Saoirse Ronan has credited her mother with shielding her from influential Hollywood executives who preyed on young women.
The actress appears on the cover of 'Harper's Bazaar' magazine, with an interview where she touches on subjects from Brexit to the "seedy" underbelly of Tinseltown.
"I don't know what would have happened if she hadn't been around," she said of her mother, Monica, a former nanny. "I'm sure I would have been exposed to that quite a bit, but she just protected me from all that. I wasn't unaware that there were people in the industry who abused their power, or who were seedy or untrustworthy."
The actress is just 24 years old but has been in the movie industry for more than a decade. She made her breakthrough as Bryony Tallis in 'Atonement' - earning her an Oscar nomination at just 13.
Speaking about her mother, she added: "Because of her, I was never a victim and I'm very, very thankful.
"I didn't leave home at 19 all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I hadn't been wrapped in cotton wool but I had been protected."
The magazine has already sparked strong reaction on social media, partly because the words 'The Spirit of Great Britain' appear next to the Irish actress.
Ronan, who originally comes from Co Carlow, now lives in Greystones, Co Wicklow. She also described the Irish Border debate and Brexit as a "mess".
"I was watching RTÉ news and they were talking about the Border - it's such a mess," she told the magazine.
Following her early nomination for an Academy Award, she went on to be Oscar-nominated for 'Brooklyn' and 'Lady Bird'. In her latest film 'Mary Queen of Scots', which opens on January 18, she plays the lead role opposite Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I.
However, Ronan is keen to challenge herself to working behind the camera in the future, saying she has "always" wanted to be a director and adding: "I was more drawn to that as a kid than I was to acting. I love working with actors, but I always learn the most from the directors.
"It's their vision you're bringing to life, you have to adapt to their way of working. I like having to stretch myself to fit in with their requirements."
In a separate interview last week, Ronan said she had never been cast for her looks - but said there was a double standard in the film industry.
"I suppose I was playing girls from an early age that had nothing pretty about them - they were weird or they were tomboys," she said. "So many male actors are odd-looking, and they're just considered to be interesting, and they have amazing careers and they play romantic figures."