Sunday 20 January 2019

Saoirse Ronan says Brexit border issue is 'a mess' and reveals mother protected her from 'seedy' side of Hollywood

Saoirse Ronan attends the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan attends the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Saoirse Ronan has described the Irish border debate and Brexit as a “mess”.

The Irish actress, 24, has also told of how she feels she was protected from a young age from abusive behaviour in Hollywood from her mother, and that she is thankful to have not been a victim.

Speaking of the ongoing Brexit debate around the Irish border, Ronan told Harper’s Bazaar: “I was watching RTE news and they were talking about the border – and it’s such a mess.”

Both the UK and the European Union are keen to avoid a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but the potential no-deal Brexit could put that in jeopardy.

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Margot Robbie (left) and Saoirse Ronan at the premiere for Mary Queen of Scots (Isabel Infantes/PA)

She added, referring to the actress Eileen O’Higgins: “One of my friends, Eileen, is from Down, in Northern Ireland; even I didn’t fully appreciate what the reality of it was.”

Ronan, who rose to fame at the age of 13 in Atonement, also said she is “sure I would have been exposed” to abuse in the film industry had it not been for her mother.

She added: “I wasn’t unaware that there were people in the industry who abused their power, or who were seedy or untrustworthy.

“But 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.”

Ronan, who has been nominated for three Oscars, next appears in Mary Queen Of Scots opposite Margot Robbie and will also appear in the forthcoming star-studded adaptation of Little Women at the end of 2019.

However, she is keen to challenge herself to working behind the camera in the future.

She said she has “always” wanted to be a director, 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.”

Harper’s Bazaar is available now.

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