Saoirse Ronan: ‘It means a lot to see realistic sex in films’

The Irish actress is pleased with the depiction of marriage in her new film, On Chesil Beach.

Saoirse Ronan has praised On Chesil Beach for its realistic depictions of sex and marriage.

The actress plays Florence in the movie adaptation of Ian McEwan’s classic novel, which tells the tale of a young, married couple who destroy their relationship out of fear of intimacy. And though parts of the story may be hard to watch, Saoirse is encouraged to see a less glamorous portrayal of married life.

“There are some harsh truths that people want to escape from when they go to see a film, but at the same time, I know as a girl growing up in this day and age what it means to watch something like Lena Dunham’s Girls and to see real sex and how messy it is,” she explained in an interview with Britain’s Total Film magazine. “I think boys and girls feel a lot of pressure to perform in a particular way.”

This is the second time the 23-year-old has starred in a McEwan adaptation, having earned her first of three Oscar nominations for her role as Briony Tallis in Atonement in 2008.

And though Saoirse is a huge fan of the British author, she was forbidden from reading On Chesil Beach during filming.

“Dominic (Cooke, director) actually told me to put my copy away!” the Irish star shared. “I found that I was putting too much pressure on myself. I’ve done films before where I deliberately won’t read the book before I start. In most cases for me, that’s a healthier approach. But in this case it was Ian who was adapting his own book, so we could trust him completely.”

The Lady Bird star also joked that she wished the picture was called “On Miami Beach” so she could have avoided developing tonsillitis after filming on a rainy British beach.

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