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Saoirse Ronan spoke about the importance of showing menstruation in film in an interview with Sinéad Burke

“When I was younger, nobody around me would say the words ‘tampon’ or ‘period’.”

PastedImage-40489 Source: Universal

AHEAD OF HER appearance on RTÉ’s Late Late Show tonight, Saoirse Ronan headed to Google HQ in Dublin for an afternoon in conversation with Contributing Editor to Vogue UK, Sinéad Burke.  

They had a very frank conversation of all the goings on behind the scenes on Mary Queen of Scots, and Saoirse told the audience about how much she appreciated the other women in the film’s cast and crew. She said that when working alone with other girls, she was able to tap into a confidence that she couldn’t reach at other times. 

We became so close, we would rehearse with the boys as well, which was wonderful but we noticed that when we were on our own there was like, a different confidence that came out. In the same way that when a bunch of guys are together, they’re eejits. It’s the same with girls. 

After considering this for a minute, Saoirse laughed at herself and suggested that maybe girls are “smarter eejits”, and concluded that when women are together, they’re able to “just be whatever we want to be”. 

PastedImage-98995 Source: Universal

As the conversation continued, Sinéad said, “One of the things that interested me most about this film was the current political climate that was happening around it. There’s a scene in the film in which you get your period. And, the director really had to fight with producers in order to keep that scene on screen. What is the difference, particularly on set, working with female directors when it comes to telling stories through that kind of authentic lens?” 

Saoirse responded:

I mean – there are little details like that… I can’t think of many other films that have shown that actually. But when I think of when I was younger, nobody around me would say the words ‘tampon’ or ‘period’, or anything like that. It’s still a new thing – to actually show something very natural and very regular on screen. But, there’s obviously an innate understanding of a very particular female experience that you can only get from another female, obviously. 
If somebody doesn’t go through that, like the opposite sex, it would be overlooked. Naturally. Unless, you’ve grown up with lots of women, or whatever. There are things like that, that maybe I hadn’t even thought about before like “Oh, it is really important to show this in a film.” 
Certainly with moments like that, it’s wonderful to have a female come in and go, “We should show this.” 

 Saoirse added that while she was working on the film, she was very aware of the politics of women’s bodies. As a result “being immersed in the world [of the repeal movement] for months” helped her tap into her emotions for her role in Mary Queen of Scots

It just made it even more personal. 

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Kelly Earley

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