Belfast Telegraph

Saoirse Ronan: I hope film gets people talking about sex

Saoirse Ronan plays a woman on her honeymoon in 1962 in the film version of On Chesil Beach.

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan has said she hopes the big screen adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach inspires young people to talk honestly about sex.

The double Oscar nominee, 23, stars as one half of a couple struggling to communicate on their honeymoon in 1962 in the film version of McEwan’s 2007 novella.

Arriving at the premiere of the film at the BFI London Film Festival, she told the Press Association: “I hope this film gets people talking about sex and not have it be a taboo thing or something they should be ashamed of, so they can let it be something that can be shared between two people and be an honest thing.

“I think that is really healthy and I do feel people are starting to get to that stage.”

She continued: “I do feel, and I don’t know if it’s because I work in films and am around people who are more artistic and more open with their emotions, but I do feel like this generation of men, and women but particularly men, have been allowed to let down that faux-masculinity a little bit, that idea of being macho.

“I find the men around my age more open to being vulnerable and sensitive and aren’t ashamed of it.

“It can almost stunt a person’s growth if they aren’t able to have that dialogue, especially with the person they are in a relationship with or their parents and their friends.

“The same with women, we are at a point now where we are almost meeting in the middle, I hope.”

The last time Ronan appeared in a McEwan adaptation she was just 12, in 2007’s Atonement, and the role made her one of the youngest ever Oscar nominees.

Returning to the author’s text was a special experience, she said.

“It’s absolutely lovely because when we made Atonement I hadn’t even read the book because I was too young, and so this time to be so familiar with his work and his voice and how he writes and to see that translate into a screenplay and getting the chance to work with him on that a little bit in rehearsals was wonderful.

“Ian is somebody I have stayed in touch with since I was a child and he’s always been incredibly supportive and warm and was when we did Atonement and still is now.

“It was quite nice to have someone familiar around too. In a way it was new territory for me, it’s a very intimate topic and one that hasn’t really been told in such a delicate way before and I think that is something with a lot of his work, that he approaches really skilfully.”

On Chesil Beach will be released in UK cinemas on January 19 2018.

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