SAOIRSE Ronan has described Brexit and the ongoing debate over the Irish border as a "feckin’ mess".
The Irish actress, 24, stars in the new period film Mary Queen of Scots as Mary Stuart alongside Margot Robbie, who plays her cousin Elizabeth I of England.
Ronan, who has been nominated for three Oscars, also spoke of being thankful to her mother for protecting her from abusive behaviour in Hollywood as a younger star.
In an interview with Harper's Bazaar UK, the Dubliner said: "I was watching RTÉ news and they were talking about the border – and it’s such a feckin’ mess.
"One of my friends, Eileen (O’Higgins), is from Down in Northern Ireland; even I didn’t fully appreciate what the reality of it was".
She added: "Derry Girls handles the situation so brilliantly with humour; you have the girls going, 'Och, there’s a bomb on the bridge and I can’t get my nails done now!' And I asked Eileen if that’s what it was really like – soldiers coming on the bus? She said, 'Yes, yes it was'.
"And I think no matter what side you’re on in the North, nobody wants to go back to that."
Ronan, a former child star who rose to fame at the age of 13 in 2007's Atonement, also said she is "sure I would have been exposed" to abuse in the US film industry had it not been for her mam, Monica.
"I wasn’t unaware that there were people in the industry who abused their power, or who were seedy or untrustworthy," she explained.
"But because of her I was never a victim and I’m very, very thankful. I didn’t leave home at 19 all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed – I hadn’t been wrapped in cotton wool – but I had been protected."
Ronan also revealed she is keen to challenge herself by working behind the camera in future.
She said she has "always" wanted to direct movies, adding: "I was more drawn to that as a kid than I was to acting. I love working with actors, but I always learn the most from the directors.
"It’s their vision you’re bringing to life, you have to adapt to their way of working. I like having to stretch myself to fit in with their requirements."