CAITRIONA BALFE AT IFTA AWARDS IN DUBLIN
Michael Fisher Northern Standard Thursday 28th May p.1 and p.2
Caitriona Balfe who is currently filming a second television series of ‘Outlander’ in Scotland was in Dublin last weekend for the Irish Film and Television Academy film and drama awards. The Monaghan actress, who is from Tydavnet, began a very successful career in modelling at the age of 19. She featured in advertising campaigns for many top fashion brands and graced the covers of magazines such as Vogue and Elle. In 2009 Caitriona returned to her initial career choice in drama. She moved from New York to Los Angeles. spending her first year in the city taking acting classes. She appeared in the films Super 8, as the protagonist’s mother, Now You See Me, as Michael Caine’s character’s wife, and Escape Plan as the CIA lawyer that hires Sylvester Stallone’s character. In 2012 she portrayed Alex #34 in The Beauty Inside, a social film divided into six episodes which narrates the story of a man named Alex (Topher Grace) who wakes up in a different body every day. The following year she starred in the music videos for First Fires by British musician Bonobo, and for Chloroform by French band Phoenix. The actress was part of the main cast of the Warner Brothers web series H+: The Digital Series, in which she played Breanna Sheehan, one of the executives of a biotechnology company that develops an implanted computer which allows people to be connected to the Internet 24 hours a day.
In September 2013 Caitriona was cast as the lead character, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser, on the Starz television series Outlander, based on the novels written by Diana Gabaldon. The series which was filmed in Scotland premiered in August 2014. She plays a mid-20th-century nurse who is transported back in time to the war-torn mid-18th-century Scottish Highlands. Both the series and her performance have received critical acclaim.
In December 2014 Entertainment Weekly named Caitriona Balfe as one of its twelve Breakout Stars of 2014.
In January it was announced that she had been added to the cast of the film Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. She will play the director of Public Relations of a company whose stock bottoms out, causing a man to lose all of his savings and subsequently take hostages on a live TV show.
In March 2015 she received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Actress on Television for her work in Outlander, the second series of which is currently being filmed. The following month she was named one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”.
Caitriona was one of four to be nominated for Best Actress in a Lead Role Drama in the Irish Film and Television Academy Awards. The award went to Charlie Murphy for her performance in the RTÉ television drama Love/Hate. The Academy also announced that Caitriona would be among four talented new actors and actresses nominated for the Rising Star Award, sponsored by the Irish Film Board. The judges decided that the award should go to actress Sarah Greene for her performance in the film Noble. Last year’s winner was Jamie Dornan and Michael Fassbender won in 2009.
Caitriona was also invited to be a guest presenter at the IFTA awards ceremony last Sunday at the Mansion House in Dublin. Veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne complimented her on her appearance and her voice. The event was broadcast by TV3 and was hosted by Caroline Morahan.
Her parents, former Garda Sergeant Jim Balfe and his wife Anne, told the Northern Standard they were both delighted at the progress Caitriona had made in the world of film and television, and she had worked hard to achieve her objectives. At their home in Mullantimore they showed me a painting by Caitriona. She was then a 16 year-old student at secondary school in Monaghan, and her artwork won first prize in a Garda credit union competition in 1995, an early sign of her tremendous talent.