heartbreaking | 

Jamie Dornan opens up about being stuck in in Australia when his father died of Covid-19

Jim Dornan died in March 2021
Jamie Dornan (Ian West/PA)

Jamie Dornan (Ian West/PA)

Clodagh Meaney

Jamie Dornan has opened up about being stuck in Covid-19 quarantine in Australia while his father died of the virus back home in Northern Ireland.

The 39-year-old actor was isolating in a hotel in March 2021 after arriving in the country ahead of filming his new BBC show The Tourist.

His father, a former obstetrician and gynaecologist, Jim died age 73 during a routine knee operation after contracting Covid-19.

He had previously been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

“It’s been a brutal time for lots of reasons and for lots of people,” he told The Sun.

“We’re all just trying to ride it out and come out the other side and hope we’ve got our heads intact.”

He said the death of his father made 2021 “the worst year, and the hardest” of his life.

Jamie’s new film Belfast, written and directed by Kenneth Branagh is set to open in cinema’s across Ireland at the end of January.

“There was a picture on our bookshelf of my dad and Ken [Branagh] opening a wing at the maternity ward at the hospital my dad spent the majority of his career at.”

“I remember thinking it was a big thing in our house that he’d been around and done that and met Dad and stuff,” he said.

When the Fifty Shades of Grey was just 16, he lost his mother Lorna to pancreatic cancer.

“I’ve been subjected, early on in my life and now, to a lot of pain and loss,” he said, and explained how his father helped him navigate his grief by telling him “don’t let this be the thing that defines you.”

With three daughters of his own, Jamie said that the plot of Belfast, which follows a young boy and his parents during The Troubles, felt “deeply personal” to him.

“I’m a father of three girls and at times I have to say goodbye to them.

“I think I have a real understanding of what it is to go away, often for the benefit of the family — to work, to provide.”

“Every single step I do since becoming a father, my career is for them. That’s all I really care about.”

“I’m so lucky that I have three healthy little girls. I’m just missing them so much.”

Although he left the city aged 20 to pursue a career in acting, Jamie still calls himself a “Belfast man”.

“It is home. We probably feel like that’s a particular thing, a ‘Belfast man’, and I think we all know what that means.”

“If you’re from Belfast, no matter what era you grew up in, you’ve been through something.”

“You’ve been through a certain hardship and you’ve been tested at many different stages of your life.”

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