As a Hollywood A-lister, Saoirse Ronan might have expected to be pampered in movie sets.
But the 29-year-old has now revealed how she braved chilly temperatures and 4.30am to help deliver seven lambs on a Scots farm for her latest movie role.
The Irish actress was trained in how to help sheep give birth to their offspring while starring in The Outrun.
The film is set on Orkney and the actress plays a recovering alcoholic who returns to her family’s farm on the island of Papa Westray after a decade of hedonistic living in London.
The four-time Oscar nominee said: ‘I delivered seven lambs. That was very terrifying. I didn’t know if I was going to kill the lamb as I was pulling them out.
Saoirse Ronan at the British Academy Scotland Awards in Glasgow, 2022
‘You have to rub them really aggressively to get the air moving through them. If you don’t do that, they’ll die.
‘Lambing season takes place at a certain time every year. In Orkney, it’s around April.
‘We would get to the farm at about 4:30am. We did it for about three or four days.
‘You’d know which ewe was going to go into labour in the next hour. You’d have to pinpoint the ewe in a pen of maybe 40 sheep and tackle it, which is really difficult.
‘They’re really strong and don’t want to be caught. I’d put my leg on the ewe and make sure she’s calm and pull her lamb out.
Miss Ronan filming The Outrun on set in Kirkwall
Papa Westray, top, is a small island of the Orkney archipelago
‘I was totally up for doing it, but I was really scared. I grew up in the country, but not on a farm.’
In The Outrun, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last week, Ronan plays a character based on author Amy Liptrot, whose best-selling memoir recounts her return to Papa Westray.
The Outrun has sold more than 110,000 copies in the UK and the box office adaptation by German director Nora Fingscheidt also features Game of Thrones star Stephen Dillane.
Saorise Ronan, right, plays a character based on author Amy Liptrot, left, in The Outrun
Jack Lowden and Saoirse Ronan in Scotland
Filming took place in London and Edinburgh, as well as Orkney’s largest town of Kirkwall, and Papa Westray – also known as Papay.
The movie was co-produced by Arcade Pictures, an independent film and TV production company run jointly by Ronan and her partner, Scots actor Jack Lowden.
Ronan, who was Oscar-nominated for her performances in Atonement, Brooklyn, Lady Bird and Little Women, said she was comfortable doing a Scottish accent because she spends so much time in the country with Lowden.
Speaking to Variety, she added: ‘I’ve done a fully Scottish accent before in Mary Queen of Scots, which I’d love to redo.
‘I live half my life up in Scotland now, so I’m more in tune with the accent. In general, Irish people are a bit louder than Scots. The Irish accent is more round and very muscular. The Scottish keep everything a bit flatter.
A sheep farm on Papa Westray in the Orkney islands
‘The book was introduced to me through Jack, who also produced it and is a proud Scotsman.
‘He had been to the Orkney Islands and had completely fallen in love with the place, the people and the culture.
‘That’s when he discovered The Outrun. We were in lockdown a few years ago and he said, ‘You need to read this because this is the role you need to play’.
‘I instantly fell in love with Amy’s writing and how she captured the struggle of addiction.’