While we wait for the Golden Globes, here is a round up of the various interviews that have taken place at the events in the last few days. If I missed any feel free to post in the comments!
[TV Tangos TCA Transcript [MAJOR SEASON 2 SPOILERS]]
Question: Cait, do you prefer the fashions of Paris or Scotland?
Caitriona Balfe: I think Terry [Dresbach, costumer designer and wife to Ronald D. Moore] will agree with me that I don't know if we'd called the Scottish clothes necessarily fashions. They're very practical clothes. It was a palette that was very muted and fabrics that were very practical and sort of earthy. But once we went to Paris, I think Terry was given this incredible freedom to make the most incredible beautiful pieces, so we have very rich fabrics, gorgeous colors, and it just looks amazing. It's so sumptuous.
Question: Sam, because you've moved from the Highlands to France, has the style of fighting changed at all?
Sam Heughan: Wow. I would say that the danger in Paris and Versailles is less physical with the swords and weaponry. It's more politics and backstabbing and poison. It's more hidden. There's a lot more politics at work and a lot more danger, so it's a different kind of world. But we certainly do go back to Scotland where we go back to the mud and blood and gore. So there's something for everyone.
Question: Sam, Jamie went through so much at the end of last season. How much is all that he went through with Randall with him? And how much is it still with you since I know those scenes were not easy to shoot?
Sam Heughan: Yes. It certainly played out in Season 2, but it's not the primary focus of the season. Obviously we go to Paris on this mission, and we're there for a reason. But Jamie's definitely still affected by the trauma. I think time is a great healer, but ultimately, he puts his whole body and soul into this mission about changing history, and then there is a great revelation that kind of cures him -- or brings him out of himself -- which I can't really tell you what that is, but it certainly brings back the old Jamie.
Whether or not that still lives with me, yes, I guess. I think myself and Caitriona, we both love any scenes that are kind of quite dramatic that we can really get our teeth into, that we can really stretch ourselves, our acting ability. I thoroughly enjoyed those episodes and look forward to more challenges.
Question: Caitriona and Sam, the idea of shifting to different eras is pretty exciting. If you could visit any era, what would it be?
Caitriona Balfe: I think I always used to say New York in the '20s, but I would also love to go to Egypt at the height of the pharaohs. I think that would be very...
Sam Heughan: We've discussed how you would make a great Cleopatra.
Caitriona Balfe: I would like to be Cleopatra, yes.
Sam Heughan: We should remake a movie. Starz remake CLEOPATRA.
Ronald D. Moore: Better plumbing in New York probably.
Caitriona Balfe: Probably, yeah.
Sam Heughan: I've always been obsessed with the King Arthur legends, and I don't really know what period that would be. Yeah. I'd love to discover the source of King Arthur, I guess.
Question: Would you be King Arthur?
Sam Heughan: Absolutely. But then maybe Mordred's a more interesting character.
Question: This show has launched both of you into the public eye in a different way. How do you two navigate that success, and what's sort of the double-edged sword of being known?
Caitriona Balfe: I'm not sure really what the navigation is. We have this amazing opportunity to work on a show that we love, and that's been the greatest gift. Obviously you do have more recognition, and I think that the great positive things of that are Sam and I both now have a voice where we can do positive things with that. We both have charities that we support, and I think we both love that side of things. I think also -- I can only speak for myself -- I haven't really had a negative side to that yet, and I hope I won't. I think if you're the type of person who sort of lives your life kind of privately, you can still more or less do that. You know, obviously when we're at the clubs at 4am falling out, that changes things. [Laughter.]
Sam Heughan: Happens a lot.
Caitriona Balfe: So far it's all been positive.
Sam Heughan: Yeah. Pretty [much] exactly what Caitriona said. We do have that ability to support charities and have done so, and I think that's definitely the positive side to this industry.
Question: Diana, this is a really bold step to do the things you're doing, going back and forth and having her decide, and Jamie finally understanding and so forth. Did you always know you were going to go in this direction? What was the thinking that went behind having to go back and try to change things.
Diana Gabaldon: I don't plan the books out ahead of time, and I don't write in a straight line either. I write where I see things happening. Consequently, as I got the first book sort of coming together, I had already found a literary agent, and so as I got it coming together, I told him, I said, "I can see that there's more to this story, but I thought I should stop while I can still lift it." He said, "Great." So when he went to sell the book, I said, "You can tell them there's more." He said, "She says there's more." And they said, "Well, trilogies are very popular. Do you think she could write three?" Being a very good agent, he said, "I'm sure she could." So I had a three-book contract. So I had all the room in the world to do anything I wanted. So I sort of jumped off a cliff, and that's been working pretty well for me so far, so I just keep doing that.
Question: You have all these people who say, "Oh, you can't mess with timelines and you can't do this and can't do that." None of that bothers you? You're able to push ahead? You're able to make up your own rules as far as what can be changed and what can't be and so on?
Diana Gabaldon: Yeah. Well, you always do that if you are dealing with time travel in any serious literary way. Anybody who does time travel stuff, unless it's just the costume drama, she's going back and wearing fancy clothes, but she's going to be a 20th century person and show everybody the error of their ways -- this is not what I do. Anyway, if you do it in any serious way, you do, in fact, figure out how a time works, one way or the other. In fact, I am honored to say that I was invited to write up the Gabaldon theory of time travel for the "Journal of Transfigural Mathematics" in Berlin, which I did, if you want to see that. I can tell you what the nuts and bolts are, but it's a little long for this venue.
Question: Caitriona, it looks like from that clip [that was shown before the panel started] that we're going to see the time traveling this time. How will her experiences with Black Jack affect her relationship with Frank this season in her present? Does time traveling cause any jet lag?
Caitriona Balfe: You know, no jet lag. A little disorientation.
Sam Heughan: Like a little hangover.
Caitriona Balfe: Just a little hangover kind of thing. I think as much when Claire first encounters Black Jack and she can't fail but to see Frank in him and believe that somewhere there is that connection, I think when she goes back, there is also that reverse thing where every time she looks at Frank, she can't help but see Black Jack. There's many layers of why that relationship is difficult when she goes back. She's definitely not the same woman that left. But, yeah. I think it definitely has an effect.
Question: Can you all talk a little bit more about the pregnancy this year? How does it impact the story? Different times have different ideas about what pregnant women can and can't do. Will that play in?
Ronald D. Moore: It definitely plays into the storyline, and that particular issue does come up at a certain point. It's hard to get into anything specific without really getting into spoiler territory. But Claire's pregnancy is a threat. It's there from the first episode since they arrive in Paris, and we continue it throughout the story and how it affects their relationship and her own role in the plot to disrupt the Jacobite rebellion and so on.
Question: Congratulations on the Golden Globes. Are you trying to write Tobias Menzies [who earned a nomination for his portrayal of Black Jack/Frank in the category for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television]? Is Frank a little more in it?
Ronald D. Moore: Frank's a great character. And he was such a fundamental part of the genesis of the story. Claire's drive to return to him was such a strong thread all throughout the first season. It's just a rich and interesting character. Tobias is a great actor, so it was a very organic process, being in the writers' room working on a story, and it just kind of folded itself into certain elements as we broke the season.
Question: Tell us about the new French actors. What's it like working with them, and do you all speak French?
Sam Heughan: I would say that we speak varying degrees of French. We have some fantastic new characters coming in. The French actors poured in just a new dynamic, a new world, and there's new enemies, new allies. We have Dominique Pinon. We've got Stanley Weber.
Caitriona Balfe: Lionel Lingelser, Andrew Gower, Frances de la Tour, Romann Berrux.
Sam Heughan: We have this young boy, Romann Berrux, who plays Fergus. He brings this great dimension to Claire and Jamie. He sort of becomes their surrogate son, and it's really nice to see Jaime and Claire play father and mother -- and sort of play this family. It brings another entity and dynamic to the whole relationship.
Question: Sam, could you talk about what you like about Jamie, what you admire about him? If you were sitting across from him at a table, what would you want to ask him?
Sam Heughan: I've been very surprised by Season 2. Season 1 was about discovery and about a young man sort of growing up and finding his place in the world and in a relationship. And Season 2 has been about discovering a side of the character that I didn't know was there -- that he's playing someone else. He's being quite deceptive. He's learning to be deceitful, and he does it very well. Jamie is very capable and good at most things. But there's a side to him that I didn't know, and also, he's still obviously traumatized or struggling with what happened to him. So there's not a darkness, but there's a side to him that I didn't know existed. And what do I admire about him, I think you asked? I guess his humor and his buoyancy. His natural ability to keep going no matter what's wrong. And I guess, also, his just absolute dedication to Claire is admirable and inspiring.
Question: What would you ask him?
Sam Heughan: Is he a natural ginger? [Laughter.] Or does he dye his hair once a month?
Question: Caitriona, what about Claire?
Caitriona Balfe: In similar respects similar to Sam, for Claire last season was a very reactionary season. There was just events that sort of happened one after another, and she was in survival mode, so she was just really reacting from one thing to the next. The difference with this season is that there's been time to sort of be in one place and contemplate. I feel like things are sitting with her a lot more, and she has time to consider her place and how she feels. It's been a really amazing discovery in that way, and I feel that in a lot of respects I've gotten to know her a lot more. But we have such, hopefully, a long journey to go with these characters that I'm really looking forward to playing the next phases. People who know the books know that Brianna comes in, and how that is to be a mother and all of these things.
I really admire her resilience and her intelligence, and I would love to just ask her about what her thoughts are being in all these different places and times and how she sees humanity -- and having that conversation with her and about her drive for her career and all those things. I think it would be a very interesting dinner. It would be a very drunk dinner, possibly.
[Globe and Mail w/ Cait]
The woman is Irish, as am I. Her accent is there, but soft. Unlike mine, which isn’t really there until drink is taken and then is strong, especially when strong views are expressed.
I have strong views on Outlander. The romantic fiction conventions upended in it, the damsel-in-distress made savvy and soundly competent. It’s a powerful excursion into heady themes of love, love of country, sex, sadism and atonement. Outlander, off the radar for many critics, has three Golden Globe nominations, including Best Drama, which is deeply gratifying to the millions who watch and admire it in countless countries around the world.
The Irish woman is Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire, the canny heroine thrown back in time from the 1940s to the tumult of Scotland in 1743. She is nominated for a Golden Globe on Sunday for Actress in a Drama.
Balfe, age 34, is tall and dark-haired. She sits across from me briefly amused by the fuss the publicist makes about what chair Balfe should sit in. I tell her I won’t keep her long. “Ah, don’t worry,” she says, the rhythm of speech of County Monaghan, where she was born, surfacing in those few words.
She fixes her eyes on me. She looks at me coolly. I know the look. I grew up surrounded by such Irish women, aloof eyes and a stormy heart. Warmth under it, though, the poetry of amusement and passion. She’s the perfect Claire for Outlander.
I ask her what Claire is and what she represents, but do it sideways. Once, I wrote that Claire is a true super-heroine. Diana Gabaldon, who wrote the Outlander books, wrote to me to say, “Mr. Doyle, she’s not a super-heroine, she’s just a very competent woman.”
Balfe says this is true. “To be a super-heroine means having superpowers. Claire has no special power, she is intelligent and able to adapt to situations that befall her. She is a woman of the 1940s, when the war meant that women had jobs they had not been entrusted with before, and able to leave the home. She’s seen a lot, was a nurse in wartime, and she’s strong in any situation.”
I ask if any of the history, in which Outlander is steeped, surprised her. “What surprised me was how advanced they were in the eighteenth century. We think technology has changed everything, made us sophisticated, but people are remarkable in their ingenuity. Sometimes when we think of our ancestors and what they went through, we assume they had a different emotional make-up or thought process, to handle things. But they didn’t. Family structure and family dynamic hasn’t changed. Love hasn’t changed.”
“I was surprised by some the details and events of Scottish history. I grew up not knowing about it. In Ireland we learn a lot about Irish and European history, not about Scotland. Its history is astonishing; it’s bloody and full of heartbreak. You just can’t help but be moved by it.”
Does her Irish background inform her work as Claire? “Everything that I absorbed through my life informs my work. But obviously being a Celt and spending much of my childhood in the countryside, when we started filming in Scotland it felt like a homecoming. Sam [Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie, her lover and then husband in 18th century Scotland] and I have talked about this. Sometimes, you simply have to look at the landscape, to be in it, to feel a kinship with the history. Claire is an Englishwoman who finds her home and heart in Scotland.”
My time with Balfe together is brief so it’s necessary ask bluntly about the Golden Globe nominations and what it means for her and for Outlander?
Another one of those very direct, cool looks as she answers, but with a billow of amusement: “For me, it’s kind of wild,” she says, laughing gently. “Before this I had five or six acting credits to my name. Two of which I didn’t even speak in. It’s a personal milestone, you might say. It puts me in a place when I have more opportunity, and it comes from this wonderful opportunity.”
“For the show, for everyone involved from the crew in Scotland to Diana, to everyone, it brings more attention, something Outlander deserves.”
We finish, but there is a lovely, illuminating postscript. We get up to leave and she says, “Your accent? Where in Ireland are you from?” And I tell her, “Born in Tipperary, lived in Leitrim [which is close to Monaghan], grew up in Dublin.”
She beams. ”Oh, Leitrim! Poor, lovely Leitrim.” And she adds, “I grew up in Monaghan.” As if I wouldn’t know that.
I ask her if all Monaghan people are devotees of Patrick Kavanagh, the great Irish poet from that area, and who write so much about it. “Kavanagh!” she exclaims. “I grew up with Kavanagh drummed into me.” And then she recites: “O stony grey soil of Monaghan/The laugh from my love you thieved/You took the gay child of my passion/And gave me your clod-conceived.”
She’s beating out the rhythm with her foot, her head thrown back, delight on her face. The publicist is agog, wondering what the hell I’ve just done to Caitriona Balfe. But I know. I grew up surrounded by such women.
Balfe shakes my hand. I thank her. She laughs. Her eyes are merry now. I liked her a lot, as I knew I would.
[Showbiz Junkies w/ Sam]
Sam Heughan can be forgiven for not remembering what day it is and what city he’s visiting after traveling through a handful of countries between December 18, 2015 and Starz’ Outlander press event at the Television Critics Association gathering in Los Angeles, CA on January 8th. Grabbing a few minutes with the talented Scottish actor who’s won over a legion of fans with his performance as Jamie Fraser in the critically acclaimed, award-winning series, Heughan tried to recall all of the time zones he’s recently passed through. “I can’t even tell you,” said Heughan, laughing. “Yeah, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, America…”
Fortunately, Heughan’s a fitness fanatic who can handle traveling, but he joked about the toll it’s taken on his body. Asked if he’ll be wearing new back prosthetics in season two, Heughan said, “I think I need a new body, to be honest. Back prosthetics? Actually we’re using the same ones, the same company.”
Speaking of keeping in shape, fans of Outlander have joined with Heughan in Bear Strength’s My Peak Challenge launched during season one of the series. The goal of My Peak Challenge is to support and motivate people into both reaching peak fitness levels as well as achieving personal goals, all while raising funds for charity. Bloodwise (formerly The Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research organization) is the charity nearest and dearest to Heughan’s heart, and through My Peak Challenge and the support of Outlander fans worldwide, including a special Peak Posse group that auctions off one-of-a-kind Outlander-inspired baskets full of autographed memorable and other items to support the cause, the first fundraising campaign was a huge success.
The second My Peak Challenge has just launched and Heughan promises those who take up the challenge again (or for the first time) have a lot to look forward to in 2016. “We’ve created a 60-day workout fitness routine that’s going to be like daily videos and nutrition advice,” said Heughan.
Asked if he’d like to get his Outlander co-star Caitriona Balfe involved, Heughan said he’d absolutely love to.
As for his own personal bucket list of physical challenges, Heughan said he’d put climbing Everest at the top of that list. “That would be awesome. I don’t think I’ll ever get up there, but I’m going to be climbing Kilimanjaro this year.”
Keeping our talk completely season two spoiler-free, Heughan discussed the most talked about scenes from season one: the prison rape scenes involving his character and Tobias Menzies as Black Jack Randall. “It was very tough. It was pretty intense. I really wanted to do it justice. It was filmed over about a two week period. They were pretty long days because of the prosthetics, the mud, the blood, and the gore. It was about four hours in the morning of makeup and in the evening a couple of hours to take it off. But I think to Tobias and I really went for it. We rehearsed the scenes well with the director and the writers. We were just fortunate that they were such great scenes to play.”
“I knew we were making something pretty graphic and pretty intense, but it’s in the book. You’ve got to understand why Jamie is affected and what happens to him. The whole physical side, Jamie can deal with that. But it’s the mental thing, the sort of the loss of his will and betraying Claire as well is certainly something that’s hard for Jamie to live with. People’s reaction to it? That’s what we want. We wanted people to be shocked by it and to be shocked by what Black Jack Randall has done to him,” said Heughan.
[E! Video Interviews]
Sam & Cait Address Romance Rumors <-- See also THIS POST
Sam & Cait Discuss Golden Globe Nominations
[TVLine [MAJOR SEASON 2 SPOILERS]]
Outlander is changing locales to lavish Paris in Season 2 (premiering in April), but the horrors Claire and Jamie suffered back in Scotland will follow them to their new home.
Jamie is “definitely still affected by the trauma” of his rape at the hands of Black Jack Randall, star Sam Heughan said Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena. However, “It’s not the primary focus of the season,” the actor noted.
“Time is a great healer, and ultimately, [Jamie] puts his whole body and soul into this mission about changing history,” Heughan previewed. “And there is a great revelation that cures him, or brings him out of himself. I can’t tell you what that is, but it certainly brings back the old Jamie.”
The couple’s plot to subvert the Jacobite rebellion will also reveal a new side of Jamie that even his portrayer didn’t know about. “He’s playing someone else. He’s being quite deceptive… and he does it very well,” Heughan said. “[I admire] his humor and buoyancy and his natural ability to keep going, no matter what’s wrong.”
Meanwhile, Claire’s pregnancy presents challenges of its own in Season 2, especially in how it affects her role in their efforts to stop the uprising. But that will hardly be the biggest issue for Mrs. Fraser, who finds herself — major spoiler alert! — reunited with her 1940s husband during the season.
“There is that reverse thing where every time she looks at Frank, she can’t help but see Black Jack,” Caitriona Balfe said. “There’s many layers of why that relationship is difficult when she goes back. She’s definitely not the same woman that left.”
Added Balfe: “[Season 1] was a very reactionary season… She was in survival mode. The difference with this season is there’s been time to be in one place and contemplate. Things are sitting with her a lot more, and she has time to consider her place and how she feels.”
Author Diana Gabaldon, on whose novels the Starz series is based, earned some laughs when she inadvertently took a jab at pal George R. R. Martin. The Game of Thrones scribe recently confirmed his next novel would not be ready in time for the HBO drama’s sixth season; Martin blamed travel and other distractions for the delay.
“Unlike George, I write no matter where I am or what else I am doing,” she said.
[Access Hollywood Video Interview]
Sam, Cait, Ron, & Diana Discuss Golden Globes, Are Cute
[Gold Derby Video Interviews]
[E! Video Interviews from BAFTA Tea]
Cait Talks Her Excitement for Golden Globes
[ET Canada Periscope Interviews]
When the first season of Outlander wrapped last year, fans were left wondering about the future for Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan), whose plot lines included unexpected pregnancy and a near-death experience, respectively. The show's second season will arrive in April, bringing with it the answers to all our burning questions. So when we ran into Balfe and Heughan at BAFTA's pre-Golden Globes tea we begged for some teasers to hold us over until spring.
"It's completely different than season one," Heughan said. "We're in Paris, so there's a completely different look to the show. The costumes look fantastic. It's very ostentatious. The allies and the enemies are very different. There's less people with swords and shields and more back-stabbings and politics."
"The costumes have gone full couture," Balfe added. "It's beautiful silks and satins and the colors are so amazing, whereas last year it was wools and muted. Claire has just told Jamie that she's pregnant, which is a huge thing in her life. She thought that she couldn't have children, so this is something that's a major change in her for the whole next season. She's also trying to help Jamie recover from the trauma at the end of season one. She's taken on this mission, as it were, to try and change the course of history. So it's not like things have just slotted back to the way it used to be. There's a lot going on within their marriage. It really tests them and tests how strong their bond is. But, as we always know, they persevere."
While the show's feverish fans revered the first season for many reasons, one favorite aspect has been its sensual, genuine portrayal of, which ELLE.com recently detailed as part of our Masters of On-Screen Sex series. And Heughan and Balfe understand the fuss: "I think people like them it's because it's quite honest," Heughan said. "It doesn't turn away from it. You get to see it. It's not a male's perspective, either. Claire is a very strong woman, and it's about her getting to know a young man and their relationship. I think it's quite interesting because you don't get to see a woman that has so much experience meeting a man who is a virgin."
But are we going to get more of those scenes in season two? Maybe not quite in the same way. "Well, now they're married," Heughan noted. "Claire is pregnant, and Jamie is suffering from the trauma of season one and what happened to him at the end. So their relationship is in a very strange place now. The honeymoon is kind of over. But that doesn't mean they won't get back there. They have a lot going on and they're working on their relationship. Their relationship is less innocent and young. It's now more grown up."
Not to worry too much, though: "They're a very passionate couple," Balfe added. "That will always be a part of their relationship."
Meanwhile, Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe only had eyes for one guy. “There’s one of my co-stars over there,” the nominee cooed upon spotting her on-screen husband Sam Heughan. “Sam and I have been seeing each other all week and Tobias [Menzies] gets in tomorrow [Sunday] morning. We’re going to have breakfast and I’ll go and get glammed up and hopefully he’ll go put on his pretty dress too and we’ll meet at the Globes.”
Balfe and Heughan — who’ve shared more than a few intimate moments on-camera — were naturally more covered up for this occasion, although Balfe maintains they’re not completely nude during those infamous sex scenes. “[We wear] some really unflattering, dignity-shattering, stick-on paper underwear, which no one should ever have to ever wear. Obviously there’s not a lot of space to hide things, but we do both wear some sort of underwear.”
[ET Canada Video Interview w/ Sam]
Thanks so much to SamCaitLife and di_elle for making a lot of these so easy to find!