Saoirse Ronan badly wanted to star in Greta Gerwig’s new “Little Women” adaptation.
The 25-year-old actress is on the new cover of Variety, and in the issue she talks about the iconic role in the latest adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel.
“I tapped Greta [Gerwig] on the shoulder and said I heard she was doing ‘Little Women’ and that I needed to be Jo,” Ronan reveals, and when Gerwig said she’d have to marinate on it, the actress responded with a terse, “Oh, for f**k’s sake.”
Taking on the character of Jo also felt easier for Ronan than some of her past roles.
“It was a big step up for me as an actor. Even with something like ‘Lady Bird’, I was fully terrified every day. I felt, ‘I’m going to ruin this. I’m going to mess it up.’ I really felt that,” Ronan says. “It was a great experience, but I was constantly on the phone to my mom or my friends saying, ‘I can’t do it.’ It wasn’t like that with ‘Little Women’.”
Explaining her eagerness to take on the project, Ronan adds, “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.”
The actress also talked about co-star Florence Pugh getting amped up for their argument scenes by asking her to “slap her in the face, which I did,” Ronan says.
“That’s the thing with myself and the girls, and Timmy [Chalamet], and the other young actors,” she says. “We’re now growing up in a film industry where we can do that in a way I don’t think they could when other adaptations of this film were made.”