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Entertainment: Who is Kenneth Branagh - the actor turned director and writer of film Belfast?

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As UK audiences will be able to see Belfast in cinemas, we're taking a look behind the scenes at the people and places that make up the movie.

The semi-autobiographical film from Kenneth Branagh centres around nine-year-old Buddy as he navigates life in the city at the beginning of The Troubles in 1969.

Here's everything you need to know about Kenneth Branagh, the writer and director of Belfast :

Who is Kenneth Branagh?

Kenneth Branagh is a 61-year-old actor, writer, and director, who has been nominated for five Academy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards, and has won three BAFTAs and two Emmy Awards throughout his career.

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  Belfast film: Northern Irish cinemas prepare for release of film they say will 'resonate' with local audiences "We've been chatting to a lot of people who haven't been to the cinema in many years but who are making a welcome return for this film. Belfast will resonate with anyone who grew up in the city." The film, which was based on Kenneth Branagh's early childhood in North Belfast, follows the story of nine-year-old Buddy (played by newcomer Jude Hill) and his family, as their life is upended by the onset of The Troubles in 1969.

He lived in the Tiger's Bay area of North Belfast until he was nine-years-old, when his family moved to England to escape the violence of The Troubles in 1969.

What is his background in acting?

After disappointing A-Level results, a young Kenneth Branagh went on to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

The actor achieved early success in Northern Ireland for his role as Billy, the title character in the BBC's Play for Today trilogy known as the Billy Plays from 1982-1984.

He had early success as a theatre actor when he graduated from RADA, and became well-known for his Shakespeare performances.

What are some of his biggest roles?

Kenneth Branagh is best-known for directing and starring in several adaptions of Shakespeare plays, including Henry V , Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Hamlet, Love's Labour's Lost , and As You Like It.

Who is Jude Hill - the leading actor in Kenneth Branagh film Belfast?

  Who is Jude Hill - the leading actor in Kenneth Branagh film Belfast? The 11-year-old actor was plucked from a local talent agency - and is now winning awards internationally The film follows 9 year old character Buddy, as he adjusts to life at the onset of the troubles in 1969.

He also starred as Hercule Poirot in his directed adaption of Murder on the Orient Express, and was well-known for his role as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Branagh also played the role of a Royal Navy Commander in Dunkirk , and was cast as the villain in Tenet , a role he received critical acclaim for.

What has the actor said about the film Belfast?

As the film centres around his own personal experience growing up in North Belfast at the onset of The Troubles, Kenneth Branagh has said making the film Belfast was a "very personal" experience for him.

Speaking virtually to film students at the QFT in 2020 about the movie, he said: “It’s a very personal film, set partly in Belfast and partly elsewhere.

“My experience of Belfast when I was growing up was to be part of a larger extended family, one that lived nearby each other, in a world in terms of television that had three channels in black and white. We listened to radio extensively, listened to records extensively and we went to see films extensively and when we weren’t doing that, we visited each other.

"I hope that there is humour and I hope that it’s emotional. It’s a look at a people and a place in tumult through the eyes of a nine-year old movie-mad kid."

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BBC The Graham Norton Show: Viewers comment on Kenneth Branagh’s youthful appearance but some are distracted by his hair .
The thespian turned heads on Graham Norton's sofaKenneth, who was on Graham’s sofa to promote his new film Belfast which he directed, turned heads from viewers on Twitter after they got a glimpse of him.

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