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Saoirse Ronan’s seen the world fall apart a few times, from the devastation of World War II in Atonement to the dystopian world of Hanna. In The Lovely Bones she’s a girl who’s been murdered before the film even begins. And in How I Live Now she’s playing a role closer to home – a kid on the brink of adulthood who has to struggle to survive and reunite with her family as her country is transformed by war.
It’s not that closer to home, though – Saoirse hasn’t had trouble surviving in real life. After all, at only 19 she has an acting resume that people twice her age would be jealous of. She’s worked with amazing directors, from Kevin Macdonald and Peter Jackson to Wes Anderson and even Ryan Gosling. And she’s acted alongside greats like Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley.
The thing is, acting is in Saoirse’s blood. And maybe the tendency to choose challenging roles, too. Her dad is Paul Ronan – he’s been beheaded in The Devil’s Own and played brother to a murdered reporter in Veronica Guerin. He definitely has his own list of triumphs.
So what happens when you’re growing up with a dad who has the same job as you? At what point do you break out and leave the nest? With How I Live Now we may be watching Saoirse start to come into her own.