Saoirse Ronan says her mother ‘protected’ her from Hollywood abuse

‘Because of her I was never a victim,’ says Irish actress

The first trailer for Mary Queen of Scots has been released, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. Video: Focus Features


Saoirse Ronan has spoken of how she feels she was protected by her mother from a young age from abusive behaviour in Hollywood.

Ronan - who rose to fame at the age of 13 in Atonement - told Harper’s Bazaar she was “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 previously spoke to The Irish Times about the role her mother played in protecting her from potential abuse.

“She was always fiercely protective of my rights,” she said in an interview last February. “Not in a way where she was mollycoddling me. She let me do the work I wanted to do.”

In the magazine interview, Ronan also described the Irish Border debate and Brexit as 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.

“I was watching RTÉ news and they were talking about the Border — and it’s such a mess,” Ronan said.

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 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.”  - Additional reporting PA