Caitriona Balfe

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Caitríona Balfe
Outlander premiere episode screening at 92nd Street Y in New York OLNY 091 (14851934923) crop.jpg
Balfe at an event for Outlander in 2014
Born
Caitríona Mary Balfe

(1979-10-04) 4 October 1979 (age 41)
Dublin, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Alma materDublin Institute of Technology
Occupation
  • Actress
  • producer
  • model
Years active1998–present
Spouse(s)
Tony McGill
(m. 2019)

Caitríona Mary Balfe (/kəˈtrnə ˈbælf/; born 4 October 1979)[1] is an Irish actress, producer and former fashion model. She is best known for her starring role as Claire Fraser in the Starz drama series Outlander (2014–present), for which she has won two People's Choice Awards, two Saturn Awards, and an Irish Film and Television Award, and received four Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama.

In 1999, while studying Drama at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Balfe was offered work as a fashion model in Paris. She was featured both in advertising campaigns and on runways for brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Max Mara, Bottega Veneta and Oscar de la Renta over ten years before refocusing on acting. She had leading roles in the web series The Beauty Inside (2012) and H+: The Digital Series (2012–2013), and appeared in the films Super 8 (2011), Now You See Me (2013), Escape Plan (2013), Money Monster (2016), and Ford v. Ferrari (2019).

Early life[edit]

Balfe was born in Dublin, Ireland,[2] and grew up in the village of Tydavnet, near Monaghan, in a family of seven. Her father is a retired Garda Sergeant.[3]

Career[edit]

Modelling[edit]

Balfe on the runway for Michael Kors in 2003

Balfe started modelling after she was scouted by an agent while she was collecting money for charity at a local shopping centre.[4][5] At 18, after working as a model in Dublin for a few months, she caught the attention of a visiting Ford Models scout, who offered her the chance to work for them in Paris.[4] Her career highlights include opening and closing shows for Chanel, Moschino, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Alberta Ferretti and Louis Vuitton.[6][7][8][9][10] Balfe also walked in multiple fashion shows for notable brands, including[11] 14 shows for Dolce & Gabbana; eight for Chanel; seven for Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez and Moschino; five for Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Max Mara, Ann Demeulemeester and Louis Vuitton; four for Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Missoni, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Alberta Ferretti, Alexander McQueen and Emanuel Ungaro; and three for Rochas, Christian Lacroix, Cacharel, Sonia Rykiel and Kenzo.

Advertising campaigns featuring Balfe include those for[11] Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Max Mara, Oscar de la Renta, Bally, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Costume National, Escada, Bottega Veneta, Hush Puppies, Mango, Neiman Marcus, BCBG Max Azria, Blumarine, Dries Van Noten, Wella, Roberto Cavalli, Victoria’s Secret and H&M. She appeared in the 2002 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and on the cover of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE magazines.[5][11][12] In a three-year period Balfe walked in more than 250 runway shows.[11] Often credited professionally as simply Caitriona, at the height of her career she was considered to be among the twenty most in-demand models in the world.[13][14]

Other brands that she has walked in fashion shows for include[11] Anna Molinari, Balenciaga, Céline, Chloé, Christian Dior, DKNY, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, Gianfranco Ferré, Hugo Boss, Issey Miyake, Jil Sander, Lanvin, Loewe, Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Paco Rabanne, Perry Ellis, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf and Yohji Yamamoto.

For her work in Milan in the 2002 and 2003 seasons, Balfe earned close to $300,000, but after her Italian agency Paolo Tomei filed for bankruptcy, she and the other models who were represented by it lost all the earnings they had made during that time, with the agency's financial backers allegedly keeping them. Because models were considered freelancers under Italian law, her lawyer discouraged her from filing a lawsuit. Years later, in 2009, working for the company BCBG, Balfe faced a similar situation, with the company first delaying its payments and then refusing to pay the models altogether alleging financial problems, but still booking them after privately reassuring their agencies that they would be paid. Against her agency's advice, Balfe decided to stop working for BCBG until she was reimbursed all the money she was owed; the company eventually complied.[15] Incidents like the aforementioned led to the creation of The Model Alliance.

Reflecting back on her career in 2013, Balfe commented: "Modelling wasn't a passion of mine so that made it get old kind of quickly. I was getting very frustrated."[4] She has stated that she will not return to modelling full-time,[16] but did not rule out occasional jobs with people with whom she has previously worked.

Acting[edit]

Balfe with Outlander co-stars Tobias Menzies and Sam Heughan

While living in New York, Balfe played the minor role of an employee of the magazine Runway in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada.[13] In 2009, after a decade-long modelling career, Balfe returned to her initial career choice and moved from New York to Los Angeles,[4] spending her first year and a half in the city exclusively taking acting classes, first at the Warner Loughlin Studios and then at the Sanford Meisner Center and the Judith Weston Studios.[17][18] Balfe has 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.[4][19]

In 2012 she portrayed Alex #34 in The Beauty Inside, a social film divided into six episodes telling the story of a man named Alex (Topher Grace) who wakes up in a different body every day.[20] In 2013 she starred in the music videos for "First Fires" by British musician Bonobo[21] and for "Chloroform" by French band Phoenix, the latter directed by Sofia Coppola.[22]

Balfe was part of the main cast of the Warner Bros. web series H+: The Digital Series during 2012 and 2013, 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.[23]

In September 2013 Balfe 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 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.[24] Both the series and her performance have received critical acclaim,[25] with Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair saying "it helps immensely that Balfe is such an appealing actress, [she] makes Claire a spirited, principled, genuinely heroic heroine".[26] Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Balfe is "reason enough to watch; she's a confident actress who brings various shades to her character".[27] James Poniewozik of Time labelled Balfe's portrayal as "wry, [and] infectiously engaging".[28] Angelica Jade Bastién of The New York Times called Balfe "one of the most stunning actresses on television".[29]

In December 2014, Entertainment Weekly named Balfe one of its 12 Breakout Stars of 2014;[30] that month she was also voted "Woman Of The Year" at BBC America's Anglophenia Fan Favorites tournament.

In April 2015, Balfe received Best Actress in a Lead Role Drama and Rising Star Award nominations for the 12th Irish Film & Television Awards,[31][32] and was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World". She won Saturn Awards for Best Actress on Television in 2015[33] and 2016.[34] In November 2016, Balfe won the Scottish BAFTA award for Best Actress on Television[35] and in February 2018 she won the Irish IFTA for Best Actress in a Lead Role Drama.[36] Balfe also received four nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her role in Outlander.[37]

Balfe co-starred in the film Money Monster (2016), directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. She played the head of PR 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.[38] Eric Hills of The Movie Waffler wrote "But it's relative newcomer Balfe who leaves the greatest impression; she's magnetic, stealing scenes even when her character is only glimpsed reacting to the situation on a background monitor. Expect to see a lot more of this Irish actress in the coming years."[39]

In 2019, Balfe had a recurring voice role as Tavra in the Netflix fantasy series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The series, which was a prequel to the 1982 fantasy film The Dark Crystal and produced by The Jim Henson Company, was released to critical acclaim.[40] Also in 2019, she had a starring role opposite Matt Damon and Christian Bale in the sports drama film Ford v Ferrari. Balfe portrayed Mollie Miles, the wife of professional race car driver Ken Miles, a role which earned her an IFTA nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.[41] The film received universal acclaim upon release and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.[42]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2014, she was based in Glasgow,[43] having previously lived in Los Angeles when she started acting professionally, and in New York City, Paris, London, Milan, Hamburg, and Tokyo while she worked as a model.[17][44][45] In addition to English, she is a fluent speaker of the Irish language and is conversant in French.[46]

She is a patron of the organisation World Child Cancer.[47] In April 2018, Balfe ran the London Marathon raising over $41,000 in support of the organization.[48]

Balfe married music producer Tony McGill in 2019.[49]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Devil Wears Prada Clacker Uncredited[13]
2009 Picture Me Herself Documentary; also producer
A Herculean Effort Emily Short film
2011 Super 8 Elizabeth Lamb
Lust Life Aubrie Short film
2012 The Wolf Sally
Lost Angeles Veronique
2013 Crush Andie
Now You See Me Jasmine Tressler
Escape Plan Jessica Miller
2015 The Price of Desire Gabrielle Bloch
2016 Money Monster Diane Lester
2019 Ford v. Ferrari Mollie Miles
TBA Belfast Post-production

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2010 The Model Scouts Herself / Runway Mentor Cycle 2, Episode 2[13]
2012 The Beauty Inside Alex #34 Main role; 5 episodes
2012–2013 H+: The Digital Series Breanna Sheehan Main role; 7 episodes
2014–present Outlander Claire Beauchamp Fraser Lead role; 67 episodes
Also producer; 12 episodes[50]
2019 The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tavra (voice) 9 episodes
2019 The Christmas Letter[51] Ellie (voice) Television film

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Award Category Result Ref.
2015 Outlander BBC America Anglophenia Fan Favorite Awards Woman Of The Year Won
The Anglophile Channel Awards Best Actress in a Television Series Won
Saturn Awards Best Actress on Television Won
Irish Film & Television Awards Best Actress in a Lead Role Drama Nominated
Rising Star Award Nominated
EWwy Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Won
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Television Ensemble Won
Women's Image Network Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Won
Saturn Awards Best Actress on Television Won
Irish Film & Television Awards Best Actress in a Lead Role Drama Nominated
The Anglophile Channel Awards Best Actress in a Television Series Won
EWwy Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Won
BAFTA Scotland Awards Best Actress on Television Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
Oscar Wilde Awards N/A Won
Women's Image Network Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Irish Film & Television Awards Best Actress in a Lead Role TV Drama Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Actress on Television Nominated
2018 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated [52][53]
Women's Image Network Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actress in a TV Drama Series//Genre Series Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Nominated
Irish Film & Television Awards Best Actress in a Lead Role TV Drama Won
Saturn Awards Best Actress on Television Nominated
2019 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Television Series Drama Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Actress on a Television Series Nominated [54]
2020 Irish Film & Television Awards Best Actress in a Lead Role TV Drama Nominated [41]
Ford v Ferrari Best Actress in a Supporting Role Film Nominated
Outlander Women's Image Network Awards Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Nominated [55]
Film/Show Produced by a Woman Nominated
Gold Derby Awards Best Drama Actress Nominated
Critics Choice Super Awards Best Actress In A Science Fiction/Fantasy Series Pending [56]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Outlander': Sam Heughan teases Caitriona Balfe on her 39th birthday". upi.com.
  2. ^ "Dublin-born Caitriona Balfe could be the new face of Moschino". Vogue UK. 9 January 2002. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Monaghan native Caitriona Balfe tells why she made the right move". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Monaghan native Caitriona Balfe tells why she made the right move". Irish Independent. Retrieved 10 November 2014.
  5. ^ a b "A model life". Politico. 17 May 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Chanel AW 2002 Haute Couture". Vogue. 3 July 2002. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Givenchy AW 2002 Haute Couture". Vogue. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Moschino Cheap & Chic Spring 2004". ELLE. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Dolce & Gabbana Resort 2008". Vogue. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti Fall 2003". Livingly. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Profile of Caitriona Balfe". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Photo of Catriona Balfe - Fashion Model - ID291324 - Profile on FMD". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d "The Model Scouts Ep 2". RTÉ Television. 9 November 2010. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  14. ^ "How To Be A Supermodel". Irish Independent. 11 April 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  15. ^ "€240,000 Of Lost Wages In Italy And A Year To Pay In LA". Model Alliance. Archived from the original on 11 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  16. ^ "Caitriona Balfe vows not to return to modeling". Goss.ie. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  17. ^ a b "The Gorgeous Determination of Caitriona Balfe". 2 April 2015.
  18. ^ "'Outlander' star had to unlearn her modeling skills". 2 April 2015. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015.
  19. ^ Caitriona Balfe at Rotten Tomatoes
  20. ^ "The Beauty Inside Trailer". Creativity Online. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Bonobo - First Fires". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  22. ^ "Phoenix - Chloroform". 13 November 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  23. ^ "Hplus Nano Teoranta – About the Company". Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  24. ^ Nellie Andreeva (11 September 2013). "Caitriona Balfe Gets The Lead In Starz's 'Outlander'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  25. ^ "OUTLANDER: SEASON 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  26. ^ Richard Lawson (5 August 2014). "Outlander Refuses to Define Itself, and That's a Good Thing". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  27. ^ Tim Goodman (7 August 2014). "'Outlander': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  28. ^ James Poniewozik (7 August 2014). "REVIEW: Outlander Is Many Kinds of Show, All in One Kilt". Time Magazine. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  29. ^ Angelica Jade BASTIÉN (4 June 2016). "Outlander' Season 2, Episode 9: 'A Dragonfly in Amber: TV Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  30. ^ Isabella Biedenharn (26 May 2014). "12 Breakout Stars of 2014". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  31. ^ "IFTA 2015 NOMINEES". The Irish Film & Television Academy. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  32. ^ "IFTA Announces Rising Star Nominees with the Irish Film Board". The Irish Film & Television Academy. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  33. ^ "The 41st Annual Saturn Awards Winners 2015". Saturn Awards.
  34. ^ Cohen, David S. (23 June 2016). "The Force Awakens Rings Up Eight Saturn Awards". Variety. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  35. ^ "British Academy Scotland Awards: Winners in 2016". Bafta.org.
  36. ^ "IFTA winner Caitriona Balfe on Times Up & Wedding Dress Shopping". rte.ie. RTÉ. 16 February 2018.
  37. ^ "Caitriona Balfe". www.goldenglobes.com. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  38. ^ Borys Kit (29 January 2015). "'Outlander' Star Joining George Clooney, Julia Roberts in 'Money Monster'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  39. ^ Eric Hills (May 2016). "New Release Review Money Monster".
  40. ^ Collis, Clark (21 May 2019). "The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance premiering on Netflix in August: See the exclusive images". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  41. ^ a b Duffy, Rónán. "Here is the full list of nominees for this year's (virtual) IFTAs". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  42. ^ "Oscar Nominations 2020". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on 13 January 2020. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  43. ^ Jae-Ha Kim (16 September 2014). "Go Away With ... Caitriona Balfe". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  44. ^ Lisa Rosen (28 May 2015). "Caitriona Balfe serves up an insider's view of 'Outlander'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  45. ^ "OUTLANDER STAR CAITRIONA BALFE: "ICH VERFOLGE DEUTSCHE FANS AUF TWITTER!"". blastingnews. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  46. ^ Kimberly Roots (30 May 2015). "Outlander Boss on Jamie's [Spoiler], Season 2 in France and Why [Spoiler] Went Full-Frontal in the Finale". TVLine. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  47. ^ Bernadette Giacomazzo (7 September 2016). "Outlander Season 3 News: Caitriona Balfe's Proud Patronage Of World Child Cancer". Inquisitr. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  48. ^ "Outlander's Caitriona Balfe Ran Her First Marathon, and Sam Heughan Sent the Sweetest Message". 22 April 2018.
  49. ^ "Outlander Star Caitriona Balfe Marries Music Producer Tony McGill in England, Sources Say". 15 August 2019.
  50. ^ "'Outlander' Stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are Now Producers". Blast. 13 February 2020.
  51. ^ "Dream Logic Studio: The Christmas Letter premieres!". Animation Ireland. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  52. ^ Travers, Ben (8 January 2017). "Elisabeth Moss Wins Best Actress in a Drama Series at the Golden Globes". Indie Wire. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  53. ^ "The Latest: Elisabeth Moss wins best TV drama actress Globe". ABC News. Associated Press. 8 January 2018. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  54. ^ "'Avengers: Endgame', 'Game of Thrones' Lead the 2019 Saturn Awards Nominations". Collider. 15 July 2019.
  55. ^ "Official Selection-The WIN Awards-Women's Image Awards, 22 Years". thewinawards. 18 September 2020.
  56. ^ "'Palm Springs', 'Lovecraft Country' Top Movie And Series Nominations For Inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards; Netflix Lands 35 Nods". 19 November 2020.

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