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Jamie Dornan and wife Amelia Warner among Irish stars who attended Oscar Wilde Awards in L.A

Dornan was honoured for his role in Belfast by director Kenneth Branagh
Amelia Warner and Jamie Dornan(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Amelia Warner and Jamie Dornan(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Clodagh Meaney

Jamie Dornan and his wife Amelia Warner were among the Irish stars who stepped out for the Oscar Wilde Awards in L.A.

In its 16th year, the Oscar Wilde Awards honoured film stars including Jamie Dornan, up and coming actor Dónall Ó Héalai, and Kenneth Branagh.

Belfast director Branagh could not attend the event following a positive Covid-19 test.

Dornan was lauded at the annual US-Ireland Alliance Oscar Wilde Awards for his role in Branagh’s semi-autobiographical film Belfast, which is about a young boy growing up during the Troubles.

In the film, Dornan plays ‘Pa,’ the boy’s father, starring alongside Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, and Ciaran Hinds onscreen.

Dornan said that had been asked a few times before to receive the award, but didn’t feel that he had done enough “good work”.

“Fourteen years ago, I saw some unbelievably worthy work when they used to show a reel, and I thought one day. But this year, they didn’t do a f-ing reel,” he joked.

“In the absence of a reel, I'm just going to act out my entire career,” he said.

“Only the things you know best," he added before he whipped out a pair of handcuffs, in a nod to his role in the Fifty Shades of Grey films.

"I'm going to need a participant from the audience," he added, while holding the cuffs.

He further said that his role in Belfast was “the greatest honour” of his career and said he would “endeavour to tell stories from that complicated island as long as I’m allowed to”.

“If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, then you are lucky enough,” he added.

Honorees Adam McKay, Jamie Dornan and Dónall Ó Héalai a

Honorees Adam McKay, Jamie Dornan and Dónall Ó Héalai a

Meanwhile, up-and-coming star Dónall Ó Héalai was presented with the ‘Wilde Card’ award.

Reinaldo Marcus Green presented the award and noted the actor's physical transformation for the Irish-language film Arracht.

"I could talk about his accolades and all of the things he’s accomplished in his career but there is so much more to this person, there is so much more to who he is as a man, as a friend, as a collaborator, what he gives to his directors, there’s very few people you meet in this industry who have the heart that this man has," he said.

"His Irish roots are everything to him, his home country, and what he stands for and the projects he’s a part of, is a testament to who he is as a person. He is an incredible artist and an incredible talent."

When accepting his accolade, Ó Héalai said he almost gave up acting before he was sent the script for Arracth, the first ever Irish language film, which portrayed the Famine.

"The dignity of our ancestors was with us the entire shoot," he said, adding that the film had changed his life.

Other Irish stars that attended the event included band True Tides who provided music on the night.

The trio is made up of brothers Cian, Conor and Eoghan MacSweeny from Cork.

Irish pop star Samantha Mumba and actor Sarah Bolger were also in attendance.

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