MINTED starlet Saoirse Ronan reckons that she’s just like any other teenager — despite raking in millions and starring in Hollywood blockbusters in her spare time.
The Co Carlow cutie, 18, became a Hollywood household name after her dazzling Oscar-nominated performance in Atonement in 2007.
Since then she has become one of Tinseltown’s most in-demand young talents — landing roles in action drama Hanna, The Lovely Bones and in an adaptation of Stephanie Meyers’ book The Host.
She’s also starred alongside Dublin hunk Colin Farrell, 36, and the legendary 61-year-old Ed Harris in The Way Back.
But she told how even though she’s worth an estimated 3MILLION she doesn’t let her success go to her head and is just like any other girl her own age, with plans to go to college and travel the world.
Saoirse said: “I still live at home. I’m just an 18-year-old. I don’t live a Hollywood lifestyle or anything like that.
“I would like to go to college. You have to just commit to it, especially with what I do.
“You have to just go, right. I’m going to take a year off, I’m going to go to college or I’m going to go travelling or something like that.”
Saoirse will next appear on screen in Neil Jordan’s much-anticiapted Byzantium, which was recently screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The pretty blonde stars alongside Bond babe Gemma Arterton, 26, in the fantasy thriller about a mother and daughter vampire duo.
And despite being the daughter of actor Paul and his wife Monica, Saoirse told how she never grew up with great ambitions to become a screen star.
But the experience of working with 26-year-old Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, 33, on epic war drama Atonement opened her eyes to her love of acting.
She explained: “It was never a dream of mine to become an actor.
“It was always — not to sound too cheesy — a part of me. I was an only child so I had to entertain myself as I was growing up.
“I still go off on my own and talk to myself, so I’ve always been kind of like that. It was when I did Atonement — it was the third film I did and the first real drama — and I had such a wonderful experience and everyone involved was so lovely and special and good at what they did.
“For a young person to be on a set like that when they’re so young and starting out is a real gift. I really fell in love with it. There was one scene I did with Keira that didn’t end up in the film where she ripped up this poster of the play that she’s been arranging for the day and it gave me a real thrill and it just grew from there.”
As well as learning the business of movie-making, Saoirse — who first appeared on RTE’s The Clinic at the age of nine — told how she had her first encounter with a boy on the set of her first film.
She giggled: “My first on-screen kiss was in my very first film that no one ever saw because it didn’t come out. I was 11-years-old and never kissed a boy before.
“I went up to and I was like, ‘OK, listen. how long do you want me to kiss this guy for? I don’t want this going on too long.’ And she was like, ‘Well, you know, just a few seconds.’ ‘No, no, no. How many seconds do you want this to go on for?’
“She’s like, ‘I don’t know, maybe three seconds or so?’ So every time we’d do a take, I would make sure that it was only three seconds exactly and then I’d pull away.”
Byzantium has been compared to other vampire films, including Stephanie Meyers’ Twilight franchise, which stars Kristen Stewart, 22, and Robert Pattinson, 26.
But Saoirse explained she only signed up for the film because she believed it was a unique take on the vampire genre.
She said: “It wasn’t like anything else that’d been made so far — or recently — about vampires. I think if it hadn’t been told in the way it was, this film, it would’ve probably frightened me off a little bit just because there’s been so many vampire films.”
The flick sees Saoirse play a melancholy teen vampire called Eleanor who has been around for 200 years but is wracked with guilt about her past.
After moving to a seaside town with her mum Clara (Arterton), Eleanor tells her story to her new pal, a sickly teen called Frank — played by Caleb Landry Jones, 22.
And despite starring in a number of dramatic films, Saoirse said she was really moved by Byzantium.
She said: “There’s one scene in it that actually really freaked me out. Usually I don’t like watching anything that I do, but this movie really affected me.
“When Frank is taken away to the hospital, and the bloody handkerchief is on the ground and I pick it up, and it’s in slow motion and my eyes are crazy, I look a bit wild. And I thought, it’s really mad what we do.”