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Saoirse Ronan: 'I won't ever play the dummy'

Saoirse Ronan feels she has a "responsibility" to play strong and complex women on screen.

The 22-year-old actress first shot to fame in 2007 movie Atonement, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination, and has since appeared in films such as The Lovely Bones, Hanna and The Grand Budapest Hotel.


When it comes to choosing movie roles, Saoirse is determined to reflect real life as much as possible.


"It's important for me to play intelligent women, because I think in art, you have a responsibility to portray real life," she told Time magazine after being chosen as one of their ten Next Generation Leaders.


"It's even more important now that there's such a massive shift towards feminism that men and women see strong, complex women on screen."


Playing dumb isn't something Saoirse is interested in. In fact, she slammed those who have done so to land a job, insisting she can't think of anything more "boring" than hiding her intelligence on screen.


"I'm not being big-headed, but I'm not a dummy," she added. "So I don't want to play someone who is a dummy on screen. It's just boring."


It was her role as Briony in the big-screen adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement that was a breakthrough for Saoirse. However, she admits she was drastically different from the original character as described in the book.


"Briony was supposed to be this brown-haired, brown-eyed, middle-class English girl - she was supposed to look like she was related to Keira (Knightley)," she smiled. "But this dialect coach suggested me, even though I was completely wrong for it.


"It's funny, because you can work as hard as possible, but if you don't have a bit of luck and someone who puts your name forward, you may not get anywhere."


Saoirse is currently starring on Broadway in Arthur Miller's The Crucible.