At the end of the day… Ca­tri­ona Balfe

Grazia (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Home at the mo­ment is Glas­gow, where I film Out­lander. When I walk through the door, I al­ways greet my cat, Ed­die, who de­mands some belly rubs be­fore you can go and do any­thing else. But when I was film­ing my new movie Le Mans ’66, my home was in LA. We had this lovely lit­tle house, with a swim­ming pool, just the size of a tiny lit­tle hand­ker­chief, but it was nice to come home and go for a swim.

I think that there’s some­thing in the DNA of ac­tors that we thrive on a lack of stability or regime. It sort of suits our per­son­al­i­ties. I rel­ish the un­pre­dictabil­ity of it in many ways.

LA was home for most peo­ple on the crew, so Chris­tian Bale and Matt Damon would go home to see their kids and their fam­i­lies at the end of a day of shoot­ing. But I used to live in LA, so I would go to see old friends and make the most of that time. I was ob­vi­ously in­tim­i­dated when we started film­ing, be­cause Chris­tian is such a leg­end. But the minute you meet him, and start talk­ing about the work, he’s just Chris­tian and you’re both in this en­deav­our to­gether. So that made it re­ally easy.

I have to ad­mit I am quite fe­line, so I have to work re­ally hard and then I love sit­ting on the couch, usu­ally with a book. Right now I’m read­ing Three Women by Lisa Tad­deo. It’s just fan­tas­tic. With TV, es­pe­cially when I come home from a long day of work, I like some­thing that I don’t have to think about, like Colombo or Mur­der She Wrote, or even 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

Cater­ing on sets isn’t al­ways the best, so I try and cook my meals for work. I’ll do a big thing on Sun­day night, where I’ll make three or four dishes and then put them in my Tup­per­ware fridge. It’s all very nerdy, but I feel like it’s the only way to eat well when you’re film­ing.

I do most of my foun­da­tional prep be­fore we start film­ing – whether it’s your re­search, or di­alect things. But I never learn my lines un­til the night be­fore. You want to feel like it’s fresh, and that you’re say­ing them for the first time. I like to write them down, so I’ve got note­books and note­books ev­ery­where. I al­ways feel that if you learn things be­fore you sleep, your brain is work­ing on it while you’re sleep­ing, and when you wake up in the morn­ing you’ve ac­tu­ally done all this sub­con­scious work.

I’ve lived away from Ire­land since I was 19, so the phone is very im­por­tant. There are like 20,000 peo­ple in my fam­ily, so try­ing to phone ev­ery sin­gle one of them takes a month: you kind of ro­tate. My mum’s use of smart­phones is quite funny:

I asked her to send me a photo of a bank state­ment of mine a while ago, and she posted it to Face­book.

I never get enough sleep. I can pretty much sleep any­where, but I have ter­ri­ble habits. I don’t go to bed early enough. I was like one of those an­noy­ing lit­tle kids who never wanted to go to bed. But I have the best dreams.

‘Le Mans ’66’ is in cine­mas na­tion­wide now

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