Caitriona Balfe began her career as an extra in “The Devil Wears Prada,” and now she’s one of the Oscar front-runners for best-supporting actress. Kenneth Branagh, who previously authored “Don’t Look Up,” wrote and directed the coming-of-age story. “Outlander” is projected to be the best picture contender. The film is set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, a three-decade-long political and patriotic conflict between Catholics and Protestants. “I sensed her trepidation and pain: how do you leave everything behind and venture into the unknown?” says Branagh.
“Belfast” is both a love letter to the films that formed Branagh and a film about tolerance and resilience. Balfe grew up in a small community just south of the Northern Ireland border as a young girl. Growing up near the border, “it was just a constant backdrop to your existence.” Caitriona Balfe recently welcomed her first child, a baby boy, into the world. The actress claims that she has a stronger connection to her role today than when she was filming “Belfast.” She wants to produce a prequel in which she and Dornan fight for an hour and a half to get Claire to sleep again.