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The best and most famous bakery in Zubrowka is Mendl's - and it is there, amidst the rolling-pins and puff-pastry, that Zero meets Agatha, a striking young apprentice with a birthmark on her face, who makes the town's favorite pastry of all, the "Courtesan au chocolat." To play Agatha, Anderson cast Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, who received an Academy Award nomination at age 13 for her supporting role in Joe Wright's adaptation of ATONEMENT.

Ronan jumped in without reservation. The actress recalls her first day on the set, her first time working with Anderson: "I came in, and the whole place was just kind of buzzing," she remembers. "There were loads of people running around; and you could see everyone was at the top of their game because Wes is so specific about what he wants when it comes to the look and the style. You could see that everyone was really tuned into his way of working."

Agatha, in spite of her better judgment, eventually winds up at the center of Zero and Gustave's criminal exploits. Ronan explains: "She brings emotion to the story because Zero is so motivated by his love for her in everything he and Gustave are doing. I think Agatha doesn't at first realize what she's gotten herself into but she follows them all the way through because she loves them and believes in them."

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