Saoirse Ronan, 23, stars in the new Greta Gerwig-directed film Lady Bird, a coming of age story about an 18-year-old girl, who goes by the name Lady Bird, living in suburban California.

“The film is set in and around 2002, and it’s basically about her life and the lead-up to her leaving home – so her friendships and how they’re effected by her figuring out who she is, and her relationship with her mother in particular, is really the heart of the story,” Ronan told uInterview in an exclusive video. “We follow these groups of people for about a year and watch them change.”

Gerwig made her directorial debut with this film, and Ronan applauded the actress’s work behind the camera. “She was fantastic, she was incredibly prepared and she I think had really learned her trade by working with other directors like Noah Baumbach and Mike Mills and people like that, and really found her style before she came onto Lady Bird,” Ronan said. “She was incredibly ready and prepared to do the movie, was very supportive and encouraging for all of us. It was amazing to work with her.”

Ronan reveals that she and Gerwig worked together to find the heart of the main character. “It was one of those discoveries for both of us. She had written this really strong script and I think she says when I came on board and the two of us started to work together, that’s sort of when Lady Bird was born,” the actress said. “And she was something that was a bit out of our control, and we were trying to keep up with her day-to-day. I think the great thing about doing film is that you’re sort of going from moment to moment, so from each scene we were discovering something new about her and were kept on our toes that way.”

Ronan thinks film’s message is on uncovering one’s own story and focusing on oneself. “I think Lady Bird has to say that everyone has their own story and most people at that age don’t know what it is yet, but it’s important to go find out,” the actress shared. “I think the stuff that she goes through, the experiences she has, and the relationship she has with home, is something that we can sometimes feel guilty about when we’re leaving it, but it’s human and something that we all go through. Again, the film is really about that core relationship between her and her mother, and the general consensus is that people just really want to call their moms after they’ve seen the film and say sorry, I think it’s just about sort of showing everyone that it’s ok to be different and it’s alright to take some time to figure out who you are.”