• Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2022: Jamie Dornan, “Belfast”

“I grew up six miles outside of Belfast,” Jamie Dornan reminisced to the HPFA last year. “Although it’s fairly connected to the city, it still would be considered rural. It is kind of removed somewhat, and surrounded by fields, and I lived right by a beach. Nothing affects me more than when I go home to that land. It’s like totally deep within my soul, and any opportunity I have to get back to that land, I take.”
That opportunity was presented to him by director Kenneth Branagh when he offered the actor the chance to join the cast of Belfast, a love letter to Branagh’s childhood told through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy. It is the end of the 1960s and Belfast is caught up in a tumultuous phase of its history: the troubles between the Catholics and the Protestants over religious independence which would last more than 30 years and tear apart friendships, families, and neighborhoods
In the film, Dornan plays Pa, a working-class husband and father of two sons, who is forced to travel to England for work. While he is away, his little protective pocket of a neighborhood is shattered when the religious conflict erupts and his family is caught in the middle.
Receiving his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture, Dornan was drawn to the exuberant nature of the script, that even while exploring the volatility of the time still managed to focus on love and humor.
It also managed to find energy when it showcased Dornan’s vocal ability with his soulful rendition of the classic pop song Everlasting Love. But for the 39-year-old father of three, that day on set was one filled with terror and fear.
“A godsend that day,” he recently told the press, “was that we recorded the vocals after, so I didn’t have to sing live like I was in Les Mis. I wouldn’t have survived that day. It was enough just to lip-synch in time. I had to sing and then deal with the dance moves and the emotion of the moment. Still, that scene is a joyous release.”
James Peter Maxwell Dornan is the youngest of three, and while his youth was typically filled with rugby matches, he did venture into his school’s drama department, where he showcased his burgeoning talent in such shows as Bugsy Malone, Blood Brothers, and Christmas Pantomime, which earned him his first drama prize.
Moving to London in 2002 to study acting, Dornan navigated the hardship by working at a pub and taking up modeling, securing impressive campaigns with Armani, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, and Dior Homme, where he became the face of their fragrance advertising. Battling the stigma of ‘model turned actor’ he persevered, and in 2006, landed his first screen role in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. After a short arc on the series Once Upon a Time, Dornan drew impressive reviews for The Fall, where he played a serial killer terrorizing Belfast. His career would forever change when he took the part of Christian Grey in the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, setting off a series of impressive performances in A Private War, Robin Hood, Wild Mountain Thyme, and with much comic joy, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.