NI 11-year-old Jude Hill favoured for lead actor Oscar

Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast is set to be one of the biggest films of the year, and could earn Northern Irish actor Jude Hill an Oscar.

NI 11-year-old Jude Hill favoured for lead actor Oscar.

Jude Hill has burst on to our screens without much warning, and it’s clear that he’s not holding back.

The 11-year-old from Co. Armagh sees Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast as his first official credit in a film, with great success imagined for the star.

In the highly anticipated film, Hill stars amongst an extremely talented cast. Belfast also features Judi Dench, fellow Northern Irish actors Ciarán Hinds and Jamie Dornan, and Dublin-born Catriona Balfe.

Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast – Hill’s platform to stardom

Kenneth Branagh's Belfast tells of his childhood in Belfast.
Credit: / @PBS Comunications

Belfast tells the semi-autobiographical story of Kenneth Branagh’s childhood. It follows the young Buddy (played by Hill), and his experience of growing up in Belfast during the Troubles.

With Buddy’s beloved hometown caught in the crossfire of riots and uproar, his family face a harrowing decision. Do they stay amongst the conflict and risk it all, or leave everything in hopes of a better life?

The film recently won the Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award. But it’s thought that the film’s success won’t halt anytime soon.

The success of Jude Hill – the youngest actor nominated for an Oscar in nearly a century

Jude Hill could be the youngest actor nominated for an Oscar in nearly a century.

The Co. Armagh star has already received rave reviews for his performance in the film, tipping him for a lead actor Oscar at the 2022 Academy Awards.

According to Variety, if Jude Hill was nominated for his role in Belfast, he would be the second-youngest actor ever nominated for an Oscar since Jackie Cooper.

Cooper was nominated almost a century ago for his role in Norman Taurog’s classic comedy Skippy in 1931 at the fourth Oscars ceremony.

A blooming career in acting – a surreal experience for the whole Hill family

The incredible Hill family are all becoming accustomed to Jude's success.
Credit: Instagram / @shauneenhill

Jude’s mother, Shauneen, is slowly becoming accustomed to seeing her son on the big screen.

Regarding Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast, she told Belfast Live, “I’ve seen it a few times to be honest, and it’s all very exciting. It was surreal seeing him on the big screen for the first time.”

Regarding her son’s incredible success, she commented that “Belfast was his first film, and we were shocked when we told that out of 300 kids, he’d gotten the part of Buddy. At the time we didn’t realise how big a role it was.

Shauneen added that Jude couldn’t wait to get stuck in to working with his fellow cast members. It’s clear to most now that Jude Hill has stuck with the right crowd, as it’s now earned him a shot at winning an Oscar.

Belfast may clean up at the Oscars – plenty to go round

Jude Hill may follow his incredibly talented co-stars in winning an Oscar.
Credit: Instagram / @judehill_2010

Success doesn’t stop there with Hill however. The film could also see Dench, Hinds, Dornan, and Balfe all receive supporting actors nominations.

The 2022 Academy Awards are set to be announced in early February next year.

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