At the heart of “Outlander” is the outspoken and fiercely independent Claire, a World War II nurse who suddenly finds herself in Jacobean Scotland. In the series, Claire is portrayed by Irish actor Caitriona Balfe. Prior to landing the lead role in “Outlander,” Balfe had appeared in several other film and TV projects, including “Escape Plan,” the Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger film, and “Crush,” a Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo film.
However, until “Outlander,” the actor had a slow start in the industry. Before her acting career took off, she worked primarily as a model in the early 2000s. “Modelling does two things,” she said Guardian, “It gives you a really, really tough exterior and then a really broken interior.” She made a slow transition into acting.
When she finally landed “Outlander,” it was a dream come true. “I’ve had a few jobs, nothing really notable,” she said. “I was living in L.A. and I was really struggling, in fact, I had been employed for about four or five months.” Of course, everything has changed since then. In 2019, she played Christian Bale’s wife in “Le Mans ’66” and in 2021, she starred in Kenneth Branagh’s Academy Award-winning “Belfast”. It’s safe to say that “Outlander” changed everything for Balfe.