Saoirse Úna Ronan (born 12 April 1994) is an Irish actress. She came to international prominence in 2007 after co-starring as Briony Tallis in the film Atonement with James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, from which she received nominations for a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award, making her one of the youngest actresses to receive an Oscar nomination.
Her film breakthrough was followed by her starring role in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones (2009) where she was awarded a Critics' Choice Award, a Saturn Award, and a second BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress.
She has acted in the romantic comedy I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007), the supernatural film Death Defying Acts (2008), the action thriller Hanna (2011), How I Live Now (2013) and Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).
Born in the Woodlawn neighborhood of The Bronx, New York City, Ronan is the only child of Irish parents Paul and Monica Ronan – the former an actor – who were living in New York at the time. Her family is Catholic. Ronan was raised in County Carlow, Ireland, having moved there when she was three years old, and is a dual citizen of the United States and Ireland. She was home schooled while living in Carlow. As a baby, she sometimes accompanied her father on the set when he was working on such films as The Devil's Own and Veronica Guerin.
Saoirse Ronan made her screen debut on Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ, in the 2003 primetime medical drama The Clinic and then appeared in the mini-serial Proof. During the same time, Ronan auditioned to play Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, a role she eventually lost out to Evanna Lynch.
At the age of twelve, Ronan was asked to attend a casting call for Joe Wright's 2007 film adaptation of Ian McEwan's 2001 novel Atonement. She auditioned for and won the part of Briony Tallis, an aspiring 13-year-old novelist, who irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Starring alongside Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, Wright grew more and more impressed with Ronan on-set, who declared her role a "fantastic part [to play]." Budgeted at US$30 million, the film became a financial and critical success, resulting in a worldwide box office total of US$130 million and various awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Film, Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama, and an 2008 Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. Ronan herself received rave reviews for her performance, with Ty Burr of The Boston Globe calling her "remarkable [and] eccentric", and was subsequently nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, ranking her among the ten youngest to be nominated for the latter.