Saoirse Ronan, Variety

Beau Grealy for Variety

All in the name of good art. 

Saoirse Ronan is undoubtedly one of the best young actors in the entertainment industry today. She's starred in films such as Lady Bird, Brooklyn and The Lovely Bones, and on Dec. 25 she'll hit the big screen once again in the Greta Gerwig directed film Little Women. Saoirse sat down with Variety to talk all about the film, and the surprising reason she slapped her co-star Florence Pugh in the face while on set. 

"To get amped up before scenes about sibling squabbles, Pugh would ask Ronan to 'slap her in the face, which I did," she revealed to the magazine."That's the thing with myself and the girls, and Timmy [Chalamet], and the other young actors. We're now growing up in a film industry where we can do that in a way I don't think they could when other adaptations of this film were made."

Slapping co-stars was all a part of the process on this film for Saoirse, who revealed that this character was a lot easier to slip into then the one she played in her iconic film Lady Bird.

"It was a big step up for me as an actor. Even with something like Lady Bird, I was fully terrified every day," she shared. "I felt, ‘I'm going to ruin this. I'm going to mess it up.' I really felt that. It was a great experience, but I was constantly on the phone to my mom or my friends saying, ‘I can't do it.' It wasn't like that with Little Women."

The actress instantly her role in the classic story. "I was ready to jump out of line and take it on," she explained of her character. "Jo is such an important figure for so many girls, and I didn't feel daunted by it. I was precious with her."

For Saoirse, not only was the role rewarding, but she also bonded with her co-stars during production. "We had the most energetic, emotional set," the actress revealed. "We were loud and on top of each other all the time, making dirty jokes, messing about. We supported each other and egged each other on."

Little Women comes out in theaters on Dec. 25. 

Watch the 2019: What E! Year end-of-year special Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 10 p.m.! E! News returns Monday morning, Jan. 6 at 7 a.m.!

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