Monday 24 September 2018

Caitriona Balfe: 'Moving to LA allowed me to dismantle all the mental issues from modelling'

Caitriona Balfe attends the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Caitriona Balfe attends the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Caitriona Balfe attends the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 13, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Caitriona Balfe attends the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) gala dinner held at Grosvenor House, on February 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
Caitriona Balfe attending the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London
Caitriona Balfe (L) and Tony McGill attend the Grey Goose 2018 BAFTA Awards after party on February 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Grey Goose Vodka )
Caitriona Balfe arrives at Starz's "Outlander" FYC Special Screening and Panel at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Pickford Center for Motion Study on March 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Caitriona Balfe. Photo: Getty
Irish actress Caitriona Balfe arrives for the 75th Golden Globe Awards on January 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California. / AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACONVALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
Actress Caitriona Balfe spotted with fiancée Tony McGill close to St Stephen's Green
Caitriona Balfe during 8th Annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway at The New York State Armory in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Caitriona Balfe during 8th Annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway at The New York State Armory in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Actors Sam Heughan (L) and Caitriona Balfe attend the "Outlander" Season 2 Premiere on April 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for STARZ)
Caitriona Balfe arrives at Starz's "Outlander" FYC Special Screening and Panel at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Pickford Center for Motion Study on March 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Caitriona Balfe in Oscar de la Renta Fall 2003 Fashion (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Caitriona Balfe wearing Marc Bouwer Spring 2007 (Photo by Carlo Buscemi/WireImage)
Caitriona Balfe wearing Narciso Rodriguez Spring 2004 (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Caitriona Balfe wearing Oscar de la Renta Spring 2004 (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Honoree Caitriona Balfe attends the 12th Annual US-Ireland Aliiance's Oscar Wilde Awards event at Bad Robot on February 23, 2017 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for US-Ireland Alliance )
Caitriona Balfe attending the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, Kensington, London. Photo: PA
Caitriona Balfe during 8th Annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - Runway at The New York State Armory in New York City, New York, United States. Photo: KMazur/WireImage
Sam Heughan (L) and actress Caitriona Balfe arrive at Starz's "Outlander" FYC Special Screening and Panel at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Pickford Center for Motion Study on March 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Irish actress Caitriona Balfe has a career most would give their right arm for - she's a retired supermodel, the only Irish woman to appear in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and she stars on cult hit Outlander, earning a slew of award nominations in the process.

The Co Monaghan native (38) was discovered by a model scout at the age of 18, which she says taught her independence from an early age, but something which sometimes came at the cost of her self esteem.

After some early work in Dublin, she began travelling around the world to Paris and Milan before moving to New York full time.

"I remember one of my first ever photoshoots in Dublin," she told Irish Tatler. "I was so young and I remember coming back from it and my sister was like, 'Where have you been all day?'

Caitriona Balfe in Oscar de la Renta Fall 2003 Fashion (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Caitriona Balfe in Oscar de la Renta Fall 2003 Fashion (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)

"I was just being sent off with a strange photographer who was older and with no kind of knowledge about where I was going, what was expected, just sort of thrown out to the wolves at 18. It's just incredible when I look back now at how I navigated all of that because you are literally just send off on your own, traipsing around some strange cities where you don't know the language.

"You are just expected to fend for yourself. It was the wild west and you were lucky if you had a job."

After hanging up her high heels in 2009, she decided to pursue acting and moved to Los Angeles full-time at the age of 29, a late starter in comparison to the bus load of teenagers making their way to Hollywood every day.

"When I left the business, I moved to LA and I am so grateful that I was able to take a year...a lot of that was just dismantling a lot of the mental issues I had taken from the business because your confidence and your self-esteem is in the toilet after you've been in that business for so long."

Balfe previously described her modelling experience as "vapid", while saying she's also grateful for the opportunities it afforded her to travel the world. Meanwhile, she is planning her wedding to music producer Tony McGill, a relationship over which she is fiercely protective and rarely speaks about in interviews.

"I would just love to have all of my friends and family and have a great party. I think the production side of it is just too much like work," she told the magazine about her wedding planning.

Actress Caitriona Balfe spotted with fiancée Tony McGill close to St Stephen's Green
Actress Caitriona Balfe spotted with fiancée Tony McGill close to St Stephen's Green

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