Outlander Stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in Blogger Q & A
On Monday 23rd March, Beyond Books and a handful of other bloggers had the fantastic opportunity to ask Outlander stars Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe a few questions about the show. Typically, nerves got the better of me and my first question didn’t come out quite how I meant and instead I asked something that any fan of the books already knows . I had intended to ask Sam, if he had any theories behind Jamie’s ghost appearing to Frank. However, I think Sam must have realised this as his reply hints to the fact that he does in fact already know the importance of Jamie’s ghost appearing in 1945. That aside, Sam and Caitriona were very forthcoming with their answers and were pretty much lovely to everyone. Here’s the full transcript of the call and remember that you can watch the first 8 episodes of Outlander on Amazon Prime Instant Video from today with the second half of the series starting on April 5th.
Operator: And the first question comes from the line of Ginger Wiseman[?] at Outlander Podcast. Please go ahead, your line is now open.
Ginger: Yes, hello.
Caitriona Balfe: Hi.
Ginger: – we would like to know – hi there – what takes longer to choreograph, fight scenes or love scenes?
Caitriona Balfe: Fighting love scenes.
Sam Heughan: Yeah. There’s a lot of love scenes and some fighting.
Caitriona Balfe: Yeah. I think, sometimes, the love scenes take longer.
Sam Heughan: Yeah, ’cause I’m really good at fighting, so I just do them. No, we spend a lot of time on any, sort of, graphic scenes, whether it’s violence or, sort of, the intimate scenes; we spend a lot of time with the writers and directors just to work out exactly what we want from that scene and what we want the audience to see or feel. And then we block it together, and then Cait normally forgets the blocking and then –
Caitriona Balfe: Never happens.
Sam Heughan: – does what she wants. And then, hopefully, we shoot something.
Caitriona Balfe: I’m just not going to say anything more. I’m just going to leave Sam Heughan to sit and think about what he said.
Ginger Wiseman: Well, thank you very much.
Sam Heughan: Thank you.
Caitriona Balfe: Thank you Ginger.
Operator: And the next question comes from the line of Elaine from Beyond Books. Please go ahead, your line is open.
Elaine: Hello there. Do you think the mystery Highlander Frank saw in episode one was the ghost of Jamie?
Sam Heughan: Ah well, I know.
Sam Heughan: You’ll need to read all the rest of the books. But I do know; I’ve spoken to Diana about it.
Caitriona Balfe: He won’t even tell me, so I don’t know.
Elaine: That’s not good is it?
Sam Heughan: You know, I could tell you but I think Diana would –
Elaine: You’d have to kill me.
Sam Heughan: – cast a spell on me or something. Yeah.
Elaine: Thank you.
Caitriona Balfe: You’re welcome, thank you.
Operator: The next question comes from Sarah-Louise from Candid Chaos. Please go ahead.
Sarah-Louise: Hi guys. Diana has said it’s impossible to explain what Outlander is to people in 15 words or less. Now it’s coming to the UK, it’s open to so many new fans. How would you guys pitch to someone who hasn’t watched it before?
Caitriona Balfe: Oh, yeah, it’s quite a tough one to, sort of, say succinctly, but I think it’s just a really great adventure filled with historical drama, romance and fantasy.
Sam Heughan: That’s more than 15 words.
Sarah-Louise: Well, it doesn’t have to be 15 words.
Sam Heughan: Oh good. It’s absolutely – as Caitriona says – it’s a really hard one to put into a single pigeonhole. But I think there’s something there for everyone, whether you’re a fan of the books or not it will –
Sam Heughan: – board into –
Sarah-Louise: That’s great, thank you very much.
Operator: The next question comes from Stephanie from Outlander TV News. Please go ahead, your line is open.
Caitriona Balfe: Hi Stephanie.
Sam Heughan: Hi Stephanie.
Stephanie: Hi, how are you?
Caitriona Balfe: Great, thank you. How are you?
Stephanie: Good, thank you very much. Since Outlander’s finally coming to UK fans via Amazon Prime this week, are you guys – is there any trepidation or is it just more excitement about the response to the show, particularly because you’re kind of, in a sense, bringing it home?
Caitriona Balfe: Yeah. I think we’re just really excited. You know, it felt a little strange that Outlander didn’t have a home here for so long. We’ve obviously worked so hard on this show and it’s got such an incredible British cast and our crew are fantastic. We wanted to be able to show it in its own country, so now that we can it feels really, really exciting.
Sam Heughan: Yeah. And, I mean we’ve talked about it before, but Scotland is definitely a huge part of the show and for people in Scotland to be able to watch it is terrific. And I think – and hope that the rest of the UK really enjoys it.
Stephanie: Thank you so much.
Sam Heughan: Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.
Caitriona Balfe: Thank you.
Operator: Our next question comes from Angela from Outlandish UK. Please go ahead.
Caitriona Balfe: Well, hello Angela.
Sam Heughan: Angela.
Angela : Hello, how are you?
Caitriona Balfe: Very well, thank you.
Sam Heughan: Ah, there she is.
Angela : Just asking you – it’s really a follow on to the question that was the previous question. Do you think that the show will be viewed differently in Scotland and the UK than it was in the USA? Do you think that there will be a different reaction to the show in general?
Caitriona Balfe: I mean I would have to imagine that people are watching it in a slightly different way. In America you’re one step removed from knowing the Scottish culture so intimately. And I think people in Scotland are probably going to see how authentic we are and maybe judge us a little bit on that. But I think that we have made something that’s very authentic, and we all have tried really hard to incorporate the craftsmanship that exists in Scotland; all of the wealth of talent that’s there., You really see it on screen and hopefully they’ll really appreciate that.
Sam Heughan: Yes. No, I think –
Caitriona Balfe: What do you have to say, Sam?
Sam Heughan: Yeah, absolutely. I think you’ve put in succinctly. I think the British audience is definitely going to be, maybe slightly more critical. If they enjoy it then it feels like we’ve done our job.
Angela: Thank you.
Caitriona Balfe: Thanks Angela.
Sam Heughan: Thank you Angela.
Operator: The next question comes from Lynsey from Allsorts and Anecdotes. Please go ahead, your line is open.
Lynsey: Hi there. This is just, kind of, linking onto the last question actually, but as a Scottish person who absolutely loves the north of Scotland, up in the Highlands is, like, my favourite place in the world. How did you enjoy the experience of filming up in the Highlands?
Caitriona Balfe: Oh, it was amazing. I mean we moved the whole company up there, near Aviemore.
Lynsey: Oh, that’s literally – I’m not joking, that’s literally, like, my home from home; it’s my favourite place in the world.
Caitriona Balfe: Yeah, it’s so beautiful. And we shot up there for almost two weeks and it was, honestly, such a special time. And for the most part the weather was very kind to us when we were up there.
Lynsey: That’s good to know.
Caitriona Balfe: And clear; cold, but sunny and clear. But yeah, that’s been one of the greatest things about this job for me is really getting to explore Scotland and see how beautiful it is first hand. But I feel really great that we’re able to, sort of, bring that to a wider audience as well and show Scotland off in its best light.
Sam Heughan: Yeah. I really enjoyed going up to Kinloch Rannoch, which we shot a few times – that’s where the standing stones are – and it’s just terrific every time we go up, isn’t it? And it feels like a little family outing; everyone gets to go out and all the crew stay in the same hotels. Yeah, it’s really good fun.
Lynsey : That’s great, thank you.
Sam Heughan: Thanks a lot.
Caitriona Balfe: Thank you Lynsey.
Operator: And the next question comes from the line of Ben from Bite. Please go ahead, your line is open.
Ben: Hi there. So we had a blogger called Joey Tamburello who unfortunately, due to extenuating circumstances, wasn’t able to make it at the last moment. But they submitted a question, so I just wanted to make sure that they got a chance to ask it. So their question was, ‘When you were doing your research for the show, what was the most interesting thing you found out and how did you then use that information to build your own character?’
Sam Heughan: I think – I mean, Diana’s books – she’s written so many of them and there’s so much material in there – they’re a good jumping off point, and certainly I go back to them quite a lot. But I guess for me, it was about – actually the Gaelic for me was a really important part; about finding out about the culture, and Jamie as a Gaelic speaker, what that brings to him. And, yeah, it certainly was the seed of the character I think.
Caitriona Balfe: And for me, most of my research was about nurses who had served on the front line during the Second World War. And reading their firsthand accounts really, sort of, gave me a window into where Claire’s mindset possibly was when we first meet her. And it was just, seeing what survivors they were, and there was no, sort of, time for self-pity or anything like that. And that was a real key into Claire.
Ben: Great, thanks.
Sam Heughan: Thank you Ben.
Operator: The next question comes from the line of Ginger from Outlander Podcast. Please go ahead, your line is open.
Ginger: We’ve heard so much over the last year, year and a half, two years; since everything was announced and all the casting and all the production and now Outlander’s finally coming home to the UK. With that journey, having filming behind you, what is the most rewarding part of playing the characters of Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser and Jamie Fraser?
Caitriona Balfe: Wow, the most rewarding part of playing her? I think it’s honestly seeing how much this character has touched so many people’s lives. As an actor you hope that you get chance to play great characters and this definitely is one, and it has been such a dream playing her. But the unexpected side effects of that are seeing all of these women across the world who have been really touched by having the book in their lives or, they’ve met each other through the friendships that they’ve sparked over the books, and seeing them get together and really support each other, that’s been really amazing.
Sam Heughan: I think Jamie Fraser is – it’s certainly the bit about Scotland that’s been a joy to be able to, sort of, bring the culture of Scotland –an authentic one too, sort of, probably for the first time – to film and TV, and share it with the rest of the world, I think is one of my proudest moments.
Ginger: Thank you very much.
Sam Heughan: Thank you.
Operator: The next question comes from Elaine from Beyond Books. Please go ahead, your line is open.
Elaine: Oh hello. Cait, this one’s for you. Claire went back 200 years. Now, if that was you, would you have coped in the way that Claire did? I mean, she was quite feisty and she, sort of, took everything that was thrown at her. Would you have coped like that?
Caitriona Balfe: I think sometimes I’m quite feisty, and –
Sam Heughan: She’s very feisty.
Caitriona Balfe: I’m not sure if I would have been as resourceful as Claire was. But I like to think that, in my life I’ve adapted to some pretty strange situations and come out on top, so hopefully I would have.
Elaine: That’s good. Thank you very much.
Caitriona Balfe: Thank you.
Sam Heughan: Thank you.
Operator: The next question comes from Angela from Outlandish UK. Please go ahead.
Caitriona Balfe: Hey.
Sam Heughan: Hey.
Angela: It’s just a really simple question. Out of the 16 episodes that you’ve filmed, which one is your favourite, each of you?
Caitriona Balfe: Oh, I don’t know, that’s a tough one.
Caitriona Balfe: You go first.
Sam Heughan: Okay. Episode 13.
Sam Heughan: Yeah. I mean, there are so many, and – oh my God, there’s so many. But I feel that was a strong episode for Jamie, and I feel that he makes a choice there which is quite important.
Angela: Oh, I can’t wait to see that. Okay.
Caitriona Balfe: I think – I mean, it’s strange. Episode five was one I really loved, just because we got to go on the road and it was the first time the show, sort of, opened up past Castle Leoch. And, yeah, I just love that and the camaraderie of all the men, and it’s the first time that Claire starts to really feel part of the Highland gang in a sense. And, yeah, that was a favourite.
Angela: Excellent, thank you both. Thanks.
Sam Heughan: Thanks.
Caitriona Balfe: Thank you.
Operator: And as there are no further questions, I will return the conference back to you.
Caitriona Balfe: Thank you.
Sam Heughan: Thank you all.
Speaker: Great, thank you.