​​How Jamie Dornan’s Kids Have Helped Him Recapture The Magic Of The Movies

Jamie Dornan in Belfast
(Image credit: Focus Features)

There is a magic at play in Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast that speaks directly to the young man Branagh was, and the seasoned professional he has become. Though the intimate film set in Northern Ireland embraces the conflicts of the time between the Catholics and the Protestants, there’s a sidebar subplot regarding a pure love of cinema that can’t be (and shouldn’t be) overlooked. I was lucky enough to speak with the Belfast cast, all brimming with folks who know too well how movies get made, and asked them if they still can connect to that magical love of cinema. You will love Jamie Dornan’s answer, above. 

Like so many of us who have grown and had kids of our own, Jamie Dornan explains that he now appreciates things through their eyes… and that includes the movies. Dornan’s been involved in so many memorable films, either as part of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise or stealing scenes in the recent comedy Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar. So he did understand the hard truth that when you become someone who makes the movies, it gets harder to let yourself go and fall head over heels in love with a movie. But when Dornan thought deeper on it, he did go on to explain:

I have to agree with you. I feel like it’s harder to come by now. Maybe it’s like, the older you get, maybe… I’m luckier now that I see it through my kids a bit, bringing them to the cinema and seeing these quite big responses to stuff. I love seeing that, and I sort of forgot that I used to respond in the same way.

It helps that the character on screen who’s enamored with the movies is young Buddy (Jude Hill), an Irish lad with a crush on his school mate who loves escaping the bombast in this neighborhood by ducking into the cinema. In one deliriously beautiful scene, the entire family featured in Belfast attends a screening of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and the colors calling to the family up on the screen forces the members -- and the audience -- to lean forward and hope to fall in. 

Jamie Dornan loves that his movie captures some of what’s possible at the movies, telling CinemaBlend:

Like all of us, the future of cinema is precarious, isn’t it? We’re all worried about what that is. So hopefully there can be movies that have that sort of impact on people, and movies that the whole family can go to. I think seeing our family in Belfast do it, it reminds you of how important that is. How much of a fabric of all of our lives cinema has been.

He’s right, and Belfast absolutely is one of those very special movies that does exactly what he says. It reminds us how incredible a night at the movies can be. So make sure that you head out and see it while it’s available at an auditorium near you.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.