The four-time Oscar nominee is making her British stage debut as Lady Macbeth in Yaël Farber’s production at London’s Almeida theatre.
She said she and the Mare of Easttown’s James McArdle decided to compare the tragic Shakespeare characters to a “modern power couple”.
“We keep thinking about Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as like a Kim and Kanye situation, where there have been stages to their success and real kind of highs and lows,” she told the BBC in an interview.
Kim and Kanye — often jointly known as 'Kimye' — announced earlier this year that they were divorcing after seven years of marriage. They began dating in 2012 and married in May 2014 in a lavish ceremony at a 16th-century fortress in Florence.
Ronan called them a “couple that is professional but also has tenderness”, adding: "There is so much of their private life that we don’t know.”
She said she and McArdle had found it helpful to call their characters Susan and Neil Macbeth “because this is a domestic tragedy about a couple”.
“The tragedy is that these two people who are soul mates and peers and very much partners in every way … when that starts to come apart, what we would hope is that, when people come to see it, that is when the sadness seeps in,” she said.
The Tragedy of Macbeth, as it will be billed, opens on October 1. The Almeida’s artistic director, Rupert Goold, said it presents a “more equivalent relationship” between the Macbeths than is usually shown.
The production was in the works before theatres were closed because of the pandemic and Goold said he was relieved that he had been able to keep a team of such in-demand talents together.
Ronan, who won acclaim on Broadway in a 2016 staging of The Crucible, is among several “extraordinary young actors” in the Almeida’s new season.
Speaking to Vogue earlier this week, Glasgow-born McArdle said the Macbeths in the new play are “far more in love than Romeo and Juliet”.
“They’ve been together for years, and have been through the death of a child. The play is about the tragedy of the Macbeths, not Macbeth alone.”
McArdle and Ronan have previously worked together on-screen in Josie Rourke’s period drama Mary Queen of Scots, as well as on Ammonite with Kate Winslet.
McArdle said Winslet plans on coming to see The Tragedy of Macbeth when it opens at the Almeida Theatre in London on 1 October, and run until 20 November.