- The first question of the panel went to Wright: why do a film like this after movies like Atonement and Pride & Prejudice? But the director said that Ronan was actually the one who suggested that he take it on. One of the things that attracted him to it was the fact that “it’s not a franchise, not based on a comic, not even based on fairytale specifically,” which allowed the director creative license to dream up his own world.
- Wright joked that two of the bad guys in the film were actually inspired by his own bullies from when he was growing up. “It was my way of getting back at them, by having them slain by a girl,” he quipped.
- Ronan beats up guys twice her size in the flick, and the actress endured plenty of training to get the fight scenes, particularly in martial arts. “I suddenly had muscle in my arms, and I was strong,” she said. “I had never experienced that before!”
- As for why Ronan loved the script, she explained: “It’s important that we have strong female characters in movies now.” And unlike other “sexy or cool” leading women in film, Ronan likes that Hanna is a misfit. “She is weird, and I think Hanna as an action heroine — if that’s what you want to call her — is quite elegant in her temperament and behavior except when she’s kicking ass. I think we haven’t seen an action heroine like this yet.”
- Wright also touched on the importance of heroines in movies, and got up on his soapbox to address female empowerment. “The place of young women in society, and the continued sexual objectification of women — I find that whole culture terrifying and kind of disgusting really,” he said. “I wanted to address that with this film. I remember when the Spice Girls came out in the ’90s and they called it ‘girl power.’ I think that’s bullsh*t. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I look at posters for recent films with girls kicking ass; there’s one out at the moment, in bikinis and crop tops, and this is supposedly female empowerment, and that’s bullsh*t. Female empowerment is not about sex; that’s the point of female empowerment. It’s about brains. So I was very keen to look at those issues with this movie, and Hanna exists outside of that.” Obviously Wright was getting in a dig at Sucker Punch, but his little speech received huge cheers from the audience.