Fifteen years later her big screen debut on The Devil Wears Prada, Caitriona Balfe is ready to join the acting legend in the 2022 Oscar race as best supporting actress with coming-of-age tale “Belfast”, written and directed by Kenneth Branagh, where she plays Ma.
“I understood her fear and pain: How do you leave everything and step into the unknown?” says Balfe, who was born in Dublin. “Even though this is very much Ken’s personal story, I recognized Ma immediately. There’s so much of my mother in her, and so much of the Irish women I know. They’re quick to anger, quick to love and quick to have fun.”
Awards pundits at Indiewire and Next Best Picture are calling Balfe a front-runner in the category, while “Belfast” is well-primed for a best picture nomination.
“The response to the film has been overwhelming,” says Branagh, praising Balfe for the compassion and intelligence she brought to her performance. “She has access to a certain kind of ferocity that my mother had. It’s an electrifying anger that makes you feel she could change the world.”
In August, Caitriona Balfe became a mother herself of her first child and playing Ma and spending time with her child co-stars encouraged her to go towards motherhood!
Although she hasn’t gotten much sleep these last couple of months while promoting the film, “having a baby is the most amazing thing,” Balfe says. “It’s been a juggle, but it’s nice to have my old life back and also have this beautiful little boy.”
Balfe spent a lot of time with her child co-stars and their moms shooting “Belfast,” and “in some way, that encouraged me to go for it and have my kid,” she says. “If I could have the same relationship with my son that they have with their mothers, I think he’d be really happy.”
As a new mom, she also feels an even greater connection to her character than when she made the film.
After giving birth, “Ken (Branagh) called me and was like, ‘Does this mean we have to do reshoots now?'” Balfe says. “I was like, ‘Maybe we should do a prequel, just me and Dornan for an hour and a half trying to get a baby back to sleep.’ I don’t know if that’d go down as well, though.”
In another interview with the Irish Tatler, Caitriona Balfe remarked how shooting the last series of Outlander whilst pregnant was a challenge and how motherhood and its responsabilities scared her.
“I’m not usually a nervous or anxious person at all but the pregnancy added a layer of that. My schedule was punishing. I worked fourteen hours a day, five days a week. I would come home, and my husband would say you need to eat something, but I would already be asleep. […] Motherhood is quite scary . . . before this I was only responsible for me”Caitriona Balfe
The bump showed early on.
“Everyone said, oh you won’t show, but I was all front and centre. I think there was a lot of work post-production.”Caitriona Balfe
Describing childbirth as “a bizarre and wild thing,” it has given her a whole new respect for her body.
“It’s amazing our bodies can do this,”Caitriona Balfe on childbirth
She is bringing her son home to Monaghan in a few weeks.
“It will be the first time I have been home in twenty months. I miss my parents and my family very much. Thank God for FaceTime. We wouldn’t be the most technological family, so I’ve seen a lot of lampshades and ears and not many faces,”Caitriona Balfe
Balfe and her husband have made the decision not to publicly name their son, out of respect for his privacy.
“I’m such an open person, but I have learned that there is a small amount of people out there who want to stalk you, and I am wary.”Caitriona Balfe