Kenneth Branagh, Ciaran Suggest Emotional Experience While Making ‘Belfast’ – The Hollywood Reporter

Do Belfast, his semi-autobiographical eulogy about his childhood in Northern Ireland’s capital during the Troubles of the late 1960s was – understandably – a deeply emotional experience for Kenneth Branagh. But Ciarán Hinds, whom the filmmaker cast as his beloved grandfather (aka Pop), says it goes for him too.

Also born in Belfast – although in 1953, almost eight years earlier than Branagh – Hinds stated that he knew he was dealing with “something very special” within a few pages of reading the script.

“Sometimes things come into your life that you can almost taste when you read them,” he said THR Gifts, provided by Vision Media. “The truth and atmosphere that Ken has portrayed in this script moved me deeply, and as I read it, I began to picture back into my grandparents’ life, into the backyard, into their front room. surname. All these memories started flooding back.”

As well as being immediately drawn to his personal connection to the story, Hinds said that as soon as it was announced that Judi Dench would play his on-screen wife – the beloved ‘grandmother’ of Branagh – he knows that there’s no way he’s going to pull off.”

Branagh begins to write Belfast as the lockdown begins in 2020, using the sudden quiet and solitude to deal with what he describes as the “unfinished business” he has with a city he left at age 9 when violence broke out between loyalists and republicans. “It’s the accumulation of decades that hasn’t quite shaken this from my past and my Belfast story has been poured out.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Belfast production could not use a real-life city street like the one where Branagh grew up, so a street was carefully constructed in the parking lot of an exhibition center – closed door in Farnborough, south-west of London, with a pop-up studio set up next to a nearby airport (also closed due to the pandemic). And even though it was a parody, the film evoked strong childhood memories for both Branagh and Hinds.

“For me, it was walking out into Pop’s backyard and the crowded grocery store, my grandfather’s Willy Wonka factory, where he did all his finances,” Branagh said. “Seeing that is magical – it’s time travel.”

Hinds claims the set is “incredible detail” and recalls tracking a pair of wooden skateboards in the corner and thinking, “Skateboards? In Belfast?” before realizing it didn’t matter; they just something that can be sold for a bit of money.

“They make a pretty mouthful because the economic times are bad, so whatever you can get your hands on, you try to brighten it up, upgrade it and sell it for an extra one or two. two cents,” he said. “And so was my grandfather.”

Belfast also stars Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe and Jude Hill.

This edition of THR Gifts was brought to you by Spotlight Feature.

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