For Saoirse Ronan, ‘Queen of Scots’ role gave room to grow

For Saoirse Ronan, ‘Queen of Scots’ role gave room to grow

NEW YORK — Saoirse Ronan says she was “more than ready” to make the transition on film, and in real life, from young girl to commanding woman. Her new role in “Mary Queen of Scots,” gave her the opportunity to do both.

Ronan, who is Irish, says she was not only excited to play Mary Stuart, a Celtic woman who ruled Scotland in the 16th century, but also to take on such a meaty part.

Nominated for Oscars for roles in “Atonement,” ”Brooklyn” and last year’s awards season favourite, “Lady Bird,” Ronan, 24, has often played girls who are still finding their way in the world. But “Mary Queen of Scots” provided the transition to full womanhood as her character falls in love, becomes a mother, and rides a horse into battle.

“Playing Mary offered me so much as an actor. It’s the first time that I’ve played someone who really comes into their womanhood and is very sort of settled and comfortable in that stage of their life,” Ronan says. “Doing the labour scene especially, it was just a really, really empowering scene … and I think just getting to play someone who can, you know scream and be sweaty, and you know enjoy sex and go onto the battlefield and do all of these things was really liberating for me.”

Her character also faces betrayal from both family and political factions who didn’t always respect a woman in power. In the film, Scots who wanted Queen Mary to lose her position fabricated rumours to sway the public against her. The negative rhetoric may resonate with modern audiences.

“It totally mirrors exactly what’s happening now and what has kind of always happened to, especially I think, women in politics — the way they’re shamed and the way they’re ridiculed for basically anything that isn’t their policy.” Ronan went on to say “it’s been really interesting to see how people have been able to pick up on so many things in the film that were taking place 500 years ago that are still very much a common occurrence now.”

Ronan says she always wanted to collaborate with Margot Robbie, who plays Queen Elizabeth I in “Mary.” The two actresses decided it would be best for on-screen tension if they didn’t see each other until their one scene together.

“By the time we actually saw each other which was in a take, and the camera shot us both at the same time, it was just the best buzz ever,” Ronan says.

Playing a formidable queen was like “gold dust” but Ronan says she’s also attracted to characters who are vulnerable and damaged.

“It’s great to play really strong women, but also I just really want to play very well written roles. So even if they are a bit of a mess or a bit ditzy or whatever, I don’t mind that.”

“Mary Queen of Scots” is in theatres now.

Just Posted

Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan addressed the Rotary Club Red Deer East at Pidherney Curling Centre on Tuesday.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Red life-ring with splash
Started from the bottom: How a family business started and grew in central Alberta

By Carina Moran We started our business in the basement of our… Continue reading

Shiree Appleman
Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Innisfail RCMP is asking the public to help locate a woman who… Continue reading

Rotary Club of Red Deer logo.
Red Deer Rotary Club hosting tree planting event later this month

The Rotary Club of Red Deer will host a tree-planting event later… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Pharmacist Barbara Violo shows off a vial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Toronto on Friday, March 12, 2021. Several family doctors and physician associations across Canada say they welcome questions from anyone concerned about second doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca or any other COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Family doctors say they can answer vaccine questions, after Trudeau recommends them

Several family doctors and physician associations across Canada say they welcome questions… Continue reading

The Olympic rings float in the water at sunset in the Odaiba section of Tokyo, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. A new Leger poll suggests Canadians are divided over plans to send athletes from Canada to the upcoming Olympic games in Tokyo as Japan grapples with climbing COVID-19 cases. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Eugene Hoshiko
Canadians divided on sending Team Canada athletes to the Tokyo Olympic Games: poll

OTTAWA — A new poll by Leger and the Association of Canadian… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Insert your name here

Back in the Paleolithic Era when a McDonald’s cheeseburger was 29 cents… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
Job search: Write a request that will get accepted

Last Thursday, when I logged into LinkedIn, I had nine connection requests… Continue reading

T-shirt with vaccine shot. (Contributed photo)
Letter: Hand out T-shirts with vaccine shots

I made myself a graphic T-shirt recently after getting my vaccine shot.… Continue reading

Most Read