‘Little Women’: Saoirse Ronan’s Clever Hacks to Help Us All Pronounce Her Name

Saoirse Ronan has no problem snagging great roles in beloved movies. Her upcoming film, Little Women, is based on the classic Louisa May Alcott book and opens Dec. 25.

It’s already generated quite an Oscar buzz for the Irish actress in her role as Jo March.

Saoise Ronan
Saoise Ronan | Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

One problem Ronan does have is getting people to say her name correctly. After the Oscars ceremony in a few months, it’s a good bet people will have a hard time not saying her name, both correctly and often.

In the meantime, find out the clever tactics the actress has had to resort to in order to get her name pronounced right.

Ronan Has Had to Teach Show Hosts How to Say Her Name

Appearing on Saturday Night Live in 2017, Ronan broke into an earworm of a song explaining her name. She acknowledged it’s a doozy of a name to say.

“Yes, I am very Irish, and I have an extremely Irish name. Some would say too Irish. It’s ‘Saoirse,'” the 25-year-old said in her SNL appearance. “It means ‘freedom.’ But I’ve got a little problem, you see. It’s spelled, well, it’s spelled wrong. It’s a full typo. S-A-O-I-R-S-E. You can see why people have a hard time. You know, if it were a Wheel of Fortune puzzle, you couldn’t afford it. There are too many vowels!”

On a visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2016, she wore a clever body-sized sign to help out anyone wondering how exactly to say her name.

She told People in 2016 how Ryan Gosling was her most prominent ‘evangelist’ when it came to explaining her name. In fact, he did so at an awards show, telling the crowd that her name is pronounced ‘Sersha’ like ‘inertia.’ She saw the fruit of his explanation a couple of weeks later.

“Someone sent me a photo two weeks later of a cinema in Minnesota,” she told People that year, “and on the sign in the front, it said Brooklyn and then underneath, it said, ‘Ser-sha, Like Inertia.’ I couldn’t believe it! They actually put it on the front of the cinema, so the power of Ryan Gosling is stronger than anything else.”

Her massive Oscar buzz for ‘Little Women’

Ronan’s been nominated three times for an Oscar – once for Best Supporting Actress in Atonement (at age 12, she was one of the youngest actresses ever nominated), and then twice more for Best Actress in 2016’s Brooklyn and 2018’s Lady Bird.

If the pre-release buzz surrounding her performance in Little Women is any indication of her Oscar chances, then 2020 may be the actress’ year to take home the golden statuette.

Still, Ronan has her work cut out for her this year. Although she’s received dazzling accolades for Little Women, she has some incredibly stiff competition from Renée Zellweger for Judy; Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story; Charlize Theron in Bombshell; and Awkwafina for The Farewell.

With a Possible Oscar Win, She May No Longer Need to Explain Her First Name

The Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 9, 2020. If Ronan is nominated for Best Actress and wins, ‘Saoirse’ may no longer require the ‘it’s Saoirse, like inertia’ disclaimer. We may be talking household name status.

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Disappointed upon learning that director Greta Gerwig was not nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Director, Ronan told Today this morning, “[Gerwig] has made one of the best movies of the year. . . [Greta is] a really brilliant filmmaker.”

“We wouldn’t be here without her. Our performances rely so much on one another, but Greta is the one who brought us all together, and she’s the mastermind of the whole thing.”

‘Little Women’ is in theaters on Dec. 25.

Read more: ‘Little Women’: What’s Saoirse Ronan’s Net Worth and What’s One of Her Surprisingly Favorite Movies?