She spoke about her character’s identity in an interview with Out.
In an interview with Out, ahead of the release of Little Women, Saoirse Ronan, who plays Jo March, has said that her character may identify as queer.
Making reference to how the character of Jo has been ‘queer coded’, the interviewer asks Saoirse whether the character would identify as LGBTQ if the story took place in a modern-day setting.
“This the first time in any adaption of the book that [her sexuality has] even in some way been addressed,” Saoirse explained.
“It wasn’t something that I was aware of in Louisa [May Alcott, the author of the book] until we started to do research for the movie and Laura [Dern, who plays Marmee March] in particular did so much research on like the letter she had written to her mother and diary entries and things like that.”
Referencing back to the character, she says: “That moment when she’s in the attic and she says, ‘I want to be able to love freely.’ That actually comes from Louisa’s words.
“And what I did really love about her is that she didn’t sort of put a lid on it. It was something that she was willing to acknowledge and I think she was self-aware enough to know that like there was something different about her.
“And something that made her sort of different from even her other sisters. And I think if she had had the language or even a term that she could use to go ‘oh maybe this is how I feel’ or ‘this is what I am and that’s okay and there’s a safe space for this.’
“And I could see her definitely experimenting with her sexuality for sure.”
The eighth feature film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1868 novel of the same name will star Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern.
Deep breath for even more star power: Bob Odenkirk, Louis Garrel, James Norton, Chris Cooper, Abby Quinn, Tracy Letts.
Little Women is scheduled for release in the UK on 26 December 2019 – watch the first official trailer below.