Jamie Dornan on growing up in Belfast during the Troubles: ‘There are no winners at the end’

‘I always think back to stuff that became normal, that was not normal,’ actor recalled

Isobel Lewis
Thursday 20 January 2022 14:18
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Belfast trailer

Jamie Dornan has opened up about growing up in Belfast during the Troubles.

The Tourist actor stars in Kenneth Branagh’s black-and-white film about a young boy growing up in Northern Ireland during unrest in the Sixties.

In a new interview with his Belfast co-star Caitriona Balfe for British Vogue, Dornan discussed his own childhood in Belfast in the Eighties and Nineties.

“If you’re born there, and you’re raised there, you’re very cognisant of the fact that you are from a very complicated place,” Dornan said. “From the day I was born, until the day I left, people pretty much were fighting a civil war.”

The actor recalled the ways in which violence was treated as “normal”, such as trying to meet friends on a weekend only for there to be a bomb scare.

His co-star Catriona Balfe said: “There’s a young generation who are coming up, who didn’t live through the Troubles, and there is again that kind of romanticism to having a cause and fighting for a cause. Maybe it’s too much to ask for a film to change people’s minds, but I think it’s important that people see it.”

Dornan added: “Anything that can prove that there are no winners at the end of all that is good for the next generation to see.”

You can read The Independent’s three-star review of Belfast here.

Belfast is released in UK cinemas on Friday 21 January.

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