Saoirse Ronan: Everything You Need to Know About the 'Lady Bird' Star

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Saoirse Ronan at the 29th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival

Saoirse Ronan is having a moment, thanks to her critically acclaimed performance in Lady Bird.

Ronan is up for the Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) Golden Globe on Sunday, and is also considered a front-runner for the Best Actress Oscar. Though, because of her already impressive acting resume, chances are, you've seen the 23-year-old actress on the big screen before. 

Ahead of her already incredible awards season, here are eight things to know about the Irish-American actress.

1. How to pronounce her name.

Ronan hosted Saturday Night Live in December, and dedicated her monologue to teaching viewers how to pronounce her name. In 2015, Dennis Quaid memorably mispronounced her name as "Sheesha Ronan" whole announcing her Golden Globe nomination for her role in Brooklyn. 

For the record, it's pronounced 'Sur-shuh.'

“I am very Irish, and I have an extremely Irish name,” she explained on SNL. “Some would say too Irish. It’s Saoirse. It means freedom. But I’ve got a little problem: It’s spelled wrong. It’s a full typo."

2. She was born in New York, but raised in Ireland. 

Ronan holds dual American and Irish citizenship. The actress was born in The Bronx, but moved back to her parents' native Ireland when she was three years old. She now lives in New York City. 

3. She was nominated for an Oscar when she was 13 years old.

Saoirse Ronan at the 2008 Oscars.
Getty Images

Ronan is already an awards show darling. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2008 for her role in Atonement opposite James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, and again for Best Actress in 2016 for her role in the coming-of-age film Brooklyn.

Lots of viewers were also introduced to Ronan thanks to her role in 2009's The Lovely Bones, in which she played Mark Wahlberg's daughter.

4. She auditioned for the role of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter franchise.

The role that got away! In 2011, Ronan revealed to The Independent that she lost out on the role of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter franchise.

"I was too young -- but at the time I thought, 'I'd love to be in Harry Potter,'" she recalled. "When I was younger, I used to think they had the best job in the world."

She also reportedly auditioned for the role of Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games franchise, though the role eventually went to Jennifer Lawrence. 

5. She was once rumored to be dating Hozier.

Ronan is notoriously private about her personal life, though last May, it was rumored that she dated singer Hozier, after starring in his music video for "Cherry Wine," and after the pair was spotted out together on multiple occasions. She also dated her How I Live co-star, George MacKay, in 2013.

ET spoke with Ronan in September 2015, when she opened up about dating people in the business, and having a Twitter account.

"The reason I even got on Twitter was because when I was probably 15, I heard Stephen Fry talking about this new thing called Twitter, and I thought, ‘Well, if Steve Fry is on it, I’m going to be on it,'" she explained. "But I don’t use Twitter."

"Well, I tweet every now and then, maybe every six months," she continued. "When the marriage referendum happened in Ireland, it was a great way to get the message out there. And I tweet a bit about the charity work I do at home with the ISPCC, Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. I will never use it to publicize anything that I’ve done. I feel very uncomfortable doing that sort of thing."

6. She intentionally gave Ed Sheeran a misspelled tattoo.

Ronan starred in Sheeran's music video for his song, “Galway Girl," but the singer got more than he bargained for when he asked Ronan to leave a permanent reminder of the experience on him.

“When we were filming it, I meant to get a tattoo of her handwriting saying ‘Galway Girl.’ It actually says ‘Galway Grill,'" Sheeran told concertgoers during his show in Europe last April. "Full-on, she really took the piss out of me. It actually says ‘grill,’ g-r-i-l-l."

“I’m actually kind of proud of her,” Sheeran added. “It’s the kind of thing that I would do.”

7. She isn't afraid to be outspoken about causes she cares about.

In 2015, Ronan publicly backed the Marriage Equality Referendum to amend the Irish constitution. Ronan even spoke at a campaign event in Dublin organized by the Yes Equality group.

“It’s like when black and white people couldn’t marry, Protestants and Catholics couldn’t marry for a long time, and you think of it as being so ridiculous now... these are all things that we consider to be so backwards and dated, and it will be viewed as that if we get a No vote,” she said at the time, according to The Irish Times.

During her SNL hosting gig, Ronan also tackled sexual harassment in the darkly ironic music video "Welcome to Hell."

ET spoke to Ronan at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Tuesday, where she talked about the movement to support women speaking out against sexual harassment by wearing black at this year's Golden Globes.

"It's something that has obviously been discussed, and yes, there's a plan in place," she said. "It's incredible to see women who I don't know personally, but whom I've admired through their work over the years, stand up and become vocal when they don't have to ... It's been a really interesting time to open up the conversation and have it almost open your eyes to the environment and how it needs to change." 

8. Her girl crush is Robin Wright.

Last November, Ronan revealed her admiration for actress Robin Wright in an interview with W magazine.

"Oh, I have my girl crush. It’s Robin Wright, hands down," she gushed. "What a babe. I always refer back to Robin when I talk about the style of acting that I really like. I think it’s always really interesting when you see someone who has this air of mystery to them and they keep something to themselves. The great thing about film is that you know the lens is right there; it’s not gonna miss anything that’s going on. And so it’s quite fun to keep something for yourself, and it means that you’re always wanting more from that person. So I love Robin; I think she’s great."

To watch our recent chat with Ronan at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, watch the video below:

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