At only 15, and with two critically acclaimed movies and one Oscar nod under her belt, we’d better start pronouncing Saoirse Ronan’s name right: “It’s sur-shuh, like inertia.”

 

“It’s Irish for freedom,” the actress goes on to explain of her first name. “It’s gotten to the point where I’m checking my own name when I write it, because so many people misspell it.”

 

If her career continues on the trajectory it’s presently following, she won’t have to worry about that confusion much longer. After a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her role in 2007’s “Atonement,” Ronan takes on another weighty story in Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones,” about a young murder victim who watches her grieving family members from a purgatory-like “in-between.”

 

Even though she started filming the project at the tender age of 13, Ronan was able to keep disturbing subject matter in perspective.

 

“Luckily I’m not a method actor so it was sort of essential to me to try and forget about it at the end of the day,” she confesses.

Ronan is right between the two worlds of childhood and adulthood herself, confidently answering each rapid-fire question as she bounces one of her multi-colored sneakered feet under the table. Her parents are sitting only a few feet away while we chat.

But from the looks of things, she’s no Lindsay Lohan in the making. When asked about which child actress she’d most like to emulate, Ronan reveals formidable goals. “Probably Jodie Foster or Natalie Portman. Not only because they’re great actresses and they’re intelligent and they picked good roles and they’re nice people, but also because they directed as well, and I want to direct, too.”