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Kenneth Branagh’s film “Belfast,” which tells the story of a family in 1960s Northern Ireland, continues to be an award-show darling, and it showed its sway among the acting community Wednesday with Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for the ensemble cast and actress Caitriona Balfe.
Balfe, who also stars in the Starz drama “Outlander,” took home an individual nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture.
“It feels really exciting,” Balfe told TheWrap Wednesday. “I’m just so excited for all of us. The fact that we’ve been nominated as an ensemble is just so great. I think we all just feel so indebted to Ken for taking us on this crazy ride. And a nomination like this is kind of like a nice little thank you to him, I think, in a way.”
As Balfe navigates award season, she’s also fielding questions — including from TheWrap — about the imminent return of “Outlander.” The series, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, returns with Season 6 March 22, and Balfe called the next run of episodes “quite tense.”
“We have a new family that comes to the Ridge called [the] Christies and they – it’s a blast from Jamie’s past, not entirely welcome,” Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser opposite Sam Heughan’s Jamie Fraser, said. “But they definitely destabilize a lot of things on the Ridge. And for Claire, personally, she’s going through her own very tough personal journey trying to recover from the events of the end of last season. And I’m really grateful that the writers, they really allowed for her to have time to process that and get through that. And we see her maybe destabilized in a way that we haven’t before as well. But also we see her find a new way to recover with Jamie as her support, which is – there is some beautiful stuff in there.”
The new season, which is set on the eve of the American Revolution, will continue to reflect the challenging times when the colonies took a stand against British rule. Although, last season, Heughan’s Jamie had to appear loyal to the Redcoats in public, while working for the revolutionaries behind the scenes.
“Also then, the political landscape is ever shifting, and it’s really tough for Jamie especially to know where to put his allegiance when – because they know obviously the outcome [of the Revolution], but it’s such a treacherous path … so he has to keep playing both sides of his allegiance to try and maintain safety. So it’s a very exciting season, even though it’s a truncated season, but I think fans are going to be happy.”