A few weeks ago, we gave Irish Tatler readers the opportunity to participate in its Women of the Year Awards by voting for their favourite 2018 Cover Star. By public vote, the winner of this award is our July Cover Star, Caitriona Balfe. 

Balfe's modelling career started out when she was scouted by a recruiting agent while she was collecting money for a charity at a local shop center. From Dublin to Paris, she walked for the biggest names of the fashion industry, including Chanel, Givenchy and Dolce&Gabbana and featured in campaigns for Victoria's Secret, Moschino and Roberto Cavalli amongst many others. 

In her interview with Tatler she talked about her experience as a young (she was only 18 then) model:

"It's just incredible when I look back now at how I navigated all of that because you literally are just sent off on your own, traipsing around strange cities where you don't know the language. You are expected to fend for yourself. It was the wild west and you were lucky if you had the job...When I left the business, I moved to LA and I am so grateful that I was able to take a year...a lot of that was just dismantling a lot of the mental issues I had taken from the business because your confidence and your self-esteem is in the toilet after you've been in that business for so long." 


Since then, the Monaghan native has left the fashion podiums for her true calling: the screen - big and little. Since 2014, she embodies Claire Beauchamp Fraser on award winning show Outlander alongside co-star Sam Heughan. This performance has earned a Saturn Award as Best Actress, a People's Choice Award as Favorite Cable Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress and an Irish Film & Television Awards as Best Actress in a Lead Role TV Drama. The TV-Show is currently in its fourth season, with a premiere episode set for the 4th of November 2018. 

From Super 8 to Now You See Me and Money Monster, Balfe has acted alongside George Clooney, Julia Roberts or Morgan Freeman. Her next movie, Ford vs Ferrari, coming in all theatres in June 2019, will see her acting opposite Christian Bale and Matt Damon. 

Balfe deems herself lucky in her experience as a actress, commenting on the #metoomovement, she said: 

I think everybody’s waking up to the fact that they can’t get away with that stuff...I obviously came to this point of my life a bit later so I’ve always felt very comfortable about standing up for myself or speaking up for myself but there can be a bit of a double standard. But I don’t think, I mean I will stress this, it’s not always men enforcing that. We’ve had male directors or male producers who are so much more sensitive and supportive than sometimes the females can be. I don’t necessarily think that it’s a split line down the middle about sex; it’s not all women supporting women because that’s not my experience. I think it’s really about people." 

Balfe is an astute observer of the society we live in. And advocate for women's rights, she has been very vocal on social media during the Repeal the Eighth Amendment campaign. She also supports ethical fashion choices and promotes a meat and dairy-free lifestyle. 

A (role) model, a talented actress...We are not surprised that you chose her as your Cover Star of the Year!

See all the winners of the 2018 Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards.