The Wellness Practices Of An Oscar Best Actress Nominee
Lime-lit Hollywood is a far cry from Carlow, Ireland’s second-smallest county, where actress Saoirse Ronan grew up. But the 23-year-old, who is up for Best Actress at tonight's Oscar's for her work in Lady Bird, seems as true to herself on the red carpet as she might in the countryside. How does a small-town girl not only stay grounded amid the madness of Hollywood but thrive, picking up three Oscar nominations since her on-screen debut at 13? She practices wellness, and this is what it looks like.
Saoirse strives for 10 minutes a day with the meditation app Headspace. It helps her confront her fears and become more mindful of sabotaging self-talk. "I get anxious. I’m a big worrier," Ronan told the LA Times. "I worry about work. Whether I’ve upset someone. Not being able to do a good job. You get onto set sometimes and you’re like, ‘I’m worried I’ve forgotten how to act!'"
To craft a space for self-care, Saoirse rented an apartment while she was in Los Angeles promoting Lady Bird instead of staying in a hotel. She told the Times she wanted to be able to light her Diptyque candles, brew her own herbal tea, and the kicker: do her own laundry. "I think it’s good for me to go back at the end of the night and look after myself," she said.
Her close-knit family made a tradition of watching Seinfeld episodes after family meals while Saoirse was growing up. While they can't keep up the habit, they make a point of staying involved. While her mom is half a world away still living in Ireland, Saoirse, an only child, stays exceptionally close with daily phone calls. An actor himself, her father Paul Ronan helped guide Saoirse in her early days as an actress.
To keep up her energy, Saoirse loads up on veggies, with help from (who else?) her mom, Monica. When she arrived at an apartment for an extended stay in Los Angeles, she found the kitchen already stocked with Whole Foods groceries, ordered long-distance. "She bought vegetables for me to cook with," Saoirse said. "I have such a great mam. She makes sure I’m getting a good dinner from across the pond."
Advice from the "bloody brilliant" actress Emma Thompson guides Saoirse. She told Interview magazine that she heeds the actress's advice: "If your job is to play real people, then you need to be surrounded by real people in your everyday life." It's not a simple task for an in-demand actress. "You do have a lot of stuff done for you when you’re young as an actor," Ronan told the Times. "People tell you where to go, where to stand. People steam your dress and make you cups of tea. I remember on Atonement, an AD [assistant director] came over to me and asked me if I wanted anything, and I asked for a cup of tea. My mom called them back and said, ‘No, she’ll go and make her own tea.’ Little gentle reminders like that helped me separate real life from on-set life."
Elizabeth Inglese is a writer living in San Fransisco, California. She earned her bachelor’s in english literature and cultures from Brown University and her master's in writing from The University of Southern California. She's the former Deputy Editor of mbg, and has also worked for Vogue, Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, and Good Magazine covering food, health, and culture. A collector of curious facts and an avid puzzle solver, Inglese is happiest when cooking for her family and friends.