Sam Heughan has admitted he only recently sat down to watch his Outlander partner Caitriona Balfe’s acclaimed performance in last year’s hit period drama film, Belfast.
Irish actress Caitriona Balfe is best known for her iconic performance as Claire Fraser in the hit series Outlander, based on the bestselling novels by Diana Gabaldon. In between seasons of the popular Starz drama, she swapped Fraser’s Ridge for the war-torn streets of Belfast in Kenneth Branagh’s new film, but her co-star Sam Heughan revealed it took almost a year for him to catch up with her latest project.
Jamie Fraser star Sam has revealed he only saw Caitriona’s new film Belfast last month despite its wide release in January.
The period drama film premiered at the Telluride film festival in September 2021 before it scooped up several major awards and nominations at the start of this year.
Caitriona herself was nominated for both a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for her performance as Ma, while director Kenneth won Best Screenplay at the Oscars.
“It was seven weeks and it was in the summer and the sun shone the whole time,” Caitriona recalled.
“So, very, very different [to Outlander]. It was absolutely wonderful… it was a little gem of a movie we got to make.
“It was very special, it sort of fell between the two lockdowns and it was a very small cast. Very small crew.
“But it was just a really, really great experience. I’ve been really lucky with all my jobs. I’ve only been able to work with amazing people.”
Despite Caitriona’s remarkable experience working on the film, and Kenneth’s reputation as one of the UK’s best working directors, Sam still hadn’t seen it until several months after its release.
“It was a brilliant movie,” he told BAFTA Scotland. “It took me a long time to watch it.
Caitriona clearly knew Sam had only recently seen the film, and teased: “Yes, when did you watch it, Sam?”
“Probably about a month ago,” he confessed. “Which is outrageous.
“I know, but I wanted to take time to myself to watch it and really assess the performance.”
His co-star looked at Sam sceptically and said mockingly, “Uh-huh?” before he assured her he loved the film.
“She’s brilliant in it and everyone shone in that movie,” he added. “Honestly, I loved it, so well done.”
In Sam’s defence, the Scottish star has had a busy year outside his normal duties on the next season of Outlander.
Before returning to Fraser’s Ridge, he completed a near-100 mile hike around the Scottish Highlands as part of his new memoir, Waypoints.
He has since been promoting the release of his book, which details his candid thoughts and reflections on his early life and his breakout as a major TV star over the last few years.
Following Outlander’s success at the Scottish BAFTAs, fans are even more eagerly awaiting the upcoming seventh season of the sweeping fantasy drama.
Once the awards hype dies down, the cast will be returning to the series’ filming locations to finalise work on the next episodes in time for its return later next year.