This month's tentpole adaptation, “The Host,” stands to bring Saoirse Ronan to a new level of exposure, but for fans of the actress looking beyond Stephenie Meyer's creation, there's plenty of promising projects soon to come: she's nabbed lead roles in both Wes Anderson's latest, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Ryan Gosling's directorial debut, “How To Catch A Monster.” Recently, we got the opportunity to chat with her about each of them, as well as her upcoming role in director Kevin Macdonald's latest effort "How I Live Now."
Doing press in Los Angeles for the Andrew Niccol-directed “The Host,” Ronan talked briefly about her two American accents used in the adaptation, before noting that her lead role in “Grand Budapest Hotel” may just be a bit more natural. “I'm doing an Irish accent for my character.” she revealed. “Wes just decided to let me, and I'm really chuffed. It's actually the first time I've ever used an Irish accent in a film.”
Alongside the incredible cast of Bill Murray, Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes and Jason Schwartzman (to name only a few), Ronan also expressed awe about the environments that Anderson created for the film. “I mean, they're built, it's all real and tactile -- and that was really wonderful to be a part of,” she described. “Everything's just alive. You really feel like you're stepping into a Wes Anderson world.”
Another director hoping to create his own unique world is of course Ryan Gosling, who's hard at work right now prepping his fantasy debut, “How To Catch a Monster,” starring Christina Hendricks, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes and "Doctor Who" star Matt Smith. While Ronan remained tight-lipped on her exact role, she did describe the characters as being “very stylized,” before commenting on the cast -- which will consist of unknown talent and name actors -- and their homework leading up to the shoot.
“Ryan said he wants all of us to discover the characters together, and really live with them. That means taking time to record each other when we rehearse, and also live in the houses that we're supposed to be living in.” As for exactly where those homes might be, Ronan described the setting as “a burnt-out world where everyone has left, kind of like a much worse Detroit [where the film will indeed shoot].” It's an approach that's interesting to note, and one can imagine it was likely inspired by Gosling's time with Derek Cianfrance on "Blue Valentine," in which Cianfrance had both leads live together for a month before cameras rolled to capture their relationship.
As Ronan says, production on 'Monster' is scheduled to begin very soon, but set to hit theaters first is a role that the actress savored: the New York teenager, Daisy, in “Last King of Scotland” director Kevin Macdonald's adaptation of Meg Rosoff's award-winning YA novel, “How I Live Now,” which also stars George Mackay and “The Impossible” star Tom Holland.
“I had done a few things that were otherworldly and ethereal, so after "The Host," I was like, 'I have to play someone normal,' and thank god "How I Live Now" came up.” She said. The film finds the actress in a coming-of-age tale set in the English countryside, against the backdrop of World War III, and Ronan described it as “just the most beautiful story. I'm hoping it'll be released in September, or around then.”
All told, there's plenty on deck for the actress, across a strong variety of projects from filmmakers with distinct voices. "The Host" opens on March 29th, and we'll have more from our talk with Ronan soon.