It is a long way from the Drumlins of Co Monaghan to the Hills of Hollywood, but Caitríona Balfe has made that journey and is now tipped to get an Oscar nomination for her role as 'Ma' in Belfast.

Nominations will be announced tomorrow.

The former model and proud Monaghan woman has had a whirlwind few months with the success of the Kenneth Branagh directed film, Belfast, which is based on the Troubles.

Only last week the 42-year-old received a BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the movie.

"We’re so proud of her and she's worked so hard. She started in Dublin, went to Paris, then London and then on to New York," explained her mother Anne.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

"Growing up, she never talked about acting. But she was always taking off people. She used to do a great impression of Margaret Thatcher," said her father Jim.

"She also did a good impression of the MEP, Mairead McGuinness," Anne said.

Caitríona enjoyed school and like many teenagers her age made the annual summer trip to the Gaeltacht where she made lots of new friends.

"She did a lot of singing, drama and dancing there. I found a notebook a few years back, which I shouldn't have got rid of and some young lad said, you’ll make a great actor or model in the future, and I got rid of when I was throwing out old stuff," said Anne.

Jim and Anne Balfe at their home in Tydavnet, Co Monaghan

Caitríona went to secondary school at Beech Hill College in Monaghan. She was involved in cross country running.

Her parents said while she was good at school, she was a "scamp at the same time" and kept them on their toes.

"We are so proud of her and we wish her continued success. I’ve seen the movie Belfast and I hope some day she’ll come visit us here," said Tony McHugh, Assistant Principal of Beech Hill College.

Anne Costello was Caitríona's art teacher. She recalls an enthusiastic and bubbly teenager.

"She was always very confident and so talented. She had such potential, so I’m not surprised she’s done so well. We’re delighted to see it," said Ms Costello.

Caitríona (Centre back row) at Beech Hill College, Monaghan.

"We’re really proud of her. It’s great for our students to see and this will really motivate them," said Mary Gill, another former teacher of Caitríona’s.

Caitríona has had massive success with the hit series Outlander - where she plays Claire Fraser - a historical TV drama which is huge in the US and in Australia.

"Since she started acting, she’s worked hard. She does a lot of preparation. The first year she was doing Outlander, she was living in Scotland, she didn’t know anyone except for the cast and crew. Work, eat and prepare for the next day, that was it for the first 12 months. So, she has put in the hard work, and it pays off," explained her mother.

The success of the film Belfast, which is set during the Troubles, has got everyone talking. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, it also stars Jamie Dornan, Judie Dench, Ciarán Hinds and 12-year-old Jude Hill.

"She doesn’t get carried away. She has her baby and her husband, Tony and they’re number one," her dad said.

'Belfast' director, Kenneth Branagh

The film, which is in Irish cinemas now, is seen through the eyes of a child and tells the story of a difficult time in Irish history. There’s much hype about it with lots of talk about Oscar nominations.

"We were talking to her last week and she’s so busy. She had ten different journalists from several different countries all doing interviews with her one day. She was worn out from it," said her dad.

"Although she's sitting at a pool now and it’s 23 degrees, so it's not too bad," he laughs.

"When she was home in November, we talked about it. If it comes well and good, and if it doesn’t, what about it," said Jim.

"Even the possibility of it, it's a big thing," said Anne.

"Whatever happens, she'll still be Caitríona, and we'll be glad to see her the next time she gets home," she added.