Saoirse Ronan has spoken of her excitement at getting to break Timothee Chalamet’s heart in the new adaptation of Little Women.

The duo, who appeared together in Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird, will reunite to play Jo March and Laurie in the director’s follow-up film.

They will star opposite Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Florence Pugh in a new version of Louise May Alcott’s classic novel.

Ronan told Vanity Fair: “I loved that in Lady Bird, he was the one that broke my heart, but I got to break his heart in Little Women.”

Gerwig added that the film will explore their intimate relationship, with the pair even swapping clothing throughout the story.

She said: “Jo is a girl with a boy’s name, Laurie is a boy with a girl’s name.

“In some ways they are each other’s twins.

“They find each other before they’ve committed to a gender. It wouldn’t be wrong to call Saoirse handsome and Timotheee beautiful.

“Both have a slightly androgynous quality that makes them perfect for these characters.

“I’m so blessed to work with [Saoirse] twice. She’s such a filmmaker as an actor. She’s like a barometer of… that truth that rings true.”

Ronan added of Gerwig: “In the truest sense of the word, I just idolise her.”

While the director said the story of Little Women “feels like autobiography”, Ronan said she too is similar to strong-willed Jo.

Describing the plays that she, like Jo, staged as she was growing up, Ronan said: “Just like the March sisters, nobody else wanted to do it.

“I was like, ‘No, no it’ll be fun. It’ll be fun because I’m in charge’.”

Little Women is due for release in the UK in January.