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[jamie dornan keira knightley]Jamie Dornan: I was always so shy around women

  Jamie Dornan has opened up about his insecurities and the struggles of lockdown in his first major interview since the death of his father.

  The Holywood actor (39) — who has been married for eight years to partner Amelia Warner — has admitted he spent years unable to talk to the opposite sex as he had no confidence.

  And despite his sex symbol status and huge bank balance, the Co Down-born star insists he is still riddled with insecurities — and found lockdown a frustrating and “frightening” shock.

  He confessed about identifying with his awkward character in Wild Mountain Thyme who is pursued by a woman. “I wish I was pursued by a woman like that when I was younger,” he quips.

  “That would’ve been the perfect scenario for me when I was growing up because I’m not a confident person when it comes to talking to women. I never had it in me.

  “I never chatted. I was always amazed watching mates of mine go up to girls in bars and just talking to them.

  “I’d see the girls laughing and I was always like, ‘What are you saying to those women’. I definitely don’t have any game at all.”

  He went on about meeting English songwriter Amelia (39) in 2010: “When I met my wife, it all happened in a serendipitous way.

  “Luckily, I didn’t have to be aggressively pursuing and I wasn’t aggressively pursued.”

  The Fifty Shades actor turned a £1.75million country pad in Gloucestershire into a farm during lockdown, where he lives with his wife and their three daughters Dulcie (7), Elva (4), and two-year-old Alberta.

  With his girls

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  With his girls

  The success hasn’t stopped Jamie — whose exes include actress Keira Knightley (36) — feeling like he doesn’t measure up.

  He said about identifying with insecure farmer Anthony in recent flick Wild Mountain Thyme, released in December: “As a character, I’ve probably felt closer to Anthony than anyone else I’ve ever played — but I don’t mean that we’re identical or we have lots of the same traits.

  “However, there’s something about his lack of self-belief that I think we can all recognise. Sometime, we all hide it. Particularly in this industry and this game.

  “You’re often having to talk to people and having to put your best foot forward and show the best version of yourself — but the reality is, you’re often fighting insecurities.

  “I have insecurities. I’ve got quite weird tendencies and I felt like Anthony was this platform for me to insert all of my oddities into someone and then let them stew within him and elaborate in any way they were going to.

  “I love playing a lot of the mannerisms and weirdness because I personally have never had a chance to play a character like that one before.”

  His world-renowned obstetrician and gynaecologist dad Jim died at the age of 73 in March after the medic contracted Covid.

  Jamie with his dad Jim Dornan

  Jamie with his dad Jim Dornan

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  Jamie was already struggling with lockdown when he got the news in England.

  He admits he struggled with homeschooling to the point he sometimes gave up to stop his kids having tantrums.

  Jamie added in OK! Magazine: “You just have to not beat yourself up over it when it’s not going perfectly.

  “We are not teachers. Any parent will know this — any parent who has been thrown into this situation where they are meant to act not only as mummy and daddy, but as teachers as well. It was weird and it took time.

  “If sometimes it wasn’t going great, or the kids were having a tantrum because you are not doing it the way the teacher does it, I’d just have to take a step hack.

  “It was never going to be a perfect situation, but you don’t have to beat yourself up about it.”

  Despite not talking about the death of his dad directly in his first major interview since the tragedy, he admitted lockdown was “frightening at times”.

  He added: “But, ultimately, we had all of this amazing family time together, which we wouldn’t have had if we’d stayed in New York.

  “I would have been working 14 hours a day, five days a week and not getting to see the kids as much.

  “To be honest, we might never get that time again, as a family, in that way.”

  Amelia Warner and Jamie Dornan

  Amelia Warner and Jamie Dornan

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  Jamie had been working on a film in New York when Britain was plunged into lockdown and he decided to head back to England. But he said there is nothing like getting home to Northern Ireland as it is “deep within my soul”.

  He added: “If you’re from somewhere where the land is so beautiful and iconic like Ireland, it’s very hard not to be married to it.

  “I am very proud of Ireland. Nothing affects me more than when I go home. It’s totally deep within my soul.

  “I take any opportunity I can to get back there.”