Saoirse Ronan says Little Women is her biggest step as an actor: Didn't feel daunted by Jo March's character

FP Staff

Nov 27, 2019 10:27:46 IST

In what can be called the biggest casting coup this year, Greta Gerwig's Little Women brings together a stellar collection of nuanced artistes, some might even argue, the best ones. Saoirse Ronan features alongside Meryl Streep and Laura Dern, as well as eminent contemporaries such as Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, and Emma Watson in the adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, that opens in December.

In a recent chat with Variety, the actress opens up about her lack of fear despite the intricacies of this role, her assurance with playing Jo March, and her understanding of women's rights through her feisty reel self.

 Saoirse Ronan says Little Women is her biggest step as an actor: Didnt feel daunted by Jo Marchs character

Still from Little Women. Image from YouTube

For starters, Ronan reveals she had walked up to Gerwig, and asked to play Jo. In one of their promotional tours for Lady Bird, Ronan heard Alcott’s seminal work would soon be made into a film, and Gerwig was set to helm it. Ronan tells the publication she went ahead, "tapped Greta on the shoulder, and said I heard she was doing Little Women, and that I needed to be Jo.” Gerwig answered saying she needed some time to think it over, to which Ronan patiently replied, “Oh, for f—’s sake.” I was ready to jump out of line and take it on. Jo is such an important figure for so many girls, and I didn’t feel daunted by it. I was precious with her,” she adds. The feeling of "I Can't do it," which used to encompass most of Ronan's thoughts during Lady Bird, was, fortunately, not present during the shoot of Little Women. 

Drawing a parallel with herself, Gerwig says there was no compulsion to take the actress, but her (Ronan's) willingness and determination were what reminded Gerwig of herself — when she was pitching the studios for Little Women. In fact, the filmmaker even credits Ronan for being an active participant in developing the characters she portrays on screen. Talking about a particular writing scene in the film, Greta says the idea for Jo to sport a military jacket came from Ronan. The underscoring thought being — for Jo to use her words almost like a weapon of empowerment and her writing space was for her, a battleground.

Pugh, who plays Jo's warring-yet-loving Amy, would often ask Ronan to slap her before a quarreling scene, confesses Ronan. She feels such an atmosphere, where the growth of performance is above all was the general atmosphere around Little Women's sets, is extremely productive.

The film is set to hit theatres on 25 December.

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Updated Date: Nov 27, 2019 10:35:09 IST