With the series premiere of Outlander on the horizon, articles and interviews with the cast are rolling out from different outlets by the hour. Series star Caitriona Balfe participated in a short interview with Vogue where she discussed landing the role of Claire, reading Gabaldon’s series Game of Thrones comparisons, and more.
How did you land the coveted role of Claire Randall?
I wasn’t even aware of the book series when I got the first audition. Apparently they had been searching for [Claire] for a very long time. It wasn’t until I heard they wanted to see me again that I went straight to my local bookstore to pick up a copy of the book. The guy at the cashier said “You know they’re doing a series on this? I did my thesis on Ron Moore [the executive producer of Outlander and Battlestar Galactica].” I thought that was a nice little omen.
You just premiered the first episode of Outlander at Comic-Con. How was the experience out there?
It was insane. It’s just a crazy world, really fun though. There’s the best people-watching ever. And there’s also a great energy. The fans saw the first episode and thankfully they responded very well to it. They’ve only been waiting 20 years for this to come out!
Have you read all of Diana Gabaldon’s books?
She just published her eighth book [of the Outlander series] a couple months ago. I haven’t read further than the first because I don’t think it really serves as an actor to know too far in the future. My sister is a voracious reader though, within three months she had read all of them and she keeps telling me that this and this happens—I have to stop her.
There’s a lot of comparison to Game of Thrones. How do you feel about that?
These are two very different shows. Game of Thrones has multiple story lines, multiple countries, and it’s complete fantasy. Outlander is a lot more of an intimate story and it’s historical fiction based around real events. We should be so lucky to have the success that Game of Thrones has had and we’re grateful for it since it opened the doors for fantasy shows like ours to possibly be made.
What do you say about the criticism that the show will only appeal to women because of its historical romance–novel origins?
Even though the central theme is Claire and Jamie’s relationship, there’s also political intrigue and battles between Highlanders and Red Coats. It’s an epic adventure that’s right up most men’s alley.
After you’re doing filming, are you moving back to L.A. or New York?
New York’s definitely got my heart. I enjoyed L.A. because it was nice to be in the sunshine and live in a house with proper wardrobes. I loved the space. I was just saying that in New York, people don’t use their kitchens. You open the cupboards and there are clothes and a bunch of other things in there!