Caitriona Balfe is best known for her role as Claire Fraser in the Starz drama series Outlander, for which she has won two People’s Choice Awards and two Saturn Awards, and has received three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama.
‘I was the whitest girl on the stage!’ - Caitriona Balfe cringes at memory of Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Irish actress Caitriona Balfe has opened up about her days as a model and her experience walking in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Speaking on Conan O’Brien's chat show last weekend, the Outlander star cringed as she was shown a photo from the 2002 lingerie show.
“Something like that was so weird for me because it was like, the Brazilian bombshell, and I don’t know, I’m just not like that. I mean, I was the whitest girl on the stage!” she laughed.
The Monaghan native confessed that she had tried to add a bronzed glow with not one but two spray tans, to no avail.
I had gone and I had gotten a spray tan and I went and showed them, and they were just like, ‘Can you go get another one?’
“And then I came back with my second spray tan and I was still the whitest girl on the stage.”
She is now enjoying success as the lead actress in the US time-travelling romance epic Outlander, which has just been renewed for two more seasons.
However, Balfe said she was still grateful for her early modelling career.
“It was fun for a while, I got to travel the world and I got to experience life a in a away most people don’t get to,” she said.
Born Name Caitriona Balfe
Nick Name Cait
Occupation Actress, model
Years active: 1998–present
Born: October 04, 1979, 39 years and 6 months, Dublin, Ireland
Sun Sign Libra
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Blue
Measurements 34-24-34 in or 86-61-86 cm
Bra Size 32B
Father – Retired Garda Sergeant
Mother – Unknown
Siblings – She has 6 siblings (2 sisters and 4 brothers)
Eye Color: Blue
Height: 5 ft 9¾ in or 177 cm
Measurements: 34-24-34 in or 86-61-86 cm
She is no stranger to saucy scenes as Claire Fraser in Outlander, but way before starring in the time travelling period drama, actress Caitriona Balfe put on a pretty steamy performance as a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
In a series of sizzling throwback snaps, the
Along with her cleavage taking centre-stage, she showed off her endless pins as she made her way down the catwalk at the show in New York.
Along with being a Victoria’s Secret Angel, Caitriona also featured in a number of high profile campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara and Oscar de la Renta during her 10-year modelling career.
In 1999, while studying Theatre at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, Balfe was offered work as a fashion model in Paris. She was featured both in advertising campaigns and on runways for brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Max Mara, Bottega Veneta, H&M, Victoria’s Secret and Oscar de la Renta over the course of 10 years before she returned her focus toward acting. Balfe has appeared in numerous films, including Super 8, Now You See Me, Escape Plan and Money Monster, and had leading roles in The Beauty Inside, Crush and H+: The Digital Series.
Balfe started modelling after she was scouted by an agent while she was collecting money for charity at a local shopping centre. At 19, after working as a model in Dublin for a few months, she caught the attention of a visiting Ford Models scout, who offered her the chance to work for them in Paris. Her career highlights include opening and closing shows for Chanel, Moschino, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Alberta Ferretti, and Louis Vuitton. Balfe also walked in multiple fashion shows for notable brands, including 14 shows for Dolce & Gabbana; eight for Chanel; seven for Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez and Moschino; six for Etro; five for Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Max Mara, Ann Demeulemeester and Louis Vuitton; four for Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Missoni, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Alberta Ferretti, Alexander McQueen and Emanuel Ungaro; and three for Rochas, Christian Lacroix, Laura Biagiotti, Cacharel, BCBG Max Azria, Sonia Rykiel, Alessandro Dell’Acqua and Kenzo. Advertising campaigns featuring Balfe include those for Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Max Mara, Oscar de la Renta, Bally, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Costume National, Escada, Bottega Veneta, Hush Puppies, Mango, Neiman Marcus, BCBG Max Azria, Blumarine, Dries Van Noten, Wella, Roberto Cavalli, Victoria’s Secret, and H&M. She appeared in the 2002 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and on the cover of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and ELLE magazines. In a three-year period Balfe walked in more than 250 runway shows. Often credited professionally as simply Caitriona, at the height of her career she was considered to be in the Top 20 of the most in-demand models in the world.
Other brands that she has walked in fashion shows for include: Anna Molinari, Anna Sui, Balenciaga, Céline, Chado Ralph Rucci, Chloé, Christian Dior, Diesel, DKNY, Dries Van Noten, Emilio Pucci, Fendi, Gianfranco Ferré, Hugo Boss, Hussein Chalayan, Iceberg, Issey Miyake, Jil Sander, Julien Macdonald, La Perla, Lacoste, Lanvin, Loewe, Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Nicole Miller, Paco Rabanne, Perry Ellis, Roland Mouret, Salvatore Ferragamo, Stella McCartney, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, and Yohji Yamamoto.
For her work in Milan in the 2002 and 2003 seasons Balfe earned close to $300,000 dollars, but after her Italian agency, Paolo Tomei, filed for bankruptcy, she and the other models that were represented by it lost all the earnings they had made during that time, with the financial backers behind the agency allegedly keeping them. Due to models being considered freelancers under Italian law, her lawyer discouraged her from filing a lawsuit. Years later, in 2009, working for the company BCBG, Balfe faced a similar situation, with the company first delaying its payments and then refusing to pay the models altogether alleging financial problems, but still booking them as it privately ensured their agencies that they would be paid. Against her agency’s advice, Balfe decided to stop working for BCBG until she was returned all the money she was owed; the company eventually complied. Incidents like the aforementioned led to the creation of The Model Alliance.
Reflecting on her career, Balfe commented: “Modelling wasn’t a passion of mine so that made it get old kind of quickly. I was getting very frustrated.” She has stated that she will not return to modelling full-time; although she continues to do occasional jobs with people with whom she has previously worked, such as photographer James Houston, who, in 2013, featured Balfe in his Natural Beauty series, photographing her in Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA.
While living in New York, Balfe played the minor role of an employee of the magazine Runway in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada. In 2009, after a decade-long modelling career, Balfe returned to her initial career choice, and moved from New York to Los Angeles, spending her first year and a half in the city exclusively taking acting classes, first at the Warner Loughlin Studios and then at the Sanford Meisner Center and the Judith Weston Studios. Balfe has appeared in the films Super 8, as the protagonist’s mother, Now You See Me, as Michael Caine’s character’s wife, and Escape Plan, as the CIA lawyer that hires Sylvester Stallone’s character.
In 2012 she portrayed Alex #34 in The Beauty Inside, a social film divided into six episodes that narrates the story of a man named Alex (Topher Grace) who wakes up in a different body every day. In 2013 she starred in the music videos for “First Fires” by British musician Bonobo, and for “Chloroform” by French band Phoenix, the latter directed by Sofia Coppola.
Caitriona Balfe was part of the main cast of the Warner Bros. web series H+: The Digital Series during 2012 and 2013, in which she played Breanna Sheehan, one of the executives of a biotechnology company that develops an implanted computer which allows people to be connected to the Internet 24 hours a day.
In September 2013 Caitriona Balfe was cast as the lead character, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser, on the Starz television series Outlander, based on the novels written by Diana Gabaldon; the series premiered in August 2014. She plays a mid-20th-century nurse who is transported back in time to the war-torn mid-18th-century Scottish Highlands. Both the series and her performance have received critical acclaim, with Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair saying “it helps immensely that Balfe is such an appealing actress, she makes Claire a spirited, principled, genuinely heroic heroine.” Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Balfe is “reason enough to watch; she’s a confident actress who brings various shades to her character.” James Poniewozik of Time labelled Balfe’s portrayal as “wry, and infectiously engaging.” Angelica Jade Bastién of The New York Times called Balfe “one of the most stunning actresses on television.”
In December 2014 Entertainment Weekly named Caitriona Balfe one of its 12 Breakout Stars of 2014; that month she was also voted “Woman Of The Year” at BBC America’s Anglophenia Fan Favorites tournament.
In April 2015, Balfe received Best Actress in a Lead Role Drama and Rising Star Award nominations for the 12th Irish Film & Television Awards, and was named one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World”. She won Saturn Awards for Best Actress on Television in 2015 and 2016. Balfe also received three nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama for her role in Outlander.
Caitriona Balfe co-starred in the film Money Monster (2016), directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts. She played the head of PR of a company whose stock bottoms out, causing a man to lose all of his savings and subsequently take hostages on a live TV show.
Caitriona Balfe was born in Dublin, Ireland, and grew up in the village of Tydavnet, near Monaghan, in a family of seven; her father is a retired Garda Sergeant. She is currently based in Glasgow, having previously lived in Los Angeles when she started acting professionally, and in New York City, Paris, London, Milan, Hamburg, and Tokyo while she worked as a model. In addition to English, she is a fluent speaker of the Irish language and is conversational in French.
She is a patron of the organisation World Child Cancer.
First Fashion Show
Caitriona Balfe debuted with Ready to Wear – Autumn / Winter 2000 fashion show where she walked the ramp for Kenzo.
In 2006, she appeared in the comedy-drama film The Devil Wears Prada for her role as Clacker. But, she wasn’t given any credit for the role in the film credits.
Her first credited role came in the next film, a documentary entitled Picture Me released in 2009 where she appeared as herself. She was also the producer of the film.
First TV Show
In 2010, Caitriona was the runway mentor at the Irish reality documentary series The Model Scouts in the episode 2 of cycle 2.
Caitriona Balfe Favorite Things
Food – Sushi
Cuisines – Indian, Indonesian, Italian, Peruvian, etc.
TV Show – Catastrophe
City in US – New York, New Orleans
Clothing Piece from Outlander – Nightgown from #1 episode from Outlander.
Curse Word – Sh*t
Museum – LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) or MOMA (Museum of Modern Art)
Painter – Too many to choose
Country to Travel – Nepal
Book – The Year of Magical Thinking (By Joan Didion)
Caitriona Balfe Facts
Balfe first started as a model. She was discovered at a local mall in Dublin where she was collecting money for a charity.
Caitriona has appeared in the 2002 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Post her birth in Dublin, she was raised in Tydavnet village near Monaghan.
During second world war, her grandmother was nurse.
Balfe speaks English, Irish Gaelic and French.
Due to her modeling career, she got to visit many famous places like New York, Paris, London, Milan, Hamburg, Tokyo and Los Angeles.
Balfe was in People magazine’s list of “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” in 2015.
Modeling was never a passion of her. Hence, she lost interest in it gradually and finally became frustrated.
Horse riding is one of her favorite skills she has ever learned.
Her favorite pastime between the Outlander shooting break was eating.
Her first name “Caitriona” is pronounced as “Katrina.”