Saoirse Ronan Video Interview On 'Hanna,' Eric Bana
In the action thriller Hanna, Saoirse Ronan, 18, plays the title character, an assassin trained by her father (Eric Bana) to defend herself against the CIA who have been after them since she was two years old. “Eric and I did a lot of stuff together and we started out together in Finland, which was very, very beautiful but it was also extremely cold,” Ronan told Uinterview exclusively. “It was about minus 30 degrees at one stage. So we had to work in that — that was a memory in itself.”
Born in New York City and raised in County Carlow, Ireland, acting is in her blood. Her father, Paul Ronan, has appeared in films such as The Devil’s Own starring Brad Pitt and Harrison Ford, and Veronica Guerin with Cate Blanchett, who co-starred with Saoirse in Hanna. Her first appearance in film was as Briony Tallis in 2007’s Atonement for which she received an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category. She followed that up with 2008’s City of Ember opposite Bill Murray and 2009’s The Lovely Bones in which she plays a serial killer’s victim caught between heaven and earth.
In preparation for her role as Hanna, Saoirse underwent a grueling training regimen. “I began training for this film a couple months before we started shooting. That involved working out in the gym every day for about two hours a day — really intense training,” Ronan told Uinterview. “I was doing martial arts and stick fighting and learning to shoot bows and arrows and guns and things like that. It was good preparation… probably the most preparation I’ve done for a film.”
- Q: Hi, Saoirse. What was your most memorable experience working with Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett on the film? - Ahmed
- A: A memorable experience… well, it was all quite memorable I think. Eric and I did a lot of stuff together and we started out together in Finland, which was very, very beautiful but it was also extremely cold. It was about minus 30 degrees at one stage. So we had to work in that — that was a memory in itself. And mainly the scenes that Cate and I had together were always kept at arm’s length. We didn’t really have any traditional dialogue scenes, which was a shame since she’s so good. But it was lovely just to get to know her. We shot a lot of our stuff at this place called Spreepark, which was an old, run-down amusement park in Berlin. There was one day I was going to see Lady Gaga that night, so we had to rush to get everything finished beforehand.
- Q: Thanks. Now tell us about your name and how we should pronounce it correctly. What does it exactly mean in Gaelic? - Ahmed
- A: You can pronounce my name a few different ways. I say “Ser-sha” but a lot of Irish people would pronounce it “Seer-sha,” which is also really nice. I like that too. It’s Irish for freedom and/or liberty.
- Q: Hi, Saoirse. This is Alex from Maine. There are so many amazing combat scenes in Hanna. What sort of training did you for this role? - Alex Santos Murry
- A: I began training for this film a couple months before we started shooting. That involved working out in the gym every day for about two hours a day — really intense training. I was doing martial arts and stick fighting and learning to shoot bows and arrows and guns and things like that. It was good preparation…probably the most preparation I’ve done for a film.
- Q: Thanks. Did you ever get injured when doing the stunts? Did you ever hurt Eric Bana? - Alex Santos Murry
- A: I did, yeah. I mean, we had a stunt double as well who would do the fight sequence for certain shots. But yeah I did everything myself except for things that were very, very dangerous. I reckon I hit Eric a few times by accident, I swear! He was very good; he would hold back a little bit because, you know, in his mind he was fighting a young girl But I kind of went for him.
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