Caitriona Balfe's a big star in America thanks to the huge success of "Outlander" on the Starz network, and County Monaghan’s famous export Caitriona Balfe got her deserved star treatment in last Saturday’s Irish Times.

Interviewer Una Mullally gave Caitriona Balfe a big splash, and the interview was titled “Ireland’s Secret A-Lister.” That’s certainly true, as "Outlander" has been a huge hit for Starz in its four seasons – with at least two more guaranteed – but season four of the time-travel series about a nurse set between World War II and 18th-century Scotland hasn’t yet screened in Ireland.

The Times piece provided a great insight into Caitriona’s career trajectory, from growing up a policeman's daughter in a large family without a TV to studying drama in Dublin to becoming a supermodel for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Victoria’s Secret…and finally, a breakout star on American cable TV who has four Golden Globe nominations and two People’s Choice Awards to her credit.

Caitriona (39) had lots of interesting things to say in the interview so we’ll stick to a few interesting takeaways – namely, that she’s going to be credited as a producer for season five of Outlander, she wants to be more involved behind the scenes, and she’s creating some Irish-themed projects.

“Looking at the power imbalance and why there are not enough women in positions of decision-making, you realize that a big part of that is also we need to step up and become those numbers, become those numbers of directors who are women, become those numbers of writers who are creating roles, and I think that was a big wake-up call for me, because it’s up to every single one of us to do our part,” she said.

“And so then it’s like, okay, well I’d like to do it.  So, okay, stop f***ing beating around the bush about it. Just do it. The goal would be to at least try [directing] once and see if I’m any good. And that’s part one of the projects that I’m writing – the goal is to direct that myself.” 

Caitriona, engaged to Irish music producer Tony McGill, turns the big 40 in October.  And for many reasons, including Ireland’s transformational change this past decade, she’s eager to look towards where she came from with regards to the projects she’s working on.

“There’s some need for a reconnection or a going back,” she says. “Reconnecting with home. I mean, I’ve never worked as an actor in Ireland. I haven’t worked in Ireland since I was 18 years old. And it’s so funny because so much of your identity is where you’re from. But the country where I’m from is completely different to the country I grew up in.”

Indeed it is, and Caitriona was a vocal social media supporter of Ireland’s two recent votes which legalized abortion and gay marriage. She told the Times that she is writing two Irish-focused projects – one with a friend, and one solo.

“I’m not good when I get bored,” she said.  “I get naughty when I get bored, yeah. I get mischievous. There’s still a brat of a child inside me. Bored in school, swinging on a chair.”

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Read more: Irish stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame