Saoirse Ronan in How I Live Now

Saoirse Ronan in How I Live Now

Saoirse Ronan is one of the most versatile teenage actresses who has been enjoying huge success on the big screen in recent years.

This year alone we have seen her tackle vampire, science fiction and animation roles, and now she is back with How I Live Now; which is a big-screen adaptation of the novel of the same name by Meg Rosoff.

How I Live Now is a dramatic piece that allows the Oscar-nominated actress to really get her teeth into as Daisy is complex part with many layers and a role that we have not really seen Ronan tackle before.

When we caught up with the actress in London, she reveals that this very different character was something that really attracted her to this role.

“I think with this character it was the fact that she was so abrasive and unlikable; she is a bit of a bitch to begin with really. Slowly, she starts to be broken down by these kids who are around her - Edmond in particular as he seems to understand her on a deep level.

“I was desperate to play someone who was very current and a very modern teenage girl. I have played three roles in a role where the character was very serene and understanding; I didn't want to do that any more.”

How I Live Now is a coming of age drama that follows Daisy as she finds herself in England and discovering love for the first time. However, this teen drama takes an unexpected twist; this is something that makes it more than any films in this genre that we have seen before.

And Ronan admits that she likes the different direction that the movie takes, and believes that it does add a completely layer to the story and the characters.

“I was glad that it had something like that. It would have been lovely to stay with Eddie and Daisy the whole time, but it certainly throws a spanner in the works and makes it very gripping and quite raw; which is something that you don't see from a lot of romantic films.

“There are a lot of films that are young adult films but are portrayed in a particular way, while this was done in almost a documentary style once we got into the war territory.”

The movie sees Ronan team up with director Kevin Macdonald for the first time as the filmmaker returns to live action for the first time since The Eagle.

The chance to work with Macdonald was one of the major draws of this project from Ronan, and she has gone on to heap praise on the filmmaker.

In recent years Macdonald has moved between live-action and documentary projects, and Ronan believes that he struck the perfect balance between these two elements while shooting How I Live Now.

“You can really feel that in his work, especially when you work with him as he is very hands on. He is very practical and realistic about things.

“He has got the perfect balance for a director as he has all of these practical elements, but also appreciates all the emotions that need to go into every scene.

“He is able to juggle both extremely well. He has a really great understanding of how people tick and how people react to things.”

Meg Rosoff is the author behind this popular novel, but this is not the first time that Ronan has worked on a book adaptation.

And the young actress revealed that she avoided reading the book as she was preparing for the film as she likes to concentrate on the writing of the script.

“I knew it was a book when I got sent the script, but I hadn't read the book. I choose not to read it before I made the film; I have done that quite a bit when it comes to adaptations. 

I do that because I want to focus on the screenplay - unless there is something that I need to know about the character, or if it is a real person.

“But I do feel that it is more of a distraction, for me. If the script is well written, then I like to focus that. I have read bits of it since then.”

With the likes of The Host, Byzantium and now How I Live Now, Ronan is one of the most in demand young actresses.

It seems that things will not be slowing down from Ronan in the near future with a whole host of exciting projects on the horizon; projects that see her work with some well-established and upcoming filmmakers.

“I did a film called Grand Budapest Hotel, which is a Wes Anderson film, at the start of this year. I also did a film after that called How To Catch A Monster, which is directing by Ryan Gosling.

“I am not sure what is next, but Mary Queen of Scots will hopefully be at some point next year.”

Ronan is already one of the best-known teenage actresses, but over the next couple of years, we really are going to see her star rise even further.

How I Live Now is out now. Read out How I Live Now review.

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