Saoirse Ronan is an Irish-American actress who has risen to fame in recent years for her roles in critically acclaimed films like Lady Bird, Brooklyn, and Little Women.
However, despite her talent and success, Ronan has also garnered a fair share of critics and detractors. This article will explore some of the potential reasons why the actress rubs some people the wrong way.
Her Rapid Rise to Fame
One of the main sources of animosity towards Ronan is that her rise to stardom seemed unusually quick and easy. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 13 for her role in Atonement, making her one of the youngest actresses ever nominated.
This immediately launched her into the spotlight and gave her opportunities that most actresses work years or decades to achieve. While many praised her clear talent, others felt her success was undeserved or premature. Her privileged path to fame with seemingly little struggle has bred resentment among some.
Movies That Launched Her Career
- Atonement (2007) – Received Oscar nomination at age 13
- The Lovely Bones (2009) – First leading role in a major film
- Hanna (2011) – Transitioned to adult roles
- The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) – Gained critical acclaim
Her “Privileged” Background
Another source of dislike for Ronan is the perception that she comes from a privileged background, which gave her an advantage and leg up in the entertainment industry. She was born in New York City to Irish parents and raised in Ireland.
While not wealthy, her upbringing was comfortable enough that she was able to pursue acting, take trips to audition, and receive a top-notch education. She attended a private Catholic school in Ireland. Some believe this privileged background and access to opportunities facilitated her rapid career trajectory.
Details of Her Upbringing
- Born in New York City to Irish parents
- Raised middle-class in Ireland
- Attended private Catholic school
- Traveled to NYC and LA for auditions as a child
- Had citizenship and roots in both US and Ireland
Her “Unrelatable” Persona
In interviews and public appearances, Ronan comes across as elegant, introspective, and a bit eccentric. While clearly intelligent and articulate, her persona does not feel down-to-earth or relatable to many people.
She has quirky hobbies like taxidermy and speaks with a posh, clipped accent. This can make her seem pretentious or aloof. Her introspective nature and avoidance of social media also adds to her mystique versus being relatable.
Examples of Her Unrelatable Persona
- Has an elegant, refined demeanor
- Pursues unusual hobbies like taxidermy
- Very private, avoids social media
- Comes across as aloof or snooty to some
- Her accent sounds posh and polished
Her Tendency Towards “Oscar-bait” Roles
The type of roles Ronan tends to gravitate towards have also elicited criticism from some who feel she actively pursues “Oscar-bait” films to get awards attention. She often plays serious, dramatic characters in coming-of-age style indie films.
While these have certainly gained her critical praise, to some they feel contrived or overt attempts to win awards versus choosing fun, entertaining roles. Even her advocating for more female roles can feel like posturing to some.
Oscar-Bait Films She Has Starred In
- Atonement (2007)
- Brooklyn (2015)
- Lady Bird (2017)
- Little Women (2019)
- Ammonite (2020)
Her Diversity Controversies
Ronan has also faced some controversies related to diversity that have not sat well with some audiences. For example, when she played the role of an immigrant from Ireland in the film Brooklyn, some felt an actual Irish actress should have been cast.
There was similar debate around her playing the biracial character Hanna. Ronan has defended taking on diverse roles, but for some it still feels like cultural appropriation. This has tarnished her reputation among certain groups.
Main Diversity Controversies
- Playing Irish immigrant in Brooklyn
- Portraying biracial character Hanna
- Defensiveness about taking diverse roles
- Perception she takes roles from marginalized actors
Her Rejection of Typical Celebrity Culture
Lastly, Ronan’s eschewing of typical Hollywood culture and celebrity norms turns some people off. She rejects social media, maintains an extremely private personal life, and refuses to court fame or paparazzi attention.
While seen as admirable by some, others perceive this as pretentious or superior behavior. Her ambition to succeed as an actress while shunning the typical trappings of celebrity comes across as hypocritical to some critics. She wants the rewards without embracing the culture.
Ways She Rejects Celebrity Culture
- No public social media accounts
- Almost never discusses personal life
- Prefers stage acting to Hollywood blockbusters
- Dislikes self-promotion and schmoozing
- Actively avoids tabloid attention
In summary, Saoirse Ronan’s rapid rise to fame at a young age, privileged upbringing, unusual persona, preference for Oscar-bait films, diversity controversies, and rejection of celebrity culture have all contributed to a growing animosity and criticism toward the actress among some groups. However, she remains highly acclaimed and popular among mainstream audiences and critics.
Her talent at portraying troubled young women in coming-of-age films is undeniable, even if her path to the top and unconventional behavior makes her unpalatable to some. As long as she continues choosing prestigious roles, the criticism and hate are unlikely to greatly impact her career. Ronan has proven she can both gain awards and attract audiences on her own terms.
- Ronan’s quick career success breeds jealousy and resentment
- Her privileged background gave her advantages over others
- She comes across as aloof and unrelatable to many people
- She gravitates to serious Oscar-bait films rather than blockbusters
- Controversies related to cultural appropriation damaged her reputation
- Avoiding typical Hollywood culture rubs some the wrong way
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do people think Saoirse Ronan’s success came too easily?
Many resent that she achieved Hollywood stardom and critical acclaim at such a young age with seemingly little struggle. Being nominated for an Oscar at age 13 gave her a huge head start over most actors.
How did Ronan’s privileged background help her career?
Coming from a stable, middle-class family gave Ronan the support and resources to focus completely on acting at a young age. She could attend auditions, acting lessons, and an elite school without worrying about finances.
What makes Saoirse Ronan seem unrelatable to some people?
Ronan’s elegant but quirky persona, introspective nature, unusual hobbies, and avoidance of social media come across as aloof and pretentious rather than down-to-earth and relatable.
Why is Ronan accused of pursuing Oscar-bait films?
Ronan often chooses serious, indie films with coming-of-age themes that critic love but are not blockbuster crowd-pleasers. Some see these film choices as contrived attempts to win prestigious awards.
How has Ronan been criticized for lacking diversity?
Choosing to portray characters of different ethnicities like Irish and biracial roles have led to debates about whether she is taking roles from marginalized actors.