Star Saoirse flees after ‘stalker’ terror at screening
HE’S known for writing gripping stories of obsession – and now author Ian McEwan may well have fresh inspiration for his next psychological thriller after Irish actress Saoirse Ronan was accosted by an agitated man at a film screening.
Saoirse, 24, was on stage at a Mayfair cinema last week with McEwan and a co-star for a question and answer session after a showing of her new film On Chesil Beach, based on the writer’s 2007 book.
I was in the audience and watched in horror as a middle-aged man, who described himself as a ‘Chuck Berryloving country bumpkin’, asked a sexually explicit question that had nothing to do with the film.
Bemused, Saoirse allowed co-star Billy Howle to answer but the man became agitated and rushed towards her from his seat just ten yards away. McEwan, 69, jumped to his feet to protect the actress.
The man came within touching distance of Saoirse – but five bouncers, believed to be a mix of cinema security and film company minders, got to him first, manhandling him out of the building. Shocked Saoirse was hurriedly escorted off stage.
A stunned McEwan was overheard discussing the incident with friends, and described the intruder as a ‘creep’. Some audience members took to Twitter to share news of what had happened. One wrote: ‘Didn’t expect some big grown dude to just walk on to the stage... Did he want a handshake or hug? Who knows!’ Another wrote: ‘A shame about Saoirse’s stalker’.
Saoirse – pronounced Sur-sha – rose to fame playing a teenage writer in McEwan’s 2007 film Atonement and was nominated for an Oscar this year for her role in Lady Bird.
Saoirse and the cast left the building via a side entrance when the man was seen loitering outside after being ejected.
It’s understood there was no police involvement. An organiser at the event said: ‘Thankfully security dealt with it swiftly.’
SCARE: Saoirse Ronan and Ian McEwan