Northern Irish actor feels ‘lucky’ to star in Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast

Northern Irish child actor Jude Hill said he felt “lucky” to have made his film debut in Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical film Belfast.

The 10-year-old said he “loved” the process of auditioning and working with the “fantastic” cast of older actors.

He plays nine-year-old Buddy, a role based on Branagh himself, in the film, which follows a working-class Protestant family during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

The film also stars Jamie Dornan, Ciaran Hinds, Caitriona Balfe and Judi Dench as Buddy’s family members.

“Me and Buddy can tell a lot and I saw myself in these pages of this first draft of the script and a few words in which I immediately fell in love with it,” he said during a Q&A. -answers on Variety.

“For my first project to be so big with all these fantastic people in the cast as well…I felt so lucky to be here.

“Every call, I loved every call…every Zoom call, every videotape. I enjoyed each of them.

“When I found out I had gotten (the role), I was so happy.”

The young actor said his first recording with veteran actor Branagh, who read his father’s role, was “very emotional”.

He admitted that the fatherly vibe given by Branagh and Dornan was “very similar”.

New to meeting other famous faces, the youngster, who is a big fan of Marvel films, said he had “snapped” when he met Spider-Man actor Tom Holland while on tour with the cast.

“We were sitting at the table and everyone was talking and I was just (speechless)…even now I’m still crying,” he said.

“The cool thing is Jude said as soon as Tom sees Belfast he’ll be a big fan of you,” Dornan said.

The film has already seen success, with nominations and wins, in the 2022 awards season which has been plagued with delays and cancellations.

Hill was nominated for Best Young Actor/Actress at the 27th Critics Choice Awards.

Both Dornan and Hinds received Best Supporting Actor nominations and Balfe is nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

The film is nominated for Best Overall Picture, Best Ensemble, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

The film is set to be released in the UK and Ireland on January 21, 2022.