"Every time I was introduced to this story, whether it was in book form or through the script, it meant more and more to me," said Saoirse Ronan about her starring role in the 1950s-set romantic drama "Brooklyn." The actress was speaking at a luncheon she hosted — along with director John Crowley and producer Finola Dwyer — at the Lotos Club in New York City on November 3, the day before the film opened to rave reviews.
"She was in the very best sense an obvious piece of casting," said Crowley about the decision to cast Ronan as an Irish girl who moves to New York for a better life in the 1950s. "She was the exact right age and had obviously shown herself to be a wonderful actor from a ridiculously young age," he added, referring to her Oscar-nominated performance in "Atonement" (2007) when she was just 13.
Ronan also had personal connections to the story. "It's my mother and father's story," she explained. "They [moved from Ireland to New York] in the '80s, had me in the Bronx in 1994 … It's a journey that, regardless of the era, is something I grew up with." Ronan also came to the film at a time when she herself was moving away from home for the first time, "so when the time came to actually make the film, apart from my own direct experience I was going through when it came to homesickness, I was able to go firsthand to my parents."
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Photo: "Brooklyn." Credit: Moviestore Collection/REX