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January 30, 2016 08:05 PM

Saoirse Ronan has met her real-life Brooklyn counterpart.

The actress, 21, revealed that she recently met a person with a similar story to that of her Brooklyn character.

“Someone last night came up to me at a [Q&A] – he’s from Brooklyn, his dad is Italian, his mom’s Irish, he grew up in New York and the story just really resonated with him,” she told E! News at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday night.

Ronan said it’s getting to meet people who relate to the character that makes the film so much more special to her.

“And he said that he could really appreciate what they had gone through,” she continued. “And I thought that was lovely. Out of everything, to get a response like that is the world.”

In Brooklyn, Ronan plays an Irish immigrant who moves to New York and finds herself falling in love with an Italian plumber.

“I think it resonates with people because ultimately it’s just a story about leaving home,” she said. “And anyone above the age of 18-19 has experienced that and knows how it feels when you move to a new city or a new town or even if you just moved down the road. And you’re trying to create this life for yourself.”

Check out PEOPLE’s full 2016 SAG Awards coverage and complete winners list!

Ronan has had an impressive awards season thanks to her performance in the film. Not only is she up for an outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role award at tonight’s ceremony, but she also got a nod at the Golden Globes.

Earlier this month, she scored an Oscar nod.

The actress said her mom had to wake her up out of a deep sleep to give her the good news that she’s up for an Academy Award.

“I had earplugs in and I had an eye mask on, and suddenly I just heard muffled sounds of somebody crying and shouting at me over the bed,” she recalled. “It was either terrible news or wonderful news, and it turned out to be pretty great.”

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