Not every star makes it big early. Some spend long careers grinding, never quite getting that big break, or fully realizing their potential, until later in their lives. It’s not easy waiting for recognition, or for finally delivering the project they’ve always wanted to make, especially when the people who would be most proud of your accomplishments aren’t around to see them.
For actor Jaime Dornan, that person is his father.
Dornan was a model who hit it big when he was cast in the film adaptation of the hugely popular book series, Shades of Grey. He’d become a star, and was very successful, but it’s his latest project that is getting the most attention. He stars in Belfast, an autobiographical tale from writer/director Kenneth Branagh, about a young boy growing up in Northern Ireland. The movie is an Oscar favorite, and Dornan is proud to be a part of it. He just wishes his father were still around to see it.
Dornan’s father, Jim, was a renowned obstetrician and gynecologist and was considered a pioneer in the field of women’s reproductive rights. He passed away from Covid-19 last March while Dornan was on quarantine while filming in Australia.
“For my dad not to see Belfast really hurts,” he told the Sunday Times. “I take comfort from the fact that he knows I did it. Some people go their whole lives without being told they’ve made their parents proud. My dad told me every day.”
Dornan says his father was the one who encouraged him to explore his creative side – rather than end up a working stiff.
“I didn’t want to become an estate agent in Belfast and play a bit of club rugby at weekends — with the greatest respect to estate agents in Belfast,” he added. “I just felt I had a wee bit more to offer than that… even though it is lunacy to try to be an actor. Only 4 per cent of actors are employed — who in their right mind would pursue that?”
His dad encouraged him, and Dornan has made his way quite well, and his dad knew it.