Rising Star: Saoirse Ronan

If you've seen the Oscar nominated film "Atonement," you'll remember the young character, Briony Tallis, who set the whole film in motion with a lie that sends shockwaves through the lives of every other character.

Briony, played by Saoirse Ronan (pronounced "Seer-sha") told Access of "Atonement, " I knew it was going to be a really special film, from the first take, but I didn't realize it was going to be this huge."

"Huge" might not do justice to Saoirse's acting in the film. The young actress received an Oscar nomination for her work, landing her in the company of Cate Blanchett, Ruby Dee, Amy Ryan, and Tilda Swinton in the category of Best Supporting Actress.

Saoirse, who is only 13, lives in Ireland. She has been acting since she was eight-years-old. In "Atonement," she holds her own opposite acting heavyweights Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, often stealing the spotlight with acting skills well beyond her years.

Saoirse, whose father is also an actor, helped her audition for the film by reading the part of Cecelia, played by Knightley. She says with a smirk, "He really got into the part."

After donning wigs and fake moles for the audition process, Saoirse landed the coveted role of Briony.

"I cried!" she says, "I was so relived, because I really really wanted the part. It was the first time I wanted a part so much. And I just cried."

Access took Saoirse shopping at LA's famed fashion hotspot, Kitson, where she was very much a teenager.

"Handbags, and big bags, and any kind of bag," she exclaimed at the sight of Kitson's trendy bag selection. While munching on a Sprinkles cupcake, she toured the store trying on Victoria Beckham-inspired sunglasses and chic Ugg boots.

The excitement and accolades are only beginning for Saoirse. Next month, she'll attend her first Academy Awards, followed by the lead role in Peter Jackson's "Lovely Bones," opposite Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Mark Wahlberg.

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