Irish actress Caitriona Balfe has gained international fame for her role in the hugely popular historical drama series Outlander. However, she had already established a successful career before she pivoted into the acting world.
For more than 20 years, Balfe was a model. Her career began when she was just 18, after she was spotted by a scout while collecting money for charity in a supermarket. She dropped out of her drama course at university and began working in Dublin. Before long, she was noticed by a larger agency and moved to Paris.
Balfe walked in high-fashion runway shows for some of the world’s most luxurious brands, like Chanel, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, and Louis Vuitton. The Irish Independent dubbed her, “officially Ireland’s first supermodel.”
After about ten years in the modeling business, Balfe decided to leave. She told The Guardian: “Modeling does two things. It gives you a really, really tough exterior and then a really broken interior.”
She returned to her childhood passion of acting, and in her first few years, bagged small roles in films like The Devil Wears Prada, Super 8, and Now You See Me. She got her first major role as Claire Fraser on Outlander in 2014. The role catapulted her into international fame, as the series developed a cult following around the world. She received nominations for four Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Television Series.
Since then, Caitriona Balfe has landed more high profile roles in movies like Ford v. Ferrari and Kenneth Branagh’s Oscar winning film Belfast. Outlander is scheduled to release its eighth and final season this year.