Saoirse Ronan is the type of casually unassuming young actor who might just bring her mother along to an interview — which is exactly what she did when she stopped by POPSUGAR's office to talk about her new film Lady Bird. It was a fitting choice given the alternately painful and delightful coming-of-age film's storyline. At the heart of the movie is the fraught but fiercely loving relationship between high-school senior Lady Bird (Saoirse) and her mother, Marian (Laurie Metcalf). Saoirse's own mom — who she noted was jetlagged after flying in from Dublin just the day before — hadn't yet seen the film when we spoke. But Saoirse said she fully intended to watch it with her, joking that it's exactly the kind of movie that makes you want to call your mom, if only to apologize for "being so crap as a teenager."
Lady Bird does portray all the highs — sometimes the literal ones — and lows of teenage life with a level of candor we don't always see on screen. Saoirse, now 23, admitted that she had some anxiety about watching her portrayal of Lady Bird for the first time with that in mind, so much so that she recruited her best friend to down three glasses of white wine with her before they watched it together. "For me, I've never enjoyed watching anything I've been in," Saoirse said. "And from the first frame, I'd been clutching her hand, and I started to slowly let go and lean forward and was so into it as an audience member. I've never had that experience before. It was fantastic."
Saoirse and I also discussed the raft of sexual abuse claims rocking not only Hollywood, but also the broader culture, which she admitted left her feeling both sad and "very disappointed." While she was clear that "it would be wrong to say we're all shocked that this was going on," she did express hope that, as more women come forward, it will protect more of us from pervasive harassment and assault in the future.
The cultural climate, no doubt, makes the Greta Gerwig-directed Lady Bird an especially refreshing offering in late 2017. But while the film is currently racking up critical accolades, Saoirse is already onto the next. She recently wrapped on Mary Queen of Scots, in which she plays the complicated and iconic royal, alongside Margot Robbie. That film won't hit theaters until 2018, but you can catch Saoirse in Lady Bird in theaters now.