Check out Sam and Caitriona play Two Truths and a Lie for Marie Claire.
Check out Sam and Caitriona play Two Truths and a Lie for Marie Claire.
Outlander began on Amazon. Are you excited it’s finally on a terrestrial channel so more people can see it?
It’s fantastic. It’s very much a Scottish show and Scotland is very much a character in it — it’s so integral to our story.
Do you have to apply a sense of humour to get through all the sex scenes?
The first series was my first time doing anything of that kind on TV and I think naivety helped. But it was important for the story and I like that it’s told as much from the female perspective as possible. It’s interesting to have a woman of that time be sexually liberated. But the actual doing is always awkward and there are too many people in the room who you have to try to look in the eye afterwards. But you giggle your way through it.
Have a lot of your friends and family seen it?
I think for some members of my family it’s better they don’t! My mum has seen it. We just don’t talk about those parts [the sex scenes]. There are certain episodes I tell my dad he can watch. I don’t think he wants to see the others — and I definitely don’t want him to.
Were you prepared for how huge it was in the US?
I had no idea. I didn’t know about the book series. I had never done TV so I had zero expectations. I was just so delighted I’d got the job and that it was going to shoot in the UK so I’d be back on this side of the world.
It has a feverish fan base. Do you get chased down the street?
No, luckily Sam [Heughan, her co-star] gets all the chasing!
Sam didn’t have any big acting roles before this either, so you’re doing it together…
So much so. We have each other’s backs and it’s great that you have somebody to confide in and share an experience like this with who knows exactly what you’re going through.
Do you miss Sam when you’re not filming?
A healthy break from each other is sometimes good! We’re great mates and we check in every now and then but he goes off to his life and I go off to mine.
There’s so much speculation you’re a real-life couple. How do you handle that?
There’s nothing to handle. We aren’t and we’ve always said that we’re not together. It’s nice that fans believe in the story but that’s not the reality. If it’s harmless speculation, that’s fine, but sometimes people take it a little further and can get abusive to the people who are in our lives — that’s when it crosses the line. But it’s rare and in this industry you need a thick skin.
You play a World War II nurse in the show. Are you OK with blood in real life?
When I know it’s fake or prosthetics I’m fine. I find all that stuff so interesting. For research we were given the British Army World War II booklets that were given to nurses, and I learnt about the different bandaging and splintering in the field. For series three we did a liver operation and I had an adviser surgeon and surgical nurses telling me how to handle the instruments. It’s fascinating.
Which of your co-stars were you most star-struck by?
So many — Simon Callow, Bill Paterson, Frances de la Tour, Dominique Pinon — we get amazing guest stars. Very quickly you get down to work but there’s always that moment of ‘oh my God!’ Simon is an incredible raconteur.
Is there a natural progression from modelling to acting with Cara Delevingne doing it too?
I suppose all of it is performance in one way or another. A few have done it really successfully, like Charlize Theron and Andie MacDowell. But acting was what I always wanted to do, I just segued into fashion by accident and stayed longer than anticipated. I enjoyed my years as a model — I got to travel the world and made incredible friends. But I feel very fortunate I got to come back to acting.
What now after Outlander?
I hope the show continues for as long as possible. I was fortunate enough to do a great film last year [Money Monster] and I hope I can just have an interesting career. I’m writing a script I’d eventually love to direct and I’d love to do something with Sharon Horgan — she’s a genius.
Outlander season one is on More4, Thursdays at 9pm. Season three begins on Amazon Prime on September 11
Thanks to my friend AliKat I have added scans to the gallery from the Entertainment Weekly Comic Con issue. Enjoy.
What’s going to happen when the star-crossed lovers finally reunite?
Okay, she might have thought Jamie was dead, but still, when Outlander’s Claire went back to her 1940s life, leaving him to deal with the Battle of Culloden in ye olden days, it did seem a bit harsh. But fear not—as we’ve seen in the Outlander season three trailer, our favorite time-traveling couple will finally be reunited after 20 years on Starz come September. Sounds like the most romantic moment ever, doesn’t it?
But, according to Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire, reality might get in the way of the mushy lovefest we’re expecting. “I think maybe the obvious way of doing the reunion would be violins playing, and angels singing, and a sun shaft coming through the window,” she told ELLE.com at Starz’s TCA party in Los Angeles. “I hope that what we’ve done is try and ground it as much in realism as we can. I think it’s really awkward, and funny, and sweet, and endearing.”
It’s only natural that after 20 years apart, a lot has happened to the two as they’ve lived separate lives. Claire and Jamie have a daughter he’s never seen, Claire’s become a doctor, and there’s major drama with her husband Frank. So, just a few small issues then.
“I think Claire and Jamie have both had each other on pedestals for 20 years,” Balfe said. “So when you finally see the object of your love and desire again in the flesh, it throws out everything you thought you would do.” Their separation doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that a quick catch-up over coffee would adequately cover, but luckily it sounds like the pair’s off-the-charts chemistry will win the day. “I think they’re not quite sure what to do with their bodies or their words,” she said. Sounds like things will get pretty steamy, then.
But will the couple stay together for good this time? “I think that physically and emotionally, even though we don’t show this part of the journey ever, of her passing through time, I think it takes an awful lot from someone,” Balfe said of Claire’s time-traveling. Still, given just how difficult her travel through the stones is, she’s not going to undertake it lightly: “I think each time is quite dangerous. You’re never sure if you’re going to land in the right time, or any of those things. I would have to imagine, and I don’t know, because I have not read past book four, but I would have to imagine that once she finds Jamie again, she’s not going to let him out of her sights for too long.”
It also helps that Balfe doesn’t hate playing opposite the gorgeous Sam Heughan as Jamie. “I feel very fortunate that I have a partner like him to work with, it’s all good,” she said. Then she gave us a cheeky smile and added, “He’s a god, let’s be honest. He’s as good in real life as he is on TV.”
A god? Good, we’re on the same page then.
I’ve added photos of Caitriona at the Summer TCA Press Event. Check back for more. Thanks to my friend Mary for a few of these. Enjoy!
It’s not quite the same as seeing the entire premiere episode at Comic-Con, but Starz has released new video from Outlander that shows key moments from the first few episodes of season 3.
In the video dubbed “Parallel Lives,” Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) and Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall Fraser) provide narration as scenes of from the Culloden battle and Claire’s new life in 20th century Boston flash on the screen. Frank (Tobias Menzies) makes an appearance, as well as Brianna (Sophie Skelton), Lord John Grey (David Berry), Joe Abernathy (Wil Johnson), Jamie’s sister Jenny (Laura Donnelly), and Fergus (Romann Berrux).
On July 21, Starz premiered the entire first episode of season 3 after the show’s panel discussion at Comic-Con. You can read about it here.
Outlander premieres on Sept. 10 on Starz.