The Belfast and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar actor sits down for a conversation with EW's The Awardist podcast.

Many performers revealed deeper personas in 2021, but none made a claim to the kind of range displayed by Jamie Dornan, who, it's safe to say, is no longer the 50 Shades guy. In Kenneth Branagh's Belfast, Dornan contributes a powerful turn as a loving but sometimes absent and fiscally irresponsible husband. And in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, the actor revels in campy absurdity, resulting in an instantly iconic musical number.

"I used to always want to do comedy, and then I just didn't," Dornan admits on EW's The Awardist. "I ended up quite far away from that path. But when I first was coming out to L.A., I had a lot of meetings with Funny Or Die, and I started writing this blog for them. I don't know if it ever got published, but I was coming up with all these skits, and I really thought that's where I was going to go. And then I did The Fall where I play a serial killer, which isn't funny in the slightest."

Dornan's inner comedy dork — on a par with Andrew Garfield's inner musical nerd unleashed in Tick, Tick…Boom! — would not be denied. Years later on the Barb and Star set, it finally found its expression. Not that Dornan's wife was all that surprised.

"When we were shooting 'Edgar's Prayer,' which is the big song-and-dance number that I have in the movie, my wife and kids were with me for that period of it, and we were in Cancun," Dornan recalls. "I'm on a jet ski but beached — I'm not even on the water — and I'm waving as if there's wind in my hair, and I'm lip-syncing to the song. And my wife was like, 'Do they know how close this is to you? Do they know you're just being you?' I was like, 'I think they're probably starting to work that out!'"

Awardist Jamie Dornan (Belfast)
Jamie Dornan
| Credit: Rob Youngson / Focus Features

Dornan owns up to a "really silly childish side" and looks forward to flexing it in public more, provided his castmates are as inspiring as they were on Barb and Star. "Kristen [Wiig] and Annie [Mumolo], they're geniuses, and they love each other, and they've been doing this since their Groundling days of improv," he says. "There's nothing that makes me happier than making Kristen and Annie laugh. They just made me feel like I was part of the club."

Click through to hear more of Dornan's thoughts on comedy, what it means to be born in Belfast, and working with Caitríona Balfe. Plus, this podcast features a bonus interview with Belfast's Ciarán Hinds, Oscar-nominated for the first time in his legendary stage and screen career. Belfast is now available for streaming on multiple platforms. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is on Hulu.

Listen to the full interview on EW's The Awardist podcast below or available wherever you listen to podcasts. Subscribe for new episodes every Monday. Our new season covers the road to the 2022 Oscars with in-depth analysis and interviews with Kenneth BranaghMike MillsMaggie GyllenhaalHalle Berry, and more Oscar hopefuls.

Check out more from EW's The Awardistfeaturing exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best films.

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