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Interview: Caitríona Balfe Chats About the Emotions and Joy of ‘Belfast’

Focus Features

Caitríona Balfe is already beloved on the small screen with her work on Outlander. However, her big screen output has slowly but surely been getting noticed. In particular, Ford v Ferrari was a bit of a coming out party for her. That being said, Belfast is a horse of a different color. Not only is the film absolutely brilliant, like being hugged for about 90 minutes, but Balfe is wonderful in it. The movie soars based on its central cast, with Balfe’s Ma character chief among them. With the flick in the heat of the Oscar race, Balfe was able to take some time out to hop on Zoom and chat with me about the project, Kenneth Branagh‘s vision, and just how lovely it all was. This took a while to set up, as she’s quite busy, but we made it happen. Now, you get to enjoy it!

Below, you can hear my conversation with Balfe. We stick on Belfast for the entirety of the conversation, which runs nearly 25 minutes, so there’s some meat on the bones here. Plus, the film is just that good, so it’s a pleasure to talk to anyone about it. Having it be Balfe, about her work in this movie (which is rightly getting major Oscar buzz), is almost just a bonus. Shocking no one, this is a delightful discussion, with her charm being in full effect. Branagh counted his lucky stars to have her every day on set, I’d imagine. For those who have not seen Belfast yet, it’s in theaters and is a total must see. I loved it at the Toronto International Film Festival a few months ago and just recently revisited it, with similarly wondrous results.

This is some of what I had to say about Belfast in my rave review out of TIFF:

This cast will make you fall in love with them, almost instantly. Newcomer Jude Hill is a revelation, instantly becoming someone to watch, while Caitriona Balfe gets a big screen vehicle to make you fall in love with her talents. Judi Dench is her reliably great self, while Ciarán Hinds has never been better. Then, there’s Jamie Dornan, who will make you completely re-evaluate him as an actor. He has a magnetism here that’s impossible not to be won over by. The rest of the Belfast cast is solid, but the core family is really where it’s at.

Here now is my interview with Belfast star Caitríona Balfe. Enjoy:

Belfast is in theaters now!

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Written by Joey Magidson

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