Saiorse Ronan on 'The Hobbit': 'Hopefully they have a part for me'
Production on "The Hobbit" is already under way in New Zealand with a diverse cast. But don't rule out the possibility of a star of a previous Peter Jackson film winding up in the two-part epic.
Saiorse Ronan, the breakout "Atonement " actress who worked with Jackson on the 2009 spiritual drama "The Lovely Bones," says that while her much-rumored casting in the fantasy franchise isn't "confirmed," she's optimistic that she'll be starring amid the dragons and wizards.
"Pete is adding a lot of characters in the film adaption," she said. "Hopefully they have a part for me."
The 16-year-old, whose action thriller "Hanna" comes out April 8 (more on her and that shortly), declined to reveal what part she'd play in "The Hobbit." Instead, she offered that "on IMDB they say I'm playing an elf [specifically Itaril, a character not in the novel that was described in casting reports as a young female fighter who falls in love with an elf lord]. "We’ll just have to figure it all out."
Speaking in Los Angeles, Ronan said that the primary reasons she'd want to be involved in the films is Jackson and chance to return to New Zealand, where "Bones" was shot.
"It would be great to go back. I love Pete," she said. "It’s such an amazing family unit down here because it's such a small country, and they use a lot of the same crew [for each film]." (Ronan is currently traveling to promote "Hanna" but could easily jet down to New Zealand once her tour is over.)
Ronan said she hasn't yet read the "Hobbit" script but did read the J.R.R. Tolkien original and found herself enraptured.
"It’s magical and it’s a fantasy, but the characters in this story are also so real," she said. "Bilbo’s such an insecure man. He’s comfortable in his life but he’s kind of reaching out for something else even though he won't admit it."
She expects Jackson to bring a different touch than with his previous Tolkien adaptations. "It's a little bit lighter than 'Lord of the Rings,' and Pete is quite a lighthearted man," she said. "He likes to have fun."
— Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Sairose Ronan in "The Lovely Bones." Credit: DreamWorks