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May 3, 2011
2011 was already a great year for Ronan. She starred in the Oscar-nominated film The Way Back, which premiered in the U.S. in January. In the film she played Irena, an orphaned teenage Polish girl on the run from Soviet soldiers. Since she was forced to live on her own, Irena developed a strong will and enough courage to stand tall with a group of escaped convicts. Ronan played the role to perfection, showing off resilience and courage in the face of environmental and human threats. She very admirably grounded the film, further developing the quiet familial relationship with the cons that stands at the center of the action.
In Hanna, by contrast, Ronan shows off an entirely different, and utterly chilling side to her acting repertoire. She plays an assassin who has grown up on the outskirts of society and has been trained to kill from birth. As Hanna, she lacks the basic social skills needed to interact with average people. She'll kill squirrels for breakfast before realizing that she could have just picked up some eggs at the grocery store. In Ronan's capable hands, this cold-blooded character becomes human and somehow endearing.
Judging from these two films, as well as her prior role in Atonement, the Character Approved Ronan is proving to be one of the most versatile actors on the big screen--and she's only 17.
[Images: Alex Bailey, Focus Features]