*As always, there are spoilers below, including some for season two, so read/view at your own risk.*
Backstage: “The Gorgeous Determination of Caitriona Balfe”
Hear Balfe recount her early misadventures in modeling and you can’t help but think of Claire, who’s equally thrown to the wolves once she arrives in the 18th century amid people wary of the English in general and assertive women in particular. “Honestly, I’ve been in so many situations in my life where you just are completely displaced,” Balfe says. “You have to adapt very quickly and figure it out. I definitely think that informs Claire a lot. It helped me understand her.”
Collider: “Outlander: Sam Heughan Talks Season 1, Scotland, Jamie, and Black Jack Randall”
Collider: Have you felt the affects of the overwhelming fan support for the show, or are you in your own bubble, working on this show?
SAM HEUGHAN: We’re in Scotland and we are in a bubble. It hasn’t aired in the UK yet, so it’s quite nice to be anonymous there and get on with the job. And then, coming to America or wherever it’s being shown, the reaction has been fantastic. Being recognized, people are very, very friendly and genuine when they meet you. I’ve met them in the airport or in the street, and it’s lovely. We’re aware of it on Twitter and Facebook, and that support is fantastic. I always get really excited when I know an episode is coming up. I can’t wait for the fans to see it.
Entertainment Weekly: “Outlander EP Ron Moore previews new episodes: ‘There’s definitely more sex'”
“The wedding episode sort of stands alone in the firmament,” Moore says. “There’s not another episode that’s as romantic and as sensual and has all those elements at play in it.”
Entertainment Weekly: “Outlander Q&A: Let’s talk about sex with Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan”
Have you warned family to fast-forward through particularly steamy scenes or episodes?
Heughan: My mother doesn’t know [the wedding episode where Jamie has sex for the first time] exists. She thinks it all ends at episode 6. I think I’m going to keep propagating that lie.
Glamour: Outlander‘s Sam Heughan Will Make You Even More Excited for the Midseason Premiere Than You Already Are
Glamour: You’ve been in this character’s head for so long—do you ever catch yourself having a Jamie moment, or do you feel like you relate to him in some way?
S.H.: He’s such a complex character, and as the season progresses he really has to grow up quite a bit. He has to decide who he wants to be in life—if this is a path and a relationship that he really wants. I think that’s reflected in every young man. You have to grow up and think, “What do I want to do with my life?” There are absolutely parallels with my own experience.
Marie Claire: “Outlander Star Caitriona Balfe on Playing TV’s Sexiest, Most In-Control Woman
Outlander‘s been dubbed a “bodice ripper,” but it’s really a show about a badass feminist heroine–and if there is any bodice ripping it’s on Claire’s terms. Do you think “bodice ripper” is a misnomer?
“I think that doesn’t justify the show. I think we bring so much more to it. Claire is a very sexual woman and she’s very in control of her sexuality and she doesn’t apologize for it. I think that’s something that’s great about her. I mean, we don’t very often get these female characters who are able to bring that to a show. Usually it’s more common to see the male protagonist, and they have as many women as they want or there’s something going on in the background as two people are having a conversation. But also, there is an element of sexual violence being used as a weapon in that time, and I think we can’t take away from the seriousness of that.”
Men’s Fitness: “Outlander Star Sam Heughan is Ready for Action”
While the 6’3” Heughan was no weakling, he did have to hit the gym to get into Highland warrior shape. “Before I got the job I was probably around 82-84 kg (180-185 pounds). I was doing a lot of running; I ran for a charity team and did a lot of marathon running, but I had to look a bit bigger and I needed to look like someone who could take care of himself. He (Jamie) is an outdoors man and a warrior, so I had six weeks in London with a trainer at a CrossFit gym and we started learning the necessary deadlifts and Olympic lifts and then did a lot of conditioning work. Throughout the year I built up my way to 92-94 kgs (202-207 pounds) and really saw my lifts get a lot stronger.” (Heughan’s personal best deadlift is 180kg [396.8 pounds] and he is aiming for 200kg [440.9 pounds] by June.)
Nerdist: “Tobias Menzies Chats Outlander, Subversive Sexytimes, and the Genius of Ron Moore”
Nerdist: So, you play two wildly different characters on one show; what’s that like?
Tobias Menzies: It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot and I still haven’t quite worked out a satisfactory answer, because in a way it felt quite intuitive. I do remember — and Ron [Moore, the series’ showrunner] has talked about this — when I was being put into the clothes for the two different time periods, it sort of informed how I was standing and stuff. I didn’t know that, [but] I was keen not to ink it in too heavily, what was different about them. I wanted the difference to be in the eyes really, rather than anything more overt. I’m encouraged, though, because people seem to genuinely feel that there is a real kind of difference between the two of them. I made the slightly scary decision to sort of trust the narrative, and the costuming, and the setting to do a lot of the work for us so the difference between the two could be subtle, in a way. That’s the fun thing about having, obviously, one actor playing the two people — there’s nice sort of freestyle moments of when they’re similar and when they’re different and we get to play with that.
People: “Outlander‘s Caitriona Balfe: Claire and Jamie’s ‘Honeymoon Phase’ Is Over”
“They really have to figure out maybe not accepting each other’s behavioral ways,” the actress said, “but understanding where it’s coming from so that way they can continue to build their relationship.”
People: “Which Sweaty Activity Occupies Outlander‘s Stars Off-Screen?”
“We’re really good friends,” she told PEOPLE. “We’re both going through the same experience, so that’s great, we both really understand that. I hope I’m as good support as he is to me.”
Racked: Outlander Is Back, and It Still Has the Best Sex on Television
In Outlander, sex is sometimes meaningful. Often it isn’t. But it’s always hot, it’s always primarily interested in her pleasure, and it’s always taken seriously as story. Whatever’s happening carnally scans as motivated and true. Porn has trained us to see story as the pretext for sex; in Outlander, sex is the pretext for story.
Toronto Star: “Q&A with Outlander star Sam Heughan”
Q: What did you do to become Jamie Fraser?
A: Initially, I got a trainer. He was sent down to London and I spent five weeks lifting heavy things and eating lots and lots of food to pack on weight. . . . Eventually, we went to Scotland and had a boot camp where we did a lot of horse riding and sword fighting and all that sort of Boy’s Own stuff. We were also taking Gaelic lessons and researching Scottish history and clan culture.
Zap2It: “Outlander switches perspectives to show it’s Jamie’s story as much as Claire’s”
“You had been with Claire for the whole journey, and then the midseason break sort of gave you an opportunity to [think] we’re sort of premiering again, we’re starting again,” he explains to Zap2it. “Because of the nature of the story that takes place in [episode 9], it felt right that most of that story was about Jamie and his decisions and who he was, and that seemed like an interesting opportunity to then shift to his perspective and point of view and change it up a little bit.”
TV Fanatic: “Outlander Stars Tease Return; Intimacy, Danger, Heartbreak to Come”
TVF: As an actor, how much do you feel like you’ve grown since doing this? I feel like you’ve been challenged in so many different ways with playing Jamie.
Sam Heughan: Yeah, actually [episodes] nine and ten actually were shot out of sequence. We shot those after three and four so we had to just get ahead. So, the first time Caitriona and I were doing intimate scenes, those were the first scenes we shot. But watching the show recently I was like “oh my God, I’m so much better now than I was,” but I think that’s probably the same for anyone. You know, you learn on set and you settle into the character more and into the moments.
But I think I’ve grown up a lot I think over the last year. I think Jamie, certainly in the show, he’s forced to grow up and address a lot of issues, a lot he’s left lie and he has to learn what it is to be in a relationship as well.
Variety: Outlander Preview: Sam Heughan Says Jamie Will Be ‘Tested’ in Midseason Return
Although Claire’s voiceover isn’t gone for good, Heughan admitted that the back half of the season also allows for plenty of character development for Jamie. “There’s a lot more of who he is; you find out a lot more about him. He is kind of like this perfect man who always says the right thing and does the right thing, and suddenly in the second part of the season, he’s really tested. He’s constantly trying to find his place in the world, in his relationships to Claire; to his sister; to his best friends; his dead father. He’s really trying to find out who he is, and growing up.”
Variety: Creator Ronald Moore Is ‘Very Curious to See How People React’ to ‘Outlander’ Return
“I started my career in “Star Trek,” then “Battlestar” and now this, and you have to understand it’s all coming from a place of love,” he said. “They are fans because they love this material and all they want is for you to not screw it up, and they have lots of opinions about what equals screwing it up, but they all come from this extraordinarily positive place.”
“So I always take it in that vein and say, ‘I’m trying to give you something you’re going to like,’” Moore continued. “It’s not a democracy. You can’t vote on what scenes we’re going to do, but our intention is to deliver to fans of these books a story they love in a way they can enjoy it, so they can say ‘yeah, that’s the “Outlander” that I know.’”
Cosmopolitan: “What Do the Stars of Outlander Think of the Book’s Disturbing ‘Discipline’ Scene?”
“It’s quite a big moment in the books,” Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie, told Cosmopolitan.com last night, at the premiere of the Starz show. “It was certainly challenging for someone in the modern period to get your head around, but ultimately, we thought, We’ve got to do this, it’s in the books, it’s a very famous part of it. It’s about Jamie being from the past and her being from the future, and they have a different moral code. Jamie has been taught a certain way to do a certain thing, and whether or not he believes it’s the right way, it’s his duty.”
Biography: ‘Outlander’ Couple Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan Return With ‘Shocking’ Scenes
Looking ahead briefly to next season and Book 2, Jamie and Claire will age a bit for that storyline. Do you have any trepidation about aging on-screen?
Caitriona Balfe: “No … I mean, in real life, sure … [laughing] It’s one of those things, you want to be brave, and you want to show women as they should be, and all of this, excuse the term, but bullsh*t pressure society puts on us to stay eternally young. It’s impossible. I look at people like Frances McDormand or Jessica Lange or Helen Mirren and Judi Dench, these amazing women, and you want to be like, Yes, I want to be that brave and I want to look like that, and then you see yourself on-screen one day and you’re like, Dammit! Am I really…?
“It’s a constant battle women always go through, vanity is a very dangerous thing. I would hope that my dedication to my work and my character is stronger than my vanity.”
Canada.com: Outlander actor Sam Heughan enjoying star status
Q. Next season is based on Dragonfly in Amber — how closely will it follow the book?
A. We’re definitely going to try to stick to the books as close as possible. However, there are elements of the story that (showrunner Ronald D. Moore) will expand on. Even in this second part of Season 1, there are some characters that aren’t in the books. But I think they all really add to the Outlander universe and help flesh out the background of the story. And yes, there’ll be some surprises as well.
Wall Street Journal: ‘Outlander’ Showrunner on New Episodes and Liquor-Store Runs From Fans (Ron Moore Interview)
What made you decide to kick of the second half of the season with an episode devoted entirely to Jamie’s POV?
There were two things: One was, because I knew up front that Starz was going to broadcast them in two sections, I knew episode eight had to be a cliffhanger, then nine was going to be a sort of restart, a premiere of sorts, so I had to have a certain kind of beginning that just wasn’t picking it up. The other was that the series of books overall, is really about the two of them, and up until this point, it’s all been her, her, her, because it’s all first-person narrative. So it was an opportunity to sort of broaden the show and pivot and say, “It’s also his story too.” And then enlist him in that intimacy with the audience with the voice-over and say, it’s now the two of them, and let’s look at some of this other stuff – like what’s happening backstairs at Castle Leoch. So it really gave me a chance to open the show up.
The spanking scene: Was this something you looked forward to plotting out onscreen, or, given the controversy that surrounds it, was it something that caused you anxiety?
It was something that gave us a bit of anxiety. It was like, “All right, we’re gonna do it. But, this clearly is a tricky area and how are we gonna do it?” There was a lot of conversation in the writers’ room, with the cast and how we edited it, all the way down to the final mix.
I’m sitting on the mix stage, thinking, “Where do we bring in the music? Where do we bring in that music cue?” And we moved it around a couple of times, and I remember here were seven women sitting in a room with us out of a group of maybe 20-30 people, and I went down the line, and it was fascinating that there was not a unanimity of how they felt, and I kind of decided what the consensus I felt was, “All right, we’ll bring the music there. That’s the moment.” But some people felt bringing it in at that point lightened it up too much, other people thought it was too late, they wanted to be comforted a little bit earlier, that it was all going to be OK, that it was getting too dark and scary. And I was trying to figure out what was the moment in the scene where youwanted to tell the audience it was going to be OK. So it was interesting just going through the process of developing that sequence.
Channel Guide Magazine: Outlander author Diana Gabaldon knows how series will end, shares her favorite characters and more
The majority of the TV series is taken directly from her novel but deconstruction is necessary and things won’t happen in exact sequences and/or may be different…
Diana Gabaldon: I’d say maybe 85 percent is taken from the books — straight lines and everything, but it has to be slightly tweaked in order to achieve that dramatic structure. They will deconstruct the book into all of its separate scenes and all of its separate lines of dialog, and then they move things around. They say, “Well we think we could do this, and in that we can take that piece from over here, but then we need to get back to the main plot line, so we’ll have to write a little piece here that will make that turn back into this.” The overall effect is a realization of Outlander. Anyone who is a fan of the books would recognize it instantly from the show, and love it.
But at the same time, there’s this wonderful feeling of novelty and discovery because things are not going to happen in the exact sequence that you expect them, and they may not happen in the exact way that you expect them. Sometimes a scene will have been deconstructed into two or three separate parts which occur in other places, so you’ll be saying, “Well I missed my favorite line,” but it’s coming, it’s just somewhere else.
Vox: Battlestar Galactica and Outlander’s Ron Moore tells us why his shows all feature politics
Todd VanDerWerff: What were some things you looked at when you were researching this period?
Ronald D. Moore: The writers brought in a lot of source material that we had in the office, and we would comb through it periodically. There was a lot of online surfing around. Primarily, I was looking at other movies and TV shows that were period pieces or associated with this period, just to see what had been done.
Richard Lester’s The Three Musketeers was a touchstone for me. I always went back to that. I loved the style of shooting, and the sense of authenticity to the period was really important.
And then there were things I was looking at to avoid. The Patriot is one of my pet hate movies: “The redcoats are not going to be that color, and everybody’s too clean, and we’re not going to be glossy like that.”
Comic Book Resources: ‘Outlander’s’ Diana Gabaldon on Her Journey From Duckburg to 18th Century Scotland
Have you any desire to write an episode, in the way that George R.R. Martin has written the occasional episode of “Game of Thrones”?
Well, the difference there is that George was a TV writer before he started writing novels. He’s accustomed to how the system works and the scripts and all that. I had not done that. When Ron and Maril came to talk to me, Ron asked me if I’d be interested in writing an episode. I said I think not, or at least not now. For one thing, this is a really important season. It’s kind of vital. If anything goes wrong, I don’t want it to be my fault [laughs].
I said, well, I’m a good writer and I have written a lot of things that I didn’t know how to write when I started. I’m reasonably sure I could master script writing, but I don’t want to have to do it when it’s totally vital that I get it right. Maybe as time goes on I might.
Another consideration is that I’m not a team player. I’m so used to being god in my own universe. I have total control over what happens in a book. And television writing is not like that at all. I have a number of friends who are television writers. I’ve heard about it. Ron and Maril had me come and see the writers’ room and meet all the writers, with whom I got along with beautifully. Having seen how they do work, I think I could work with them. Coming into it cold, I don’t know.
USA Today: Interviews with ‘Outlander’ stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe
Access Hollywood: Caitriona Balfe Dishes on Outlander‘s Return
Read more at http://www.accesshollywood.com/outlander-tobias-menzies-on-that-big-cliffhanger-and-whats-next_video_2711937#fLUmDVERjsr1Jl7A.99
Popsugar: Outlander Villain Tobias Menzies Talks About the ‘Uncomfortable Viewing’ Coming Up
Popsugar: What Would an Outlander Online Dating Profile Look Like?
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Buzzfeed: “Caitriona Balfe’s Opinion on 23 Random Things”
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