Glamour Italia: August 2015
By Caterina Clerici
I TRAVEL THROUGH TIME
Caitriona Balfe, the Outlander’s star,is hitting the big time in Hollywood. And after shooting with Clooney and Julia Roberts, she’s ready to return to Scotland. With specific ideas, some style tricks and few regrets.
One thinks that some things can happen only in an episode of Sex and the City. Instead you canjust walk in the West Village in New York with Caitriona Balfe (pronounced Catrina; it’s a Gaelic name) to suddenly glance at your side a coach with the advertising of Outlander, where she is the leading actress, exactly what it happens to Carrie in the unforgettable theme song. But Caitriona does not stumble: shemirrors herself in her image and smiles. "Thanks to the photo editing the scene seems almost heroic",she says. "But looking at it I can only recall that my ass was freezing that day in the mountains of Scotland". After leaving Ireland at 15 years old, entering the fashion industry as a model, last year she has beenmentioned by Entertainment Weeklyamong the twelveHollywood’s rising stars. Thirty-five years, 1.77 cm tall, a perfect body, icy stare andreminiscent features as Cate Blanchett, one of the actressess she likes more.
How did you feel working side by side to George Clooney and Julia Roberts in Jodie Foster’s Money Monster?:
"They are all movie giants, I learned a lot. But in the end, when you're there, it's just a work, and it becomes almost a routine".
You grew up in Northern Ireland, two hours from Dublin, not only far from the spotlight buteven from the city lights. How did you end up working in fashion?
"The usual fate. When I was 18 an agent stopped me while I was volunteering for an association against multiple sclerosis. I was filling shopping bags in a supermarket. He offered me to work for an agency in Dublin. I left the college, where I studied acting, and a year later I moved to Paris".
You have worked with all the greatest - from Karl Lagerfeld to Dolce & Gabbana and Balenciaga - at the spike of your career you were considered one of the twenty most sought-after models in the world. Is there something you currently miss of that world?
"Surely the bread with olives made by Dolce & Gabbana’s cook! I remember they always had the best refreshments. Sometimes I still dream that bread. However, it was a very funnyworld, but I think it was asuitable lifestyle for my age at that time. You can cope with certain pace, between trips and parties, only when you are twenty years old".
Is there something you never tolerate?
"The fashion system idealize only one type of woman: it’s wrong and misleading. It forces to doubt about yourself, because it doesn’t matter if you were the prettiest girl or the smartest one at school. You are judged only upon the basis of how much you are skinnier thanthe girl at your side. Or if you have nicer doe eyes ".
Did you feel you would have become an actress?
"Yes, I always saw my modelling career as a temporary thing. Of course, I did not think it was a step lasting for ten years! But at the time I wouldn’t have even been able to deal with all the responsibilities requested to an actress and the roles I play".
Such asthe Claire role, the heroine of the Outlander series, adapted from the book by Diana Gabaldon. Do you seeherself in her?
"The story of Claire is a radical change, a great loss, but also a renaissance (Claire is mysteriously thrown back in time; in Scotland, from 1945 to 1743.) It talks about how you can survive in front of tragic events and that you must keep living your life against all odds. She has ahuge force: she is a modern and feminist woman, not by choice, but simply because she feels to be worth as much as men. And she is so strong she can afford to make mistakes ... So not only I like to think to have many things in common with her, but I hope so".
Claire is in a love triangle. Have you ever experienced a similar situation?
"It happened that the place in my heart takenby someone I loved was not yet free and meanwhile ... someone elsewas already entering! But I have never found in a difficult position as Claire is. I do not think, however, that neither of the two men competingfor her would be right for me. The first thing I look for in a boyfriend? Certainly a beautiful head. Even if no woman would say no to the overwhelming passion felt by Claire and Jamie in the serial. I almost had to take a test of "chemistry" on the set before having the part ( she laughs)".
You had to cope with the book fans, following the character for years. Judging from your followers on Twitter - more than ninety thousand –you convinced them.
"The reviews so farare always positive and fans are very active. The funniest part is that they send me a lot of paintings of my cat. I find them beautiful and I gave a part of them to some friends who live around the world. So, it seems to meI have a piece of home wherever I go".
Do you like Twitter?
"The wonder of this social network is doing something good by using all the "chatter"created around my success. For example, I support an association helping children with cancer worldwide. Through Twitter I can give visibility even to them".
The first series of Outlanderwas shot for almost a year in Scotland: did it was a kind of homecoming or did you feel isolated from the world?
"It was a long time since I was living in Europe ... Scotland and Ireland are very different but both have landscapes with ancestral energies, magical, taking your breath away. However, sometimes we were so isolated that the mobile phone did not work for days. But that's good - actually I hate to take it always with me on the set! Maybe the only thing I really missed was dressing up elegant to go out. It seems strange, but being accustomed to Paris or New York, where you pay attention to how you dress even to go to dinner, I felt a bit out of place in Glasgow. No one dresses to impress there, unless you go to dance".
But your look, brown sweater, high waist denim skirt, ankle boots with a little heel, apparently, seems to reflect a simple taste ...
"In New York, jeans and t-shirt are the uniform between shootings, but when I go out I want to tart myself up. My style depends a lotabout how I wake up: one day very feminine, girly, the day after tomboy or even "rock and roll". The only constant is black and a few jewels. And, definitely, high heels".
Do you have a secret to be perfect during the long days on the set?
"Perhaps the main problem are dark circles, due to theimpossibleschedule. Sopatches help a lot, the ones you can cool down. When I am engaged during the episodes of the series I have always a bit of them hidden in the fridge of the crew, and usually my days begin with them".
With the end of the Money Monsters’ shootingyou will have to leave New York to return to Outlander in Scotland. And then? Which are your plans?
"For now, I know more or less what direction I want to go, but I do not want to have a clear strategy. If you schedule everything, you riskbeing disappointed, while I always took my best decisions without thinking at them. I let myself be surprised and, when there are challenges, I took them up. For the moment, they were right choices. I have no regrets..apart from a couple of ex-boyfriends!"