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Jamie Dornan shares devastating reason why starring in Belfast was 'brutal'

The actor opened up about the film

jamie dornan dad belfast
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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Jamie Dornan has revealed the devastating reason why starring in Kenneth Branaugh's BAFTA-nominated film, Belfast was a "brutal" experience for him.

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The actor, who plays a fictionalised version of Kenneth's dad, said that he was "hurt" that his late father will not see the film, set in his home city of Belfast. 

WATCH: Have you seen the BAFTA-nominated Belfast?

Speaking to The Times at the end of last year, Jamie spoke of his father, Professor Jim Dornan, who passed away at the age of 71 in March 2021 after contracting coronavirus. He said: "It’s been a brutal aspect of this whole journey. For my dad not to be able to see this movie hurts.

"I take comfort in the fact that he knows I did it. He was so invested in my career. Some people go their whole lives without being told, 'You’ve made your parents proud'."

"My dad would tell me every day," he added. 

Jamie's father, a renowned obstetrician and gynaecologist had been admitted to hospital in Dubai for a routine knee operation before testing positive for the virus. 

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At the time of his passing, Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI released a statement that read: "Very sad news this morning on the passing of Professor Jim Dornan, a passionate patron, advocate and friend to all at @LAL_NI."

belfast film

Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe star in the film

"Jim was champion for so many small charities and causes in NI and that legacy will live on. Condolences to family and friends at this sad time." 

During his interview with The Times, Jamie also revealed how his dad supported his decision to pursue an acting career. He said: "It was a gamble, but he let me take it. Few parents would go, ‘What is it you want to do? Move to London and try that out? Go for it.’"

"Dad did — that’s the reason I’m sitting here now," he added. 

The comedy-drama film follows the life of a working-class family during the Troubles in 1960s Northern Ireland and has been nominated for six BAFTAs. 

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