Saturday 21 September 2019

"It’s fantastic that it’s been blown open" - Irish actress Victoria Smurfit on women making allegations about Harvey Weinstein

Victoria Smurfit in 'The Secret Market'
Victoria Smurfit in 'The Secret Market'

Esther McCarthy

Irish actress Victoria Smurfit has applauded the women who have gone public with sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein - and said she hopes it will prevent other “rats” from abusing their power.

The Dubliner spoke out in support of the women who have shared their stories, and added that she feels lucky she’s never had such an experience in her lengthy career.

"I think it’s fantastic that it’s been blown open," she said.

"Any other rats it’ll put them back in their hole."

"There are many that have abused their power in any business, and anybody that has done so and knows it, will hopefully step down and away from thinking they can abuse their power again.

"I also think it’s going to give female producers opportunities in ways that they may not have had.

"The problem is, you only need one person to mess it up for the masses. Thank goodness that’s been outed."

She praised the women who have spoken out, and said she considers herself fortunate not to have had to do so.

"They’re using their power for good, and making an astonishingly difficult choice. I applaud it from the hills, but I’m lucky I never came across it."

The actress, whose new movie The Secret Market premieres at The Kerry Film Festival this weekend, has joined the cast of Marcella, the smash-hit crime drama that proved a big ratings winner for ITV and Netflix. She’s currently filming series two with Anna Friel in London.

"I play a woman married to a wealthy businessman and all is not as it seems. It’s dark and emotional and clever.

"Being back in London is fantastic, it’s such a real true melting pot.

"I’d heard everybody talking about it but I hadn't the chance to see it. When I knew I was getting on board, I thought: ‘Ah, I’ll watch episode one’. The next thing you know, the night’s gone and I’ve ploughed through the series and it’s 5am! It’s really compelling viewing so I’m thrilled to be part of it. And I’m getting to be Irish in it, which is great,” she added. 

"You only know from script to script who and what you are. You don’t find out whodunnit, every character is a dark shade of grey. You don’t really know until the series fins out who you really are, which is a fascinating way to work."

The busy actress’s new film, The Secret Market, was shot in Ireland and bows at Kerry Film Festival on Saturday. Directed by Garret Daly, the award-winning sci-fi thriller stars Smurfit as a doctor who’s offered the chance to ‘buy back’ a secret that is about to be revealed about her by mysterious strangers.

"Garret and I had an in-depth chat a few years ago and he came to me and said: ‘We’ve got this idea and we want to make it as a short, will you come and play Dr Amy’.

"I get to read a lot of stuff, I’m very lucky, and I kind of loved that… you know we come from a kind of curtain-twitching community, but now that curtain-twitching community is everywhere because of technology. You can spy on people in all sorts of ways.

"I liked this idea that if you did have this big horrendous secret, and there was a market for it, what you would do and how you would cope. It’s something that almost anyone can relate to, whether it’s a big or a small secret, that you don’t want everybody to know."

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