of the Beatles or JFK.

“Not only is it completely authentic for Sheriff Street, it’s also extremely funny, with much of the comedy taking place in the family’s front room, similar to Caroline Ahern’s sitcom The Royle Family, an insider told The Diary this week.

High comedy comes to the house with the arrival of television.

“There’s one really funny scene when the family are trying to fix a TV aerial on the roof but they can’t get any reception because the steeple on the local church is blocking the signal, which is a kind of metaphor for the church interfering in people’s lives,” added the source.

Insiders revealed to me that Saoirse Ronan plays Frances in the film, the teenage girlfriend of Sheridan’s own character, Shamie.

“Frances is very Dublin girl but at the same time a romantic. Jim has created the perfect part for Saoirse and this could be a big role for her,” said the source.

It seems that hooking up with Sheridan has paid off for The Lovely Bones star, who revealed to me earlier this year how she wanted to work with the much loved Dublin director.

“Jim has made the most fantastic Irish films of our time but, more than that, every single actor I have spoken to about Jim said he is everything you want in a director, being both honest and warm.

“That’s why I want to work with him,” said Saoirse.

Filming on the as-yet-untitled Sheriff Street film is expected to begin later this year.


Saoirse in town as Ireland’s own ‘Royal Academy’ opens
22 October, 2011 · Posted by under Articles · No Comments

HOLLYWOOD actor Saoirse Ronan joined a galaxy of stars last night to celebrate the opening of Ireland’s answer to the famous Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

The Lir, Ireland’s National Academy of Dramatic Art, which was built to provide a centre to train Ireland’s aspiring young actors and theatre makers, was officially opened in Dublin’s Docklands. It will train young actors, designers, directors, playwrights, stage managers and theatre technicians to the highest international standards.

“I think it is fantastic that The Lir has finally come to fruition,” said Saoirse, who will soon begin filming Neil Jordan’s latest offering ‘Byzantium’ in Dublin.

“I have met a lot of young people in Ireland who are trying to get into acting, directing and theatre and don’t quite know how to go about it,” she said.

“Now we have somewhere where they can go to learn the craft and be with other creative people.”

Faces from across the worlds of theatre, TV, film, and radio, including author Sebastian Barry, actors Alan Stanford, Conor McPherson, Kirsten Sheridan and Charlene McKenna turned out last night to lend their support.

The academy, which is attached to Trinity College Dublin, was the brainchild of actress Danielle Ryan, daughter of the late businessman and philanthropist Cathal Ryan.

Its building and development was funded by the Cathal Ryan Trust, which bequeathed a sizeable amount of money to the arts in Ireland.


Andrew Niccol praises Saoirse Ronan as ‘one of our best talents’
21 October, 2011 · Posted by under Articles · 1 Comment

Saoirse Ronan has been hailed as “one of the best talents we have” by the director of the forthcoming Stephanie Meyer adaptation.

In Time director Andrew Niccol has revealed he can’t wait to get down to work with Saoirse on the movie adaptation of The Host.

The Irish teen is set to play both Melanie Stryder and Wanderer, an extraterrestrial “soul” who takes over her mind, in the film.

“It’s very early in the process, but she’s one of the best talents we have, so I’m really looking forward to working with her,” Niccol said.

Niccol was also full of praise for Meyer, who penned the best-selling Twilight novels

“She’s a genius,” he said. “She made vampire stories for people who don’t like vampires, and now she’s making sci-fi for people who don’t like sci-fi movies.

17-year-old Ronan first attracted attention for her role in 2007′s Atonement, and has since starred alongside Colin Farrell in The Way Back and Cate Blanchett in Hanna.


Saoirse Ronan: Trusting her killer instincts
21 October, 2011 · Posted by under Articles · No Comments

Thanks to M for the heads up.

Impact: Played the titular teen assassin in “Hanna”; trekked across India as a Polish orphan in Peter Weir’s “The Way Back.”
Next: Prepping to play a vampire in Neil Jordan’s “Byzantium.”
Causes: Ambassador for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; supports animal welfare group, Irish Blue Cross.

At age 17, Saoirse Ronan has already worked with Peter Jackson, Peter Weir and Joe Wright. For her pivotal role as the younger sister in the celebrated period epic “Atonement,” Ronan found herself an Oscar and Golden Globe nominee — and you get the feeling that it’s all just a warm-up act for this young Irish actress.

“It’s been a little bit of luck that these projects have come along and great directors have been attached to them,” Ronan says. “If you’re a fan of their work, you can have confidence that you might be part of something special.”

The logline for Ronan’s latest movie, “Violet & Daisy,” may sound an awful lot like “Hanna,” and yet this dark comedy, which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, takes a very different approach to the concept of an underage assassin. Next, Ronan will join the teen vampire phenomenon, playing a bloodsucker in Neil Jordan’s horror story “Byzantium.” “There’s a bit of romance, but it’s definitely not ‘Twilight,’” she says.

Not that Ronan has anything against “Twilight” or its creator, Stephenie Meyer. In fact, after finishing “Byzantium,” she’ll segue straight to “The Host,” also written by “Twilight’s” Meyer, playing a strong-willed Earth girl in the sci-fi romance. Andrew Niccol will direct, adding to Ronan’s list of celebrated collaborators.

For career advice, Ronan looks to her actor father, Paul, a man with a keen eye for good material.

“It’s handy to have him, that’s for sure,” Ronan says. “If I don’t feel passionate about something, then obviously I won’t do it. But I treasure his opinion.”


Saoirse takes a trek through time . . .
24 September, 2011 · Posted by under Articles · No Comments

Our favourite Carlow girl Saoirse Ronan will be soon be seen as a time traveller.

She’ll be pictured amid the fighting during the War Of Independence, watching JFK during his visit to Ireland in 1963 and caught up in countless home movies.

But when the 17-year-old went on set in Ardmore Studios last week, it wasn’t as the new Doctor Who, but to front a new appeal.

All of the above material is included in the Irish Film Archive which preserve Ireland’s film heritage for future generations.

But with its vaults in Dublin’s Temple Bar now full, the Irish film community is mobilising to raise funds for an additional storage facility.

Among those approached to help was musician and filmmaker Nick Kelly, who with zero budget, was given the task of creating a cinema ad.

“We were thrilled to find out that Saoirse wanted to help but all we had to work with was hundreds of old Irish newsreels and films going as far back as 1897,” Nick told The Diary.

But before you could say ‘Tardis’, the award-winning filmmaker had come up with a clever way of planting Saoirse into the archive footage of Irish life over the past 114 years using blue screen technology.

“Myself and Richard Chaney, of production house, Piranha Bar, jointly directed the piece and many other people gave up their time for free,” he said.

The writer and co-director couldn’t praise Saoirse enough for her contribution to the 50-second short film.

“Not only was Saoirse stepping through time, she had to simultaneously deliver a script which explained the work of the Irish Film Archives’ work.

“She was such a professional as well as giving up her time for free,” he added.

The Irish Film Archive’s Appeal is due to be launched in mid-October with the new cinema ad running in the IFI before films.


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