Cover photo: Caitriona and Jamie Dornan (she just can’t escape those Jamies!! 😜) in ‘Belfast’, Digital Spy
Some exciting news from Caitriona last week: she and her husband, Tony, welcomed a new baby boy! She announced the news on Instagram, saying,
“I’ve been off socials for a while as I was taking some time to enjoy cooking up this little human …. We are so grateful for this little soul ….that he chose us as his parents. I’m in awe of him already and can’t help stare and wonder at all the possibilities of who he will become, where he will go and what he’ll do on the big adventure of his life. Right now he seems so small and fragile and I constantly think how grateful I am that I live in a place, in a time where he is born into peace and safety and yet at the same time I see so many in the world right now that aren’t afforded that same privilege and opportunity … who are born into famine or war and how unjust it is that the same safety isn’t there for all children. Here in the west we have so much, we are so lucky and so if you’d like to join me in supporting any of the wonderful charities that need help trying to give those that are forgotten dignity and hope, we can give the gift of peace and safety and opportunity to a few more children ….”
Photo: Baby Balfe McGill, Caitriona’s IG
How wonderful for Caitriona and husband, Tony McGill! (They were married in August of 2019).
Photo: Getty Images
I’m guessing this was the compelling reason behind the premature stoppage of filming for Season 6. The production wrapped the first week of June, announcing that Season 6 would be 8 episodes (instead of the originally planned 12), with a 90 minute season premiere. Matt said, “Filming in 2021 has presented an unprecedented set of challenges which led us to the decision to truncate the season in order to bring the fans the most vibrant and dynamic season as soon as possible.”
“An unprecedented set of challenges” indeed! 😂 My gawd, I thought things were complicated enough with all the Covid-19 restrictions and workarounds, but having a very pregnant Caitriona play Season 6 Claire, who is supposed to be 57 when ABOSAA starts and 61 by the end of that book, and *menopausal throughout, would present some challenges! Never mind the sheer physicality required of Cait while playing Claire: outside in the Scottish winter, working 12-14 hour days, sex scenes and horse riding, etc. And what about some of the scenes in ABOSAA? Let’s see, she plays a very ill Claire who becomes emaciated and almost dies – that might be hard to pull off as a rosey, glowing pregnant woman – maybe if one has morning sickness in the beginning, that might help. Perhaps they shot those scenes early on, as filming started in early January, and Caitriona would not have been showing back then. Let’s see, Claire gets stoned by the townspeople in ABOSAA, and that’s toward the latter part of the book – that one might be challenging as a very pregnant woman. Any partially nude scenes would be interesting as well. I think we may get a lot of closeups for intimate moments?
Matt probably thought taking the reins as showrunner during Season 3 and rolling straight into Season 4 with no break, (with a whole new writing team) would be his most challenging season of all… ha! Has anyone seen Matt? Is he speed aging like a US president? Matt, I feel for ya!
I’m very curious about all the creative things they had to do to hide Caitriona’s budding pregnancy – I’m sure there were some humorous moments.
The Season 6 promo shots did tend to show Cait from the waist up…
And then, in the Looks at Season 6 filming, there’s the old medical kit in front of the belly maneuver 😁
And the hold the art on your lap move…
Beautiful and cheeky
All these things contributed to Cait being able to keep her pregnancy private until she was ready to announce the news, which is splendid. 🤗
***I am informed that one such technique was using a body double for Cait, who apparently announced the news on her Instagram stories soon after Cait’s post about her new baby. (Thanks Jennifer for that scoop).
Photo: Cait’s (self reported) body double for Season 6, valeria_jem, Instagram
Along the lines of crafty techniques for hiding pregnancies on camera, Maria Doyle Kennedy may have shared some stories with Cait when she was on set filming for Season 6. Back when MDK was announced in the role of Jocasta, I did a casting piece on her; in my research, I found an interview she’d done with The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. She told the story of playing Catherine of Aragon in The Tudors, when apparently she was on her death bed, grief stricken about never conceiving an heir to the throne, when in reality MDK was 8 months pregnant! In fact, they had to build a special bed with a sunken pit for Maria to play the scene – they covered her with blankets and there were fake legs sticking out! 😂 (Go here to read MDK’s casting piece and watch the interview). I look forward to Caitriona’s stories.
In the same statement about Season 6 being truncated, Matt went on to say, “Dinna fash, we will then film an extended season 7 with 16 episodes next year , as life returns to normalcy.”
Hmm, well, that statement was released on June 1st, just before the Delta Variant rose exponentially and swept through the UK. Sheesh. I think we’re all lucky that they wrapped when they did. All things considered, I wonder when they’ll begin filming Season 7? And how will that work for Caitriona and her new babe? 12-14 hour days with an infant does not sound ideal. As I said, Outlander is a very demanding job for the role of Claire. I guess she could have a baby nanny on set with her and be holding that little peach in between scenes? We continually hear about all the downtime between scenes, so maybe that could work, with a heated trailer nearby. Now is Starz’ chance to put their money where their mouth is about being strong woman focused. I look forward to seeing how they support their female lead in continuing on in the role of Claire, while also caring for her precious baby.
However, Season 7 of Outlander is not the only thing on Caitriona’s agenda.
Before shooting Season 6 of Outlander, Entertainment columnist Baz Bamigboye reported on September 3, 2020 via Twitter that Caitriona was working on the movie Belfast, along with a talent laden cast. Belfast, written and directed by Kenneth Branagh is a semi-autobiographical work about a boy growing up in Northern Ireland during the tumultuous late 1960s. Caitriona and Jamie Dornan play Branagh’s parents, with Judi Dench and Cirian Hinds playing his grandparents. The film was shot in London and Belfast, and wrapped at at the end of September, 2020. Belfast is expected to come out sometime this year. The film has a Gala presentation coming up on Tiff, Sept 12, 13 & 16. Click here for in person and digital tickets: Belfast. There is also a discussion with Kenneth Branagh coming on September 13th. (details in the link below).
On September 13, acclaimed writer-actor-director Kenneth Branagh joins us to discuss his wide-ranging career, the challenges and joys of adapting Shakespeare’s plays and the journey of making his #TIFF21 film BELFAST. https://t.co/XbCa1DHtyk pic.twitter.com/1wrN5WmEXW
— TIFF (@TIFF_NET) August 24, 2021
According to Pioneer Scoop, Caitriona has been cast in a Netflix new original series based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Reportedly, Lily James will play Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Thompson will play Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The article didn’t say what role Caitriona plays, only that she is set to “star” alongside Anna Chancellor, Helena Bonham Carter, Elizabeth Debicki, Dominic Cooke, Sophie Cookson, Eleanor Tomlinson (of “Poldark”), Douglas Booth (of “Great Expectations”), and Matthew Goode. According to the article, production started in May 2021 and the series will be released in mid-2022. I’m not sure how that worked with filming Outlander and Cait’s pregnancy, perhaps her part comes later, but I guess time will tell! *** People are letting me know this may not be reliable info; all mag articles concerning this do refer back to this one Pioneer Scoop article – we shall see.
Caitriona carries on with her charitable work – she did cameos with Choose Love for relief in Afghanistan. This is postpartum Caitriona – gorgeous as always, and thinking of others…
Caitríona is on Cameo for a limited time to benefit Afghanistan relief with @chooselove !
She looks absolutely gorgeous!!! pic.twitter.com/53x7R3Lnqf
— Mushka 🍎 (@mushka_mushk) August 22, 2021
Most of us know about Sam’s Sassenach whisky, but did you know that Caitriona has her own gin – Forget Me Not? Has anyone tried it? I’m not a gin drinker, but it’s described as “a smooth botanical gin exquisitely distilled and lovingly handcrafted in the Highlands of Scotland, with hints of citrus and delicate floral notes including Lavender and touches of Elderflower.” The proceeds go to the arts. Find out more here: Forget Me Not Gin.
And of course, World Child Cancer –
September is #childhoodcancer awareness month. Join me in this great initiative to raise vital funds for children and families affected by cancer around the world. @WChildCancer https://t.co/3nc198ntW0
— Caitríona Balfe (@caitrionambalfe) August 18, 2021
Caitriona now has a very full plate, indeed. And parenthood has a way of fueling your passions.
As I contemplate and write this, I feel nostalgia – for those early days with your first baby… they are challenging, and magical, and above all, your heart is burst wide open. (or at least mine was). My first baby leaves for college in just over a week. I will miss him terribly, and, also, it is time. I can’t wait to see what he does in this world.
Enjoy every moment, Caitriona. It goes. so. fast.
Being a mom has been my most cherished role in life yet, and I truly wish you and Tony so many blessings with your new little guy. ❤️
Have a wonderful weekend. xo
*Wait, menopause goes on until you’re 61???? Noooooo!
Source: Screen Daily
Source: Digital Spy
Source: Town & Country Mag
Source: Oprah Daily
Source: Oprah Daily
Source: Marie Claire
Source: ALT film guide
Source: Pioneer Scoop