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Late Late Show

Saoirse Ronan's Late Late interview reveals her struggle with self-belief

As well as the tricky business of working with horses.

YOU’RE GOING TO be seeing a lot of Saoirse Ronan over the next week or so, ahead of the release of her new flick Mary Queen of Scots.

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No harm, really, as we’ve been gleaning a lot of information about the three time Oscar nominee over the course of her press outings – in particular, on last night’s Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy.

The pair reminisced on Ronan’s earlier work (started from ‘The Clinic’, now we’re here), the excitement of attending award ceremonies aged 12 and how her parents protected her as a young actor in Hollywood.

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Given she’s been at this lark for the bones of 15 years, it’s no wonder she has a few good anecdotes to boot, particularly when it comes to working with animals.

On the set for Mary Queen of Scots, she was tasked with acting alongside a camera-shy horse called Prince, whose own IMDb page is an impressive read.


“He’s such a diva,” she said of her four-legged co-star. “He had been Wonder Woman’s horse, he’d been Gal Gadot’s horse, so he was swanning around like ‘I belong to Wonder Woman, not you’.

Any time I would try and be sort of queenly, I tried to get him to move and he just wouldn’t. He’d just stand there and eat a bit of grass.”

However, half way through the shoot, the nerves got the better of him.

Right before we’d do a take, they’d shout ‘rolling!’ and the horse would just get really nervous and he’d do a nervous cough, every single time.” 

Elsewhere, while Twitter lost the plot over her accent (people begrudging online? Say it isn’t so!), Saoirse spoke honestly about her Oscar nominations. In fact, it seems a touch of ‘imposter syndrome’ affected her view of her most recent nom for Lady Bird


“With Brooklyn [her second Oscar nomination] and with Lady Bird, genuinely, were both like, ‘Well, I’ve ruined that and I’m never going to be allowed act again.’ Especially with Lady Bird.

I just didn’t think I’d pulled it off. Because with both of them, it was really important for me to get them right [...] I think with Lady Bird, it was a combination of really wanting Greta [Gerwig, the director] to like what I did. 
It was the closest I’d come to a comedy in years, and I love comedy so much. That’s my favourite genre.”

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However, she attested that receiving the nomination helped her gain some clarity on her performance in the film. She was also keen to point out that while she’s not a Leonardo DiCaprio levels of scorned yet, she would like an Oscar some day.

I think everyone would. Even if you don’t act, I think everyone would like an Oscar.”

Her insecurity is reflected in how she constantly refers to television actors as “people from the telly”, as if she herself is not a star of the silver screen. Even her confession about how she occasionally wishes she could sack it all in and wait tables, (followed closely by a clarification that she doesn’t want to seem ungrateful), makes it clear she’s not lost the run of herself just yet.

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