After spending her early childhood years in New York, Ronan and her parents moved back to Dublin, where her parents were originally from. At the age of nine, Ronan starred in an episode of The Clinic, an Irish medical drama series. But she was clearly bitten by the acting bug, as it began a childhood of film appearances. Notably, she gave an Academy Award-nominated performance as Briony Tallis in Atonement, as one of the youngest nominees ever in the best supporting actress category.
After Atonement, Ronan was undoubtedly a child star. She appeared in The Lovely Bones, Hanna and The Grand Budapest Hotel, then later scored a second Oscar nomination for Brooklyn at the age of 19.
More recently, Ronan’s film credits include her award-winning performance as the title role in Lady Bird, starring alongside Laurie Metcalf, Beanie Feldstein and Timothée Chalamet. Ronan also played Jo March in the 2019 film adaptation of Little Women, and was in Ammonite alongside Kate Winslet.
As well as being an influential film actress, Ronan has also appeared on stage. In 2016, Ronan made her Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, playing Abigail Williams. A New York Theatre Guide review of The Crucible praised the 2016 revival, saying it was like director Ivo van Hove had “slowed time down. Nearly halted it in its tracks to the extent that we occasionally feel as though we are watching suspended animation.”
Ronan made her London stage debut in The Tragedy of Macbeth at the Almeida Theatre. She played Lady Macbeth in the production, opposite James McArdle as Macbeth.