Saoirse Ronan: 'I have always felt very, very protective over any young person that comes on to a film set'
Saoirse Ronan said she feels particularly protective over young actors because of her own early start in acting.
The 23-year-old was famously nominated for her first Oscar when she was just 12 years for Atonement and spent her teenage years growing up on film sets around the world, going on to earn two more nominations. Saoirse said she was always protected by her parents Monica and Paul, but is aware of the vulnerability of someone younger in the industry.
"I think for me because I did start when I was young, I have always felt very, very protective over any young person that comes on to a film set and just making sure that they're okay and they're not being taken advantage of or anything like that," she told Sky News.
"Regardless of gender, I think just young people on set, I know that you do need someone to look after you and make sure you're ok and it is a big thing when it's another actor as well and it's someone who is your peer, someone who you look up to.
"It also just gives you a real sense of community so I do feel like that is something that everyone is definitely becoming more of a part of now but I've always felt like I've wanted to make sure kids are alright when they're on set anyway."
She will be attending the BAFTAs in London tonight and is endorsing another blackout on the red carpet, which she says adds "more of a sense of purpose".
Saoirse is a vocal advocate of the #MeToo movement and Time's Up initiative and recently joined a host of other high profile actresses including Emma Watson and Keira Knightley, pledging their support for the new new UK Justice and Equality Fund in an open letter published in The Observer.
The letter cites the BAFTAs, "our industry’s time for celebration and acknowledgment", as an opportunity to shed light on their cause.
"Perhaps Time’s Up seems a million miles away to you – started by a group of women with privilege. The truth is, we are all workers, and whether we’re in the limelight or in the shadows, our voices matter," it reads. "With our collective power, we can galvanise others.
In 2018, we seem to have woken up in a world ripe for change. If we truly embrace this moment, a line in the sand will turn to stone.
"Finally, we are talking to each other, talking to our employers, our unions, our male allies and challenging our perpetrators and their enablers. Where there was isolation and silence in the film industry there is now connection and voice. Where there was internalisation and self-blame, there is now self-analysis and interrogation.
"We are connecting and partnering with our fellow workers, women and men, in a truly transformational way. Such unity has been inspirational for all of us. We want you to be part of this.
"If you have said 'time's up', if the stories you have read in the papers have resonated and distressed you – join us in shifting the dial. Let’s make 2018 the year that time was up on sexual harassment and abuse.