“Lady Bird” is earning all kinds of praise for its real-life depiction of a mother-and-daughter relationship, but there might be one relatable part of the film that most viewers missed: lead actress Saoirse Ronan‘s acne scars.
In an interview with Racked, the 23-year-old actress opened up about her skin struggles and how she sought to represent a real teenager by bringing her acne scars to the big screen. Ronan revealed that she didn’t suffer from acne until a year before shooting “Lady Bird.” Due to fatigue and constantly wearing makeup, Ronan began developing blemishes.
“I’d never had bad skin before, but because I was really tired and wearing a lot of makeup, I started to get acne,” Ronan said. “I started to break out, and I’d never dealt with that before, so I didn’t know how to tackle it.”
When the camera testing for “Lady Bird” rolled around, Ronan was asked by the film’s makeup artist, Jacqueline Knowlton, how she felt about skipping the on-screen makeup and allowing her acne to shine. “Our makeup artist asked me how I’d feel about maybe not having them covered up as much. Luckily, I didn’t feel insecure about it!” Ronan said.
She reasoned that the film would be a great opportunity to show viewers that many young people, especially teenagers, struggle with acne. She admitted that in television shows and movies growing up, she often saw teenagers with flawless, perfect skin, which was a misconception she wanted to shatter with “Lady Bird.”
“I just felt like it was a great opportunity to show someone as they really are at that age. Because most young people do get bad skin!” Ronan said. “And I don’t think that’s something you get to see much. Growing up, a lot of of the teenage girls I saw in movies and TV shows were played by these fully formed 30-year-olds with great skin. I hope it helps young people—and anyone who struggles with their skin—to connect with the character.”
As if we didn’t need another reason to love “Lady Bird.” Props to Ronan for keeping it real with her skin, and we hope the rest of Hollywood follows suit.