Actress Saoirse Ronan used to stage “long, intricate” soap operas with her dolls when she was younger. The 21-year-old’s star is on the rise since she landed an Oscar nomination at the tender age of 13 for her role in Atonement. Her father began his own acting career when he and her mother moved in New York in the ’80s, and Saoirse got caught up in performing from a young age.

People in Newyork convinced her dad to audition for a play,” she recalled to W magazine of her dad’s time in the Big Apple. “He did it as a lark, but got the part. I am an only child, and I would disappear into my own world. I staged long, intricate soap operas with my dolls. My father saw that I was drawn to the camera, and I think he felt it took me out of myself.” With the help of her dad’s agent, Saoirse landed her first acting career. After that came her first film role in 2007 I Could Never Be Your Woman.

Watch the trailer of Atonement