Many actresses have given incredible performances as Josephine March, the protagonist of Little Women. But now that Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the beloved classic has hit theaters, the consensus seems to be that Saoirse Ronan was simply born to play the role. And it turns out that the actress knew she was meant to play Jo March — and she found the perfect way to prove it.

Greta Gerwig has proven herself on the indie circuit, but Little Women was her first major studio film. She recently told Variety that she was “hell bent” on making Little Women, even though she felt a lot of pressure to get it right. And even though she admits to feeling terrified, she said both she and Saoirse Ronan were able to channel their inner Jo March in their quest to get the film made.

Greta Gerwig previously directed Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird — and she remembers the actress being overwhelmed by the responsibility of carrying that film. But both she and Saoirse Ronan have made it clear that when it came to Jo March, she knew was ready for the challenge. In an interview with Variety, she discussed feeling confident in her ability to bring the beloved Little Women character to life:

The actress has also spoken about why she was so keen to play Jo March in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation. In a conversation with NPR, Saoirse Ronan said:

If Little Women’s performance at the box office is anything to go on, Saoirse Ronan is definitely right about that. The film shattered expectations for its opening weekend, and has a lot of word of mouth momentum behind it. Plus, the film is a huge hit with critics, who are raving about Saoirse Ronan’s performance as Jo March.

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