Sir Kenneth Branagh Discusses the “Naked and Raw” Experience of “Belfast” and Award Nominations in Recent Interviews

Sir Kenneth Branagh, who played the incredulous Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, continues to captivate the world with his talents. He’s recently spoken about his latest directorial film, Belfast, and how one moment in his childhood forever changed his life.

Belfast, which tells the story of a young boy’s experiences during the political unrest in 1960s Belfast, was written and directed by Branagh and is inspired by his own childhood in Northern Ireland. The film has opened up a lot of conversations and has earned him a nomination for a Directors Guild of America Award in the Oustanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film category alongside other talented directors.



Branagh admitted that when thinking about the story line of Belfast, he really had to listen to other people’s stories to create the actuality that the film is, describing it as a “naked and raw” experience in a recent interview with Gold Derby.

In a recent episode of Backstage, the film and TV podcast from Sky News, Branagh talked about how the lockdown gave him time to collectively get his thoughts together and bring them to the film. Branagh opened up about how the landscape is different in this film due to it being through the eyes of a nine-year-old child and focusing on ordinary people.

Branagh praised the actors in Belfast and shared his surprise moments from directing over the years. He claimed that, in a lot of his acting and directing, he’s picked up on how to make the actors feel their best and enjoy the process of filmmaking.

A lot of my acting, directing…things I’ve picked up, is to do with how can you just make the actor less fearful and genuinely enjoy things. When I see and feel people enjoy things, I see them do their best work, and I also see them surprise themselves.

Belfast was released in the United Kingdom last month after previously having been released in theaters in the United States in November. The trailer looks captivating, and we’re sure this awards season will continue to be generous to Branagh for creating a film so close to him and countless others.



Have you watched Belfast? What did you think of the film?


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Brittany Bennett

A proud Hufflepuff and nerd beyond measure, Harry Potter has always been the series I call home.