Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe: 25 Little-known Facts

The Outlander star Caitriona Balfe rocketed into the movie industry. She became one of the reasons why fans binge-watch the show, empathize with Claire and Jamie’s love story, and anxiously anticipate new episodes. But, who is Caitriona Balfe, and what stands behind her thriving success? Dig into our article to uncover all the most thrilling details! 


25. SHE WASN'T AN OUTLANDER FAN. AT FIRST

When Caitriona sent her self-tape for the Outlander audition, she barely understood anything about the show. The actress didn’t know that there is a whole book series about Claire and Jamies’ love story. The plot of the show sounded pretty silly to her: “Time-travelling bodice ripper? Eh.”

"I didn't realise how many books had sold and how die-hard the fans were’. - said Balfe.


But when the actress received the second invitation from the casting team, she went straight to her local bookstore to pick up a copy of the book. Did she like it? Balfe admits: when she read a book, she loved Claire!

‘She is an incredible, strong female character who’s not only incredibly intelligent and passionate. But even for her time, of the 1940s, she is very modern, very forward-thinking’. - added the actress.


Interestingly, some of her siblings enjoyed the book series as well. Caitriona shared that one of her sisters is an avid reader; so, within 3 months, she had read all of Diana Gabaldon’s books about Outlander and kept giving her spoilers about the plot! 


The actress has since fallen in love with the story and states that there is a lot of fun in the series. She also appreciates that it includes the exploration of feminist themes: patriarchy, women’s need to control their own reproductive choices, etc.

In terms of the similarities between Caitriona and Claire, the actress assumed that they share some qualities: ‘She is slightly stubborn. A little bit headstrong. So I really enjoyed that part of it too’.


24. SHE KNOWS A VERY RARE LANGUAGE

The Outlander star speaks several languages, including French, Italian, and... Gaelic! She’s the only one member of the cast who knows the Irish language. Unfortunately, she doesn’t need to use it because her character is an Englishwoman. Luckily, during the filming of Season 2 of the series, she got to show off her French skills.


23. SHE COMES FROM A LARGE FAMILY

Balfe grew up in a large catholic family outside a small Irish village Tydavnet, County Monaghan. According to her, it’s a tiny place, and there are just one church, one school, and two pubs. The actress has 6 siblings, and, as Balfe jokes; she's the only one who doesn't have a "real" job. 


What are her most precious memories? The actress shared that her mother makes ‘the best brown bread in the world.’ When Caitriona and her brothers and sisters were kids, their mother served bread with marmalade. As Balfe recalls, it was like breakfast in bed.


22. PEOPLE OFTEN MISPRONOUNCE HER NAME

No one likes it when their name is mispronounced. Caitriona Balfe admits that she’s become used to it as it is a popular occurrence. Lots of people call her “Ky-troi-na” and once her name was pronounced as “Kal-tro-nia”! 

In 2017, during an interview with Stephen Colbert, the actress said that her name Caitriona, as we know it, is a simplified version. Initially, there was “a fada” (a little accent) on the second “i.” But she decided to drop it to simplify the pronunciation for Americans. 


21. SHE CAN PLAY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

It might come as surprise to some of her fans but Caitriona is also a bit of a musician, the actress can play the flute and can somewhat play the cello. In an interview with Parade, the actress revealed some of her other musical interests:

"I used to play the trombone and the trumpet, which I still have, but I haven't picked it up for a long time. "


20. SHE LIKES ANTIQUES

If you didn't catch from her impeccable style, Balfe enjoys classic and elegant things. The actress has shared that she has a love for antiques and she adored season 2s set design. She described it as "mind-blowingly beautiful”.

“There’s been a few times where I’m sending pictures to the art department and being like ‘Where did this chair come from?... And could one buy it if one wanted?’, - said Balfe.


Her home is elegantly decorated and mirrors her appreciation for classic style. Her bathroom looks like it's from the 20th century; she has an old-fashioned basin and turquoise tiles on the walls. She also enjoys decorating her home with antique pieces. 


19. SHE HAS A CAT NAMED EDDIE

As we mentioned before, the actress has a cat. Her name is Eddie, and she’s already a 16-years-old madam. In the interview with Collider Balfe, Eddie was born in Brooklyn, NY, and lived with her in LA, and then she had to travel to Scotland.

“She is a well-travelled cat” - the star jokes.


18. SHE CARES ABOUT CHARITY

Caitriona is a proud patron of World Child Cancer. The actress released a few T-shirts campaigns inspired by Outlander to support the cause. She also raised over $41,000 for World Child Cancer during her first marathon in London!


In 2018, the actress, accompanied by her sister Anne-Marie, ran Virgin Money London Marathon, her first marathon. She finished it in 4 hours and 47 minutes. Her co-star Sam Heughan supported the actress online while watching the marathon streaming with her cat Eddie. 

‘That was the most intense, amazing, horrible and fun experience .... Marathons are a fun day out but they are also how people show love and support and remembrance’ - Balfe shared on her Instagram.


17. SHE ENJOYS READING

The actress Maria Doyle Kennedy, who played aunt Jocasta in Outlander, said that you could always find Caitriona Balfe on set with a book.

"She's a ferocious reader," - Maria explained. 


Balfe admits that it would be lovely to lock herself away and just read for a month. When she was a kid, the actress didn't have a television at home, so she found her main entertainment in a bookcase. During the quarantine live, she said that when she was a teenager, she'd read Wuthering heights multiple times. 

It was an incredibly special book for that period of her life. However, she has one more recommendation for fellow bookworms: when the actress was asked about her favorite non-fiction book, she mentioned Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA. 


16. SHE STARTED HER CAREER AS A FASHION MODEL

Caitriona planned to pursue an acting career from a young age. At 8 years old, she began her journey with performing in her hometown’s community theater - the Dublin Institute Conservatory of Music and Drama. But one lucky circumstance changed her path for 10 years.

Balfe was scouted by a modeling agency when she was seen collecting money for charity in a shopping center. “I was doing a theatre programme at D.I.T. when I took this sort of detour into modeling’, - she recalled.