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Hot "Atonement" Star Saoirse Ronan Wants Career Break for High School

Jan 17, 2008

With her Golden Globe-winning "Atonement" a frontrunner for Oscar glory and a list of highly anticipated features on the way to screen, Saoirse Ronan is clearly on a fast track toward the kind of success grown-up stars might envy. However, the 13-year-old Irish actress tells us she's ready for a break.

Hot "Atonement" Star Saoirse Ronan Wants Career Break for High School (Image: Wenn)

"My agent has a few good scripts for me, but I'll wait to look at them until I've finished 'The Lovely Bones,'" informs Saoirse (pronounced "Sur-sha," which is Gaelic for "freedom") with a charming County Carlow lilt to her voice. "Unless something really special like 'Atonement' comes up, I'm going back to school. I'm after starting high school, as well, and I haven't been there yet. My best friend, who is in the same class, said they're all really excited. They can't wait to meet me. They made me a Christmas card."

Ronan's in the midst of filming Peter Jackson's big-screen adaptation of Alice Sebold's acclaimed best-seller. She's playing Susie Salmon, the character who, from an otherworldly vantage point, views goings-on after her rape and murder. With Mark Wahlberg as her father and Rachel Weisz her mother, "Lovely Bones" sequences in Pennsylvania have been completed, and now, she says, "we're doing all the heaven stuff in New Zealand. I love what we're doing. It's a fantastic appearance. It's going to be an amazing film. And everyone is so nice," she says.

Ronan, who also has "City of Ember" with Bill Murray and "Death Defying Acts" with Catherine Zeta-Jones on the way this year, is already wary of getting caught up in accolades and awards.

"Fame shouldn't really matter," she tells us. "I saw an interview with Nikki Blonsky a few days ago, and she was talking about how fame can go to people's heads -- the hair, the clothes, the paparazzi and everything. If that's why they came into this business, they're bound to be let down." But, she says, she's in this business because it's what she "loves to do. The hair and makeup are fun, but nothing compared to the excitement of making the movie. That's how I feel."

MAD ABOUT THE SHOW: "Mad Men" regular Elisabeth Moss says the troupe is still floating on air since the AMC series won the Golden Globe for Best Drama TV Series Sunday night.

"I can't even tell you how shocked we were," says Moss, who plays aspiring copy writer/secretary Peggy Olsen on "Mad Men." "We all had a big party to watch the Golden Globes press conference together, and we literally screamed about 10 minutes. Everyone was crying and hugging each other. We're kind of the underdog of TV shows. We have maybe an eighth of the viewers, and we're on a network that most people think is just old movies, so to get that validation was just great."

Meanwhile, the actress co-stars with Elijah Wood, Chris Klein and Jon Bernthal in the indie drama "Day Zero," opening in limited release tomorrow (Jan. 18). "It's about (the question): What if there were a draft for the war in Iraq and three brothers all get drafted? They all take different viewpoints. Jon's character is all about going and fighting for his country, but then he meets a girl and falls in love -- and that's me. It changes his viewpoint on what he wants to do. It's a very moving and honest story, and the performances are amazing. It's the best performance from Elijah Wood I've ever seen."

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Golden Globe nominees Debra Messing and Patricia Arquette were overheard last week not only lamenting about the awards being cancelled but about the fact they couldn't wear any of the gorgeous clothes by Dior, Versace, Gucci or Maggie Norris that they saw at the InStyle's Diamonds & Drama fashion show at the Beverly Hills Hotel.


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