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Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet asked gay friends for advice before tackling a lesbian romance in new film Ammonite

Patrick Kelleher September 24, 2020
Kate Winslet Saoirse Ronan kiss Ammonite

Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet share a kiss in the first trailer for Ammonite, directed by Francis Lee (Twitter)

Ammonite star Saoirse Ronan has revealed that she and Kate Winslet went to gay friends for advice before playing lovers in the new lesbian film.

The romantic drama, directed by Francis Lee, has already been showered with praise by film critics, with Ronan and Winslet tipped for major awards success.

Speaking to Variety about the film, Ronan explained how she approached gay friends to find out how to best represent the queer experience on-screen.

“Any of the gay women that I have spoken to — and I think Kate did as well — before we started this, we were sort of asking them advice, just about different things that we as straight women maybe wouldn’t know about,” the Irish actor said.

“One thing that a lot of the gay friends of mine said was that they didn’t really feel like there were very many movies that actually represented the lesbian experience, and went into the intimacies of that — not just the sexual side of it, but just the relationship as a whole.”

Ronan said lesbian friends cited the 2018 film Disobedience as one of the only movies to adequately represent the lesbian experience.

Elsewhere in the interview, Ronan said she took on the role of Charlotte in Ammonite because she wanted to play a more “restrained” character, following her acclaimed performance as Jo March in Little Women.

Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan ‘had to be specific’ about Ammonite queer love story.

In the same panel discussion, Kate Winslet spoke of her excitement at working with Saoirse Ronan on the film – and the actors spoke about how they mapped out their performances in rehearsals.

“We had to be quite specific about just when their hands get very close,” Winslet said.

“Or that feeling of ‘Oh, did she just touch my back?’ Just tiny little things – like when Mary smiles when they’re cleaning the fossil that they find together.”

Winslet previously told The Hollywood Reporter that she and Ronan choreographed their own sex scenes in the film.

We’ll do this with the kissing, boobs, you go down there, then you do this.

“Francis was naturally very nervous,” she said. “And I just said to him, ‘Listen, let us work it out’. And we did. ‘We’ll start here. We’ll do this with the kissing, boobs, you go down there, then you do this, then you climb up here.’

She continued: “I mean, we marked out the beats of the scene so that we were anchored in something that just supported the narrative.

“I felt the proudest I’ve ever felt doing a love scene on Ammonite. And I felt by far the least self-conscious.”

 

More: ammonite, francis lee, Kate Winslet, saoirse ronan, variety

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