As we did for “The Garrison Commander,” this post is a round-up of interviews pertaining to Saturday’s episode “The Wedding.” Below are a few excepts and links to interviews with costume designer Terry Dresbach and star Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser). There are obviously a few spoilers for the episode if you have not seen it at this time and a few mentions of things to come in later episodes and during the second season.
Yahoo! TV interview with costume designer Terry Dresbach:
Did the design start with the book?
I had always seen clothing in my head as I read the books. It was interesting when I started to design it because I’d realized I’d never paid attention to the clothing descriptions. When I went back and read it again, I went, “Oh wait, that’s not what I had in my head.” There came a moment when we all had to decide if we were going with the descriptions in the book or going to do the look that we wanted. This dress is not what is written in the books exactly. When we make choices that are not exactly as they are in the book, they are never done casually or dismissively. They’re always done with tremendous consideration because we’re fans too.
Where did inspiration come from?
It is based on lots and lots of research. We looked at a million pictures. They didn’t wear dresses that we would perceive to be wedding dresses today. They didn’t wear white dresses at that time. People got married in blue and all sorts of things. We wanted to create something that would hit a perfect point in between the accuracy of the period, which would have not been white as that’s an invention of the Victorians, and the expectations of the audience who want to see a proper wedding dress by today’s standards. We chose to do it in silver and metallic. I feel like we found a way to give it a traditional feel of a modern wedding dress, but done in an authentic fabric, color, and shape for the 18th century.
Ron wanted it originally to be carved from a nail. It was like 2 o’clock in the morning at our house and we were fighting about it. I was like, “A nail? That isn’t romantic. We are not doing that. Out of the question.” He thought it was a great idea, but I realized that what he wanted was for it to be made out of some item that they pulled together and spontaneously made into a cool ring. We came up with a key to Lallybroch. It feels like Claire and is the opposite of her other wedding ring. It’s rough and not ornate. It feels like Scotland and our show. As with everything on our show, there’s no detail too small.
She’s wearing gold on one hand and silver on the other, which I think is great symbolism for this woman who loves two men.
Now that the wedding is behind you, what will be your next big challenge?
Season 2. I started designing that five months ago before I knew for sure that we’d get a Season 2 because I know how enormous it is.
We are in the middle of making a thousand extra costumes. Most of the principal costumes have been designed and are ready to be made and we don’t even have scripts yet. I can only do that because I know the books so well. [Spoiler alert!] I know they’re going to be at the French court, in their apartment, in the hospital. I make it all in calico and when we get the scripts we’ll move into fabric. But we are poised and ready. Otherwise, we would all die.
Variety interview with Dresbach:
OK, we have to talk about this wedding dress.
What a surprise!
I had about 5,000 dress pictures on my wall of every conceivable look that existed and I had really had gotten directions from Ron [Moore, the show’s creator and Dresbach’s husband] that this needed to be a fairy tale; a beautiful moment that cements and entire book series and an entire television series. It’s a series about a marriage and the foundation is this moment, but it’s two people who didn’t know each other and who didn’t plan to be married and are being forced into this. And yet, we had to make it so impossibly romantic that we could believe that our heroine and our hero could just fall in love so completely at that moment.
So, I wanted a dress that would be incredible in candlelight. And in the 18th century, metallic fabrics were made with actual metal woven into the fabrics. When you put them in a room filled with candles, they just glow. They’re quite remarkable. There are museum exhibits that actually show the dresses in candlelight so you can see the effect.
We also needed a dress that a modern audience could believe was a wedding dress from a period where they didn’t really have wedding dresses. People weren’t wearing white gowns. We needed something that could straddle that line.
Now on top of that, I have a character who is from another time period and I didn’t want something too frilly or to fluffy for her. And Caitriona is so extraordinary and so beautiful that I just wanted something to be kind of clean and simple and drop-dead ornate, so we were serving a lot of masters on this dress.
I love that you based her “modern day” wedding suit on her grandmother’s wedding suit.
It is quite lovely. Caitriona was so excited. Her grandmother was a World War II nurse, so we have pictures of her grandmother in her nurse’s uniform and we have pictures of her in her wedding suit. There’s a lovely connection there that we were able to utilize with Cat. She’s so amazing with the way she brings those things. You’ll get an email from her at 2 o’clock in the morning with “Look! I found a picture of my grandmother’s wedding suit!.”
A lot of that kind of stuff happens on this show. You don’t just sit down and do a sketch and the next thing you know it’s a costume. Things move in mysterious ways in “Outlander.” There’s a green plaid dress that Caitriona wears that’s inspired by a branch across the road that I had to move when I was driving my car. Ron and I live in a house built in 1632 in Scotland, out in the wilds. Every day, we’re living in it.
The Hollywood Reporter interview with Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser):
Those who have read the first Outlander book have been anticipating Jamie and Claire’s wedding episode for a while. Was this an episode that you circled on the calendar? How important was it to get the intricacies of the wedding and the aftermath right?
The wedding is a big episode for Jamie and for Claire. There are many big moments we have to get right and going back to the flogging that was another big one that we have to mark right. How we get from one to the next the writers have a bit more freedom in the way we portray it. Yeah, we got to get it right. But the subject matter — Caitriona [Balfe] and I have never done anything like this before, so it was a bit of a learning curve. We were lucky that the director, Anna Foerster, was good. We did a lot of rehearsals. We discussed how we wanted it to work. When you watch the episode there is a progression in the way that Jamie and Claire get to know each other. Their relationship grows quite quickly so by the end of the episode, you can see that they’re basically making love, it’s not just consummating the marriage. Their friendship and their relationship is really bonded, but is also left in a place where Claire is reminded of her husband, Frank, back in the future. That leaves a wonderful discord at the end of the episode.
We get a sense, too, of Jamie’s naivete when it comes to sex, which is a source of humor. Plus, it’s a nice role reversal to see Claire being the one who is more experienced sexually rather than Jamie, who hasn’t reached that level yet.
In most TV dramas and films, it’s normally the other way around. It’s the guy [with more experience] than the woman, so it’s kind of turned on its head. Jamie’s very willing to learn and Claire is a very good teacher. (Laughs.) He couldn’t ask for better really. But it’s wonderful that they do have that kind of relationship. It’s very physical; there are no barriers. That’s what made their bond even stronger. I think he grows up very quickly and learns a lot, but it is lovely his humor. He’s learned a lot from looking at farmyard animals [which] is slightly disturbing. (Laughs.)
Access Hollywood interview with Heughan:
Access: There are some great extra scenes they added like Jamie’s conversation with Dougal near the stables and Dougal’s basically revealing this new respect he has for Claire. What do you think Jamie thinks of that, because it follows ‘The Garrison Commander’ episode where Dougal saw Claire stand up for him and Scottish people?
Sam: Yeah, Jamie’s aware that Dougal’s constantly playing politics and this is yet another way of Dougal also [trying] to control Jamie, and also to control Claire, and so it kind of plays into the right hands for Jamie, obviously. This is a great result for Jamie, but also, he kind of doesn’t know what he’s getting himself in for. He obviously likes Claire and this is a good thing to happen, but he’s also doing it out of necessity and out of saving her. He knows that if he marries her then she’s protected. Unfortunately, she may be protected from Black Jack for a short while, but she’s certainly not protected from Dougal and he’s always playing games and sort of trying to win out of each situation.
Access: You got to have some extra scenes too in the ‘Wedding’ episode with Duncan Lacroix. There is some really sweet stuff where he talks about Jamie’s mom. How much do you love to do those Jamie/Murtagh scenes? It seems like you and Duncan have a really great chemistry.
Sam: He’s [an] absolutely wonderful actor and he’s such a character and I love that relationship. He’s kind of the one person that Jamie can trust. He’s the only other Fraser that is around — Fraser family — for the moment, and yeah, it’s sort of like this unwritten relationship. There’s a lot that goes on between them. They only need to give each other a look. Throughout all the episodes [we’ve] always tried to make sure that myself and Duncan were always close or we can always see each other and we speak Gaelic to each other. It’s sort of like politics, really. Much like Dougal and Colum, there’s this sort of bond between the two and yeah, it certainly plays out and later on in the episodes, we see more of his relationship and why he is protective of Jamie.
TV Line interview with Heughan:
TVLINE | Was there pressure on you to deliver this scene that fans of the book had been envisioning for years?
We were very aware, not only of the wedding night but all the way through the books, there are pivotal, key moments that the fans definitely want to see. This was definitely one of them. I guess I was a little nervous. But it always seems to be that when we get down to rehearsing it or talking about it, the sooner you immerse yourself in the characters and where they’re at, the pressure goes because you just have to be honest in that situation. That situation is that this is new for Jamie and for Claire, as well. It was great to be working with Cait. She’s fun, and she’s very relaxed. We were there for each other, so we sort of got through it together.
TVLINE | The prosthetics on your back must take forever to put on.
It’s something you forget. You read a scene and you think, oh, this is cool. I’ve got to take my clothes off, that’s fine. But not only do I have to do all that, I’ve got to go into prosthetics. It’s about two hours – it started off about three hours. The makeup team is fantastic. They work so hard and so fast. But then it constantly needs touching up and makeup and obviously, rolling around on it and lying on it can really damage it, so it’s kind of all day that you’ve got this on. It can be quite difficult because you can’t really sit down in it without damaging it. So we’re lucky. We’ve got such an amazing makeup and prosthetics team. I think it looks wonderful.