Sam Heughan on ‘Game of Thrones’ Comparisons, Emmy Buzz, and Season Two

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Official Episode 111

In an interview with The Wrap, Sam Heughan is asked about the rape comparisons and controversy comparisons to Game of Thrones, the approach to the Wentworth scenes in regards to Ronald D. Moore, Emmy buzz and the fan base, and returning for season two of Outlander. [Spoiler Alert: There is reference to what happens in season two, so if you do not want to be spoiled, skip this interview and the excerpts.]

Sexual assault being depicted on TV has been a hot button issue lately. “Game of Thrones” had aired its controversial episode before the “Outlander” finale. Did that make you guys nervous about what you were doing and was there ever any discussion of changing or toning things down?
I was aware that they had done that episode, I finally caught up with it. I enjoyed the episode, I’m a big fan of the show, and it was interesting what they did with it. Playing the whole thing off someone’s face — off [Alfie Allen’s] Reek’s face — was really clever.

We were very aware of what we were doing. We spent a lot of time rehearsing it, discussing what we want the audience to see and to feel. The writers and directors were heavily involved. And I know [showunner] Ron [Moore], in the edit, he’s got a great sense of taste and didn’t want to show more than he was comfortable with watching. And certainly we were the same. We didn’t want to do something that was graphic or hard to watch. It was about understanding what Jamie’s gone through so we know where he is the rest of the season and subsequent seasons.

Ultimately that episode, for us, was not just about being raped. It was about the torture beforehand, it was about this mental chess game that they’re playing, and then obviously this horrific thing that happens to Jamie, but also afterwards — Jamie, not broken. His body maybe, but his mind isn’t.

That’s what Black Jack Randall sees in Jamie, that he needs to break his mind, he needs to break that resilience that Jamie’s got — and the resilience is his love for Claire [Caitriona Balfe]. That’s sort of the core of Jamie’s fortitude and strength. That’s what makes it really interesting, I think. Just having a rape is certainly not interesting for anyone. It’s more about the mental battles going on between these men.

But it was also important that we dealt with that subject in a careful way, so the aftermath of what happens to Jamie, how he recovers from that or doesn’t recover from it. Yeah, it’s pretty tough material.

In terms of the Emmy and awards buzz for the show, what has that been like? When did you guys realize the show was beloved by both fans and critics?
I still don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t really understand it all, and you certainly don’t think about that when you’re shooting. If the show were to receive any sort of recognition we would be over the moon and delighted, especially for our first season and being a new show. I would love for the show to win something, but we’ve won a lot of fan awards and that’s ultimately all we can ask for. That the fans enjoy it and people keep tuning in and word of mouth spreads and the show builds its fanbase. But yeah, send us all your Ginger Awards, that would be lovely.

So how’s filming been going? What episode are you on?
We’re almost finished — we’ve been filming three episodes at the same time, the first three, so that’s had its own difficulties, but it’s been great. It’s a very different world. We’re in the French court, about as far as you can get from the highlands of Scotland. There’s some crazy new characters. It looks magnificent, the show looks incredible, and just trying to find where Jamie and Claire fit into that world, is exactly the kind of journey they’re having. They’ve escaped Scotland and everything that happened there, but the reason that they’re there in France is to stop Cullodon, which is this big battle which ends up with the extermination of the highland culture, so they’re there for a reason. Yeah, it just gets very complicated.

To read the entire interview, head over to The Wrap.

Source: The Wrap