Jamie Dornan 'saddened' his father won't see him star in Belfast

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Jamie Dornan struggles with the fact his late dad won't see him in his new movie Belfast.

The Northern Irish actor stars as a fictionalised version of Kenneth Branagh's father in the filmmaker's semi-autobiographical movie about growing up in the early days of The Troubles. The role is personal to Dornan, and he wishes his dad Jim, who died in March, could have lived to see it.

"Dad only ever wanted us to be happy," he told The Times. "Whatever path that took us on, Dad was supportive."

Revealing his emotions when promoting the film, Dornan added: "It's been a brutal aspect of this whole journey. For my dad not to be able to see this movie hurts. I take comfort in the fact that he knows I did it. He was so invested in my career. Some people go their whole lives without being told, 'You've made your parents proud.' My dad would tell me every day."

Jim was a famous obstetrician and gynaecologist, and Dornan felt his career helped fulfil his unrealised artistic ambitions.

"There's also a creative and theatrical side to my family that felt like it hadn't been fully explored," the actor stated. "My dad was offered a place at RADA (theatre school) when he left school and wasn't allowed to take it. My mother was meant to go to art college but her parents wouldn't let her."

Although the 39-year-old doesn't have as much direct experience of The Troubles as Branagh, he still feels a connection to its subject.

"Let's be honest, divisions are still there today, particularly in working-class communities," the Fifty Shades of Grey Star said. "More peace walls have been erected since 1998, and the Good Friday Agreement, than there were prior to it. Sectarianism is very real, but we live in moderate peace at home."

The Troubles were a conflict that tore Northern Ireland apart on religious and political lines from the late 1960s until the late 1990s.

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