Here's why the two-time Oscar nominee gets our vote as a woman to watch (and seriously crush on)
1. Her delightfully Irish name, Saoirse. The 21-year-old's full name is Saoirse Úna Ronan — it doesn't get anymore typically Irish than that. In the line of notable Irish names in entertainment (such as Siobhan from the Sugababes, pronounced "Show-vahn"), the Dubliner's name is pronounced "Ser-sher" — "like 'inertia'", as she candidly told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show recently.
2. She received her first Oscar nomination when she was just 12. Yup, while you were busy worrying about the onset of puberty and whether you would make any new friends in secondary school, Ronan had already gotten her first Oscar nod for her supporting role in Atonement. A film adaptation of Ian McEwan's 2001 novel, she starred as the younger sister Briony Tallis alongside then screen favourite Keira Knightley and James McAvoy. In fact, fans of the film would have recognised the then-unknowns who played minor yet pivotal roles in the film: Benedict Cumberbatch and Juno Temple.
3. She dug deep into her own experiences for her role in Brooklyn. In playing the role which has gotten her the second Oscar nod in her career — this time for Best Actress in a Leading role — Ronan plays Ellis, a young Irish woman who moves to Brooklyn and falls in love with an Italian-American, Tony (played by Emory Cohen). Ronan herself is no stranger to departures and goodbyes. Like JLo, she's actually from the block — born in The Bronx, she moved to Ireland when she was three, then settled in Dublin as a teen.
4. She partnered with Hozier to raise awareness on domestic violence in the music video, Cherry Wine. The music video for Cherry Wine saw the Oscar nominee play an abused spouse, whose bruises were expertly hidden under makeup, only to be revealed later on. Teaming up with fellow Irish artist Hozier, the music video was aptly released on Valentine's Day, with all proceeds going to women's aid charities.
5. Career-wise, it's nothing but uphill from here. Ronan is set to make her Broadway and theatre debut in a revival of The Crucible, playing the role of Abigail Williams in the story of Salem's witch trials. Meanwhile on the film front, it's been announced last week that she'll star in yet another adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel, On Chesil Beach. While the male lead hasn't been cast yet, she'll take on the role of one-half of a honeymooning couple in this heartbreaking story.