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May 22nd, 2016

Caitriona Balfe on Claire’s Devastating Grief

VULTURE.COMSpoilers ahead for the most recent episode of Outlander.

Claire had so much hope heading to France. She and Jamie were going to change the world! Prevent the Jacobite rebellion! Alter the course of history! But even with her knowledge of the future, Claire couldn’t stop certain events from happening. She couldn’t thwart everyone who supported Bonnie Prince Charlie. She couldn’t keep two mortal enemies from dueling each other. And she couldn’t save her unborn child. In one of the most devastating scenes this season, Claire’s daughter is stillborn, even as she herself is on the verge of dying from a postpartum infection. Actress Caitriona Balfe chatted with Vulture about Claire’s grief, and how she feels about both husbands now.

Even though she was pregnant during the first half of the season, do you think Claire had more agency?
It’s an interesting shift. Last season, I feel like Claire was very reactionary, and all of these events were sort of coming at her fast and swift. She didn’t really have time to absorb any of the events, really. She would get captured, and then they would be on their way somewhere, and then something else would happen. It was all very fight or flight. Survival.

But this season, she was experiencing a huge life change, being pregnant for the first time. And in French society, she almost had less freedom than she had in Scotland, because of the role that women are supposed to play. The first few episodes, she was relegated to drawing rooms and apartments, and you could feel her frustration building. It was quite a suffocating thing to do, even as an actress! But that was great for the internal journey of Claire, because she was dealing with a lot of things in private, and she knew she had to keep them to herself, because Jamie was still suffering so much from the events of the end of last season. And in a way, because she wasn’t quite the outsider in France the way she was in Scotland, she learned she had even more freedom and agency.

What was your reaction when you first found out what would happen to end the pregnancy?
When I first got the script Toni Graphia wrote, I was sobbing, reading it. I just felt very grateful to be given such a wonderful storyline, and wonderful material to work with. It’s a huge tragedy for Claire, and I’ve done quite a bit of reading about grief. I think there’s so many women who either have themselves or who know somebody who has been touched by the tragedy of miscarriage. It’s something that I really just wanted to hold a space for, Claire’s grief, Claire’s experience. It was pretty tough. We had about five days where the whole sequence happened, so you’re in that very emotional place for quite a long time.

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May 19th, 2016

Outlander: 2×06 “Best Laid Schemes…” Screencaptures

I have added HD screencaptures of Cait from the latest episode of Outlander titled “Best Laid Schemes…” to the gallery!

May 19th, 2016

Caitriona Balfe for The Last Magazine

THE LAST MAGAZINE – For the 36-year-old, Dublin-born former model Caitriona Balfe, acting was a long time coming. “I’ve always wanted to act since I was a kid and it was something I did in local theater and school theater, all of those things,” she recalls over the phone from Los Angeles. “Then, when I left high school, I started a degree in theater studies in Dublin and it was when I was there that I got scouted and given this opportunity to go to Paris, and that opportunity at the age of eighteen seemed like a good idea.”

And who could blame her? Balfe moved to Paris and went on to model for almost a decade, walking for Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and dozens of others, and starring in campaigns for the likes of Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, Dolce & Gabbana, and more.

It was when she was later living in New York, almost ten years after leaving school to first work in France, that she started to reevaluate the course of her career. “I sort of got to the point where I had been very in fashion, I had some great years, and then it sort of felt like I wasn’t excited by it anymore and I wanted to do the thing that I had always felt was the thing I was supposed to be doing,” she says. Balfe signed up for acting classes in New York and, soon after, quit modeling and moved to Los Angeles.

At first, it was a slow move to the screen. “Well, it’s crazy. I mean, I was thirty,” explains Balfe. “To walk into that industry with no credits and start at the bottom—a lot of people were like, ‘Ah, you’re crazy.’ You definitely need a little delusion [to keep on going].”

It took Balfe three and a half years of auditioning, with the occasional bit part coming eventually, before she landed her breakthrough role—the sharp, strategically driven, sexually empowered Claire, the lead character in Ronald Moore’s historical fantasy Outlander on Starz. In the series, Claire jumps from her life as a nurse in post-World War II, 1945 England to eighteenth-century, violent, and pre-parliamentary Scotland.

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May 16th, 2016

Caitriona Balfe for Flare Magazine

Caitriona recently did a photoshoot for Flare Magazine for the Summer 2016 issue. Check out three outtakes in our gallery!

May 16th, 2016

Caitriona Balfe for Deadline

Caitriona took a photo for Deadline at the Cannes Film Festival. Check it out in full in the gallery!

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