The Ammonite actress speaks about her Lady Bird and Little Women co-star, as well as her forthcoming film in a new conversation at TIFF
The Kate and Leo of our generation, Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, have starred as love interests together in Lady Bird and Little Women – according to Ronan, that’s just the beginning.
Speaking in a Zoom conversation with writer Anne T. Donahue as part of the Toronto International Film Festival for her new (lesbian! Paleontology!) film Ammonite, Ronan was asked about her experience working with Chalamet. “I always knew he was very special. And he was very magnetic as an actor. We’ve always just felt very comfortable with one another,” she shared.
“We’re very different in the way we work and the kind of performances that we give, and that really excites me – how different we both are. He’s someone who I want to continue to work with because I’m just quite interested to see how it goes,” she continued. “As we get older and when we have more and more experience, what it’s like when we come back together.”
Ronan and Donahue also discussed the experience of working with director Greta Gerwig who brought Ronan and Chalamet together for both films. Ronan says it was intimidating to perform the part in front of Gerwig who the character of Lady Bird is based on. “I was very conscious of the fact that Greta is such a presence,” she said. “Such an individual as a personality that I couldn’t just kind of carbon copy who she was or what she’d done in other films.”
One day, she revealed, the inspiration for Beanie Feldstein’s character came to set. “I remember (Beanie) turned to me and she said ‘God, it’s actually quite intimidating having the real-life person here.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah. I know. Tell me about it!’”
On Ammonite itself, a Victorian-era drama centred around the real paleontologist and fossil hunter Mary Anning (played by Kate Winslet), and Charlotte Murchison, Ronan talked about Winslet and how much the two women got along. “We were just really lucky we got on straight away. Two women getting to come together, and with more of the intimate scenes and being able to choreograph the love scenes ourselves was great. Especially with Kate.”
“I guess the whole point is that the ammonite, the fossils, symbolises the beginning of something. It takes so much time and care and patience to find something beautiful in it and that's what these women do for each other.”
While we still have to endure a few months until Ammonite’s November release we can, in the meantime, continue to watch the trailer and enjoy how gay it is and also look at these pictures of the – uncharacteristically upbeat and modern for a lesbian film – upcoming “gay Christmas rom-com” Happiest Season.