Jamie Dornan grateful to Kenneth Branagh for giving him ‘freedom’ on Belfast set

The Fifty Shades of Grey actor portrays Pa in the coming-of-age drama.

Jamie Dornan has praised Kenneth Branagh for allowing him total “freedom” on the set of Belfast.

The Fifty Shades of Grey actor portrays Pa in the coming-of-age drama, which was written and directed by Branagh and is inspired by his childhood amidst The Troubles in Northern Ireland in the 1960s.

Reflecting on his casting in the movie, Dornan recalled how Branagh gave him the confidence to interpret the father figure in his own way.

“We had this brilliant introductory discussion. He was making me feel that I was the only person he wanted to be portraying his father. And we’re talking about his life story. I had so many questions for him in the beginning about his father and how he really would have responded in these scenarios, trying to get a sense of his dad beyond the page,” he explained during a conversation with Kirsten Dunst for Variety’s Actors on Actors series. “It’s not like he wouldn’t answer them, but he was very much like: ‘I want you to do your own thing with it.’ That’s massive to be given that confidence, rather than trying to be this idealised version of who his father was. So, it ended up being easy, because I’ve never felt such freedom on a set. I’ve never felt so confident on a film set before.”

Belfast, also starring Caitriona Balfe and Judi Dench, is now showing in cinemas.

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