Saoirse Ronan, Irish Oscar Nominee
Pacific Coast News
So Saoirse Ronan grabs an Oscar nomination, which is not really a surprise, given that the buzz about Brooklyn has been huge, and that she’s a great actress. Remember, it’s not even her first nomination – that was for Atonement, back in 2008.
What was a surprise was getting an amazing email yesterday from Aisling (ASHling), telling me that some in Ireland are beginning to accuse Saoirse of ‘Irishing-up’ her accent and general persona as she did North American press. Aisling doesn’t think so, but she’s not surprised at the reaction. In fact, she says it’s typical for how the Irish see those who become internationally known:
“A weird mix of admiration, pride and disdain. Once someone gets big in some way there’s often a kind of tacit agreement that the public/some bits of media have to take them down a peg.”
This resonated with me not just because of my Irish family (Aisling’s assertion did not surprise any of them in the least) and my interest in Saoirse, but because it sounds like somewhere else I know.
Canadians are also well known for Tall Poppy Syndrome, where anyone who grows above the others needs to be taken down a peg. Not always, of course, and not everyone, but it’s something we’re quite familiar with. Fellow nominee Rachel McAdams is extra-notable because she’s mostly been able to escape it.
So keep your eye on the Saoirse story now that we’re down to the final paces. Is every conversation about shamrocks and leprechauns? Is she being unfairly maligned for no reason? Case in point—after the Saoirse-and-Colbert exchange the other day where she taught him to say Gaelic names, some commenters griped that she didn’t even bother to explain that some names were missing their accents. Because that’s her fault, right?
Then again, she’s an Irish actress in a movie about being Irish-or-maybe-American…wouldn’t you play it up? Consciously or unconsciously? If you thought it would make a difference?
Thanks Aisling for pointing out an interesting facet of this year’s race; let’s see how it plays out on our way to Feb 28th…