Saoirse Ronan: Irish border Brexit debate is a mess

Mary Queen of Scots star Saoirse Ronan has described the Irish border debate and Brexit as a “mess”.

Mary Queen of Scots star 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.

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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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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.

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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.