Saoirse Ronan praises women behind feminist movements in Hollywood

Saoirse Ronan speaks about filming Lady Bird

Irish star Saoirse Ronan has revealed that she is proud to be a feminist and praised her fellow female stars for the success of the Time’s Up and Me Too movements.

The movements shined a light on just how prevalent sexual harassment and abuse was in Hollywood, with many high profile male producers and actors being accused of abusing their power.

Women around the world shared their experiences of sexual misconduct as part of the ‘Me Too’ social media movement which opened many people’s eyes, to how common the problem really was.

Saoirse Ronan speaks about filming Lady Bird
This led to the Time’s Up movement which saw women in Hollywood and beyond stand in solidarity and demand changes be made.

Now, Lady Bird star Saoirse Ronan has praised the women who have brought the matter into the spotlight.

She said: “There is a female revolution going on right now. We’re at a point where you can’t escape and we have to do something about it, on both sides – men and women.

“I can see in our industry so many women have come together to actively pursue civil rights and create a safer and fairer environment.

“We’ve gone from saying, ‘Yes, we really need to make a change and we’ve all got to stick together’ to, ‘Oh f***, we really need to make a change.’”

“Now more than ever, feminism is at the core of my life.”

Ronan says that it is the perfect time for female filmmakers to come in to the spotlight with Lady Bird writer director Greta Gerwig becoming the fifth female director to receive an Oscar nomination.

She said: “There has to be (a change). I really do think there is; I think with Lady Bird and with Wonder Woman (which was directed by Patty Jenkins) as well, because it was such a huge hit and such a big blockbuster, there will be a change.

“The conversation is just too big now to go away.

“And first and foremost, the best material has to be the stuff that gets made, but in order to make it as diverse as possible, women, for example, need to be able to get a meeting with the executive and kind of go, ‘Here’s my piece of work – now decide what you will, whether you think it’s good or not’.

“But there needs to be the option, at least.”

She added that the recent changes in the world have fuelled a need for change in the sort of films getting made in Hollywood.

She said: “I do think as well that the type of films that have come out over the last year are also a reflection on the massive, massive changes that we’ve all gone through in the last couple of years, politically and otherwise.

“The likes of Brexit and Trump and all this stuff has really affected all of us and our creativity and needing to go, ‘I have to say something’.

“So I think people were hungry for a film like this, without even realising it. And when it came along, the reaction we got to it was sort of like, ‘Why weren’t we doing this all along?’

“And it’s because, really, women wouldn’t have gotten in the door, and going, ‘I want to make this film about a teenage girl’ just wouldn’t have been plausible.

“But it does feel like this was the right time for it to come out.”

Ronan has also spoken of how her acting career caused her to miss out on having a normal teenage life.

She began as a child actor on Irish TV and received her first Oscar nomination at age 13 for her performance in Atonement.

Despite Ronan’s achievements, she is disappointed to have missed out on a social life during her teens.

She said: “I feel like I missed out on a fun, typical, goofy teenage life, I really wanted to go to NYU [New York University] for a long time.”

She also discussed how she didn’t have acne until she was around 21 years old and decided to not cover it with make up for the filming of Lady Bird as she wanted to show teenagers as they really are.

Take a look at the video below.

Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling