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Thursday 21 June 2018

Saoirse Ronan: 'I have always felt very, very protective over any young person that comes on to a film set'

Actress Saoirse Ronan arrives for the Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on February 5, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn BeckROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Actress Saoirse Ronan arrives for the Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on February 5, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn BeckROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Saoirse Ronan attends AARP's 17th Annual Movies For Grownups Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 5, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)
Saoirse Ronan attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 5, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan (L) and director Greta Gerwig attend the 90th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 5, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan Photo: Getty
Saoirse Ronan attends Entertainment Weekly's Screen Actors Guild Award Nominees Celebration sponsored by Maybelline New York at Chateau Marmont on January 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Actress Saoirse Ronan poses with the trophy for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy during the 75th Golden Globe Awards on January 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California. / AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWNFREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Keira Knightley at the Colette cast party in Cafe Artois during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on Saturday, January 20, 2018. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Stella Artois )
Keira Knightley attends the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Theatre Royal on December 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan at the 90th Oscars Nominees Luncheon
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

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.

Saoirse Ronan at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)
Saoirse Ronan at the Santa Barbara Award Honoring Saoirse Ronan Presented By UGG during The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2018 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SBIFF)

"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.

Keira Knightley attends the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Theatre Royal on December 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Keira Knightley attends the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards at the Theatre Royal on December 3, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

"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.

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