Having received a SAG nomination for her performance as ‘Ma’ in Kenneth Branagh’s childhood memoir film Belfast, Caitríona Balfe said she had been texting with co-star Jamie Dornan, who she said was “super excited” for both her and for their nomination as an ensemble cast.
However, Balfe admitted to feeling some disappointment that Dornan, who played ‘Pa’, and Ciarán Hinds, who played ‘Pop’, were not nominated individually. “I thought they had such a good chance,” she said. “I feel like they should have been nominated, but we’re all just really excited about the ensemble.”
Belfast follows the story of Branagh’s own upbringing in the Irish city as the Troubles began and a great divide erupted between Protestants and Catholics. Balfe, Dornan and Hinds are joined by schoolboy breakout Jude Hill as a young version of Branagh, while Judi Dench stars as ‘Granny’.
Balfe said she was excited for what might emerge next for her on the big screen following Belfast. “I think with anything like this, you just want an opportunity to be put on the list for other stuff, right? I’ve been so lucky thus far in my career and I think it’s ben such an amazing thing I’ve had with Outlander, but obviously it’s nice to get to do these great films too and there’s such competition out there for these great film roles, I think nowadays especially, as less and less films are getting made. So I think anything that can put you in front of other people and give you more opportunity is amazing.”
The sixth season of Outlander, Starz’s hit series, in which Balfe stars as Claire, opposite Sam Heughan as husband Jamie, will premiere March 6, with a seventh season planned to follow.
So will Season 7 be the last? “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Balfe said. “This is the only one thus far that’s been picked up. It would be ten years. We all feel like we’re so lucky that we’ve gone this far. Who knows what happens after that, but how lucky we’ve been, right?”
As for the upcoming Season 6, Balfe said, “From Claire’s perspective it’s a lot about healing and a lot about letting those around you who you love help you. I think sometimes people can try and do things on their own a lot, especially at the moment, when everyone’s struggling and people have been having a hard time, it’s easy for people not to reach out. And I think people can quite often tend to want to take on their battles themselves. I think we see with Claire this season that those around you who love you are so important when you’re going through tough times.”
Balfe also said she would love to direct at some point soon. She had been in discussions to direct some of Outlander last season but “many things got in the way, like the pandemic, and my schedule and then my pregnancy, so it didn’t happen, but hopefully this season I’ll get to do something” she said.
It’s definitely something that I hope that I get to do in the future. The beauty of Outlander is that I’ve had the greatest school for the last seven, eight years, and I definitely have kept my eyes and ears open and picked up as much as I can, but it’s also meant that I haven’t had a huge amount of time to try these other things that I want to do, so I hope in the future that I get to.”
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