10 MARCH 2008

Just last month 13-year-old Saoirse Ronan was hobnobbing with the Oscar glitterati in Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. This week the young Irish actress, whose efforts in Atonement earned her an Academy Award nomination, was keeping stellar company again.

Against the backdrop of Sydney's Golden Harbour Bridge, the teen sensation joined Catherine Zeta-Jones to promote their new thriller Death Defying Acts.

With the Welsh star looking on, Saoirse handled questions about her role in the movie about a mother-daughter con artist team as confidently as any screen pro.

Since bursting onto the film scene in 2007, the youngster has received no end of plaudits. Fellow Atonement star Vanessa Redgrave described her young colleague as "a remarkable actress and a lovely girl".

Meanwhile, the film's director Joe Wright said: "Saoirse's an old soul for her age, and a remarkably quick study."

But lest anyone think the movie-star life is turning her head, Saoirse quickly proves them wrong. Asked what her plans are for the future, she replies: "To go back to school. I haven't been in school for about seven months."

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Welsh beauty was happy to let her young co-star Saoirse take many of the questions at a press conference in Sydney, at which they were joined by screen colleague Guy PearcePhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Death Defying Acts, the story of a mother and daughter con team who try to trick Houdini, is one of several films that have brought the 13-year-old to public attentionPhoto: © Getty Images
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