Saoirse Ronan Cast As Leading Lady In ‘Effie,’ But Is The Role Too Adult?

In Hollywood, everything comes in threes. More often than not, that’s referring to celebrity deaths and trilogies, but today it’s about Saoirse Ronan, who is getting her third title role in just one year. First it was “Hanna,” which cast Ronan as a 14-year-old Eastern European cold-blooded killing machine. Then it was opposite Alexis Bledel in “Violet and Daisy,” which follows two teenage hitgirls named (duh!) Violet and Daisy who get sucked into some serious trouble.

To complete the hat trick, Production Weekly has announced via tweet that Ronan will be starring in the Emma Thompson– and Greg Wise-scripted flick “Effie,” which would cast Ronan as — you guessed it — the title character Effie Gray. The film will follow Gray’s disastrous marriage to John Ruskin, a Victorian art critic and poet, and focus largely on their sexual relationship (or lack thereof) and a love triangle that results from that. Sure, Ronan played a teenager who was raped (off camera) in “The Lovely Bones” and made some pretty big mistakes in “Atonement,” but do we really need to point out that she’s only 16?

She definitely isn’t the first actress to push the age barrier in her roles in recent years. Dakota Fanning got plenty of flack for her rape scene in “Hounddog,” and only this year Chloe Moretz was lambasted for killing dozens of bad guys and using the C-word in “Kick-Ass.” And there have been way more examples over the years.

But two roles as a ruthless killer and now one that focuses on a Victorian marriage and sexual behaviors seems a bit excessive. Thompson told the Telegraph about the script: “I think you need to go into the past to examine sexual mores to get clues about our behavior now… The so-called sexual revolution was probably inevitable, but with many revolutions mistakes are made.” The film will portray Gray’s character in a positive light, but for the record Gray was 17 years old when she married Ruskin — though, to be fair, she and Ruskin didn’t once have sex during their nine years of marriage.

Ronan is a great actress and I’m not trying to argue that she shouldn’t be cast in serious roles. Her performances over the past three years have continued to show off her great ability. It just seems a bit inappropriate that she should be cast in four such adult roles before she is legally an adult. At least there don’t seem to be any doubts about casting her as a leading lady, which I’d say bodes well for the rest of her career.

Do you think Ronan is too young to be playing the roles she’s been cast in? Does “Effie” sound like an interesting film to you? Tell us in the comments!