May 18, 2016 10:00 PM

It’s not everyday an actress gets the chance to work with George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Jodie Foster all at the same time. So when Caitriona Balfe was offered the part of a steely publicist for a mysterious financial firm in Money Monster, she jumped at the opportunity.

“Obviously the opportunity to work with Jodie and George and Julia was just incredible,” the actress, 36, tells PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly at Cannes. “So it didn’t take any convincing at all,” she added.

But the film’s all-star cast and director weren’t the only motivating factors. In fact, Balfe was initially drawn to the film after reading the script, which reminded her of her favorite socially conscious films from the 70s.

“One of my favorite films is Network and it sort of had echoes of that. But it also [reminded me of] Dog Day Afternoon or China Syndrome, these kinds of films from the 70s that I love so much.”

The Outlander star explained that she loves those films because “they’re provocative, they make you think about where we are in our lives.” They also have underlying social themes, like with “China Syndrome it was nuclear power plants, [and with Money Monster] it’s the financial section.”

Balfe was also eager to learn more about finance. “I’ve always had an interest in economics, maybe not such a deep understanding, but at least an interest,” she said with a laugh.

Money Monster is in theaters now.

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