Saoirse Ronan has already played a number of strong and complicated women in her career, including her turns in both Brooklyn and Lady Bird.
Now the Irish actress portrays Scottish monarch Mary Stuart in the new film Mary Queen of Scots, who returned to her native homeland after being widowed in France to take up her throne and bring peace to Scotland.
However, she faces a number of issues, including warring political factions, religious extremists, the question of who she will marry, and her own cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England (Margot Robbie).
Ronan spoke to The One Show (January 10) about how the film looked to rewrite history which has tarnished Mary’s reputation.
"We were bringing the truth to light," says Ronan.
"It’s been so misconstrued over hundreds of years, what actually happened, and she’s sort of been painted into this villain or femme fatale and she really wasn’t."
Ronan also levels blame at one person in particular for this propaganda: Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth’s advisor, played by Guy Pearce in the film.
"He just hated Mary and had it out for her as soon as she came back because she was a threat.
"When she was executed he blackened her name, essentially."
Saoirse discussed the traits of Mary that she most admired while learning about her.
"She was actually politically savvy and was a very good reader of people and therefore able to manipulate people when she needed to.
"That was, that is such a good trait to have as a politician."
The actress blamed the "self-serving" male advisors and aristocrats for the failure of Mary and Elizabeth to ally themselves, for it would topple the power system that was traditionally in place – one ruled by men.
The film is based on the biography My Heart is My Own by historian John Guy.
Mary Queen of Scots
Mary Queen of Scots is released in UK cinemas on January 18.
Source: Read Full Article