Belfast director Kenneth Branagh has revealed that he appeared in an alternate ending of the movie.
“There was one version of the film where an older version of Buddy returns to Belfast, and I’ll give you three guesses who that actor was,” Branagh told The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg at Santa Barbara International Film Festival (via IndieWire), clearly referring to himself. “But in the end, the sequence just didn’t feel right.”
He received the Outstanding Directors of the Year Award, which he shared with fellow filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Paul Thomas Anderson, Jane Campion, and Ryūsuke Hamaguchi (who were being recognized for West Side Story, Licorice Pizza, The Power of the Dog, and Drive My Car, respectively).
Belfast is semi-autobiographical, with the character of Buddy (Jude Hill) based on Branagh and his childhood in the Northern Irish capital in the ’60s. It also stars Jamie Dornan and Caitríona Balfe as Buddy’s parents, andJudi Dench and Ciarán Hinds as his grandparents. Belfast is up for seven Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and acting nods for Dench and Hinds.
If the alternate ending had made into the movie, it wouldn’t be the first time Branagh has appeared in one of his own films – he directs and stars as Hercule Poirot in both Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile.