Saturday, December 24, 2016

Outlander - Sam Heughan Happy Holidays Message

Outlander - Caitriona Balfe Happy Holidays Message

Caitriona Balfe and Diana Gabaldon up for WIN awards

Women's Image Network

February 2017 

For full article :

A bloodwise message Day 7 Thank You Runners Sam Heughan

From Diana Gabaldon Seven Stones to Stand or Fall

June 27th 2017 release date

From Facebook

From Outlandish observations

Diana Gabaldon's story collection, SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL, now has an official publication date of June 27, 2017.

SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL will be a collection of seven novellas. Some of these stories have been previously published in anthologies or as standalone e-books, but two of the stories are brand new.

The collection will include:

"The Custom of the Army" (originally published in 2010)
"A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" (originally published in 2010)
"A Plague of Zombies" (originally published in 2011)
"The Space Between" (originally published in 2012)
"Virgins" (originally published in 2013)
"A Fugitive Green" (new story about Hal and Minnie in 1744)
"Besieged" (new story about Lord John and his mother Benedicta)

A Fugitive Green is now completed, June 27th 2017 is release date.

Link to facebook 

To purchase 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Random house Open house, NYC 2017

Diana was honest and heart warming... tears everywhere!

Random house on Twitter!

Random house facebook link to entire interview

The Pipes of Christmas NYC 2017

The Pipes of Christmas NYC 2017

Thank you Clan Currie another wonderful show...

Fraser Moodie and Outlander actor James Robinson  

Macys window for the holidays

Monday, December 12, 2016

Lot18 offers a variety of limited edition Outlander wines!

Feeling a wee bit impatient about the Outlander series returning? Dinna fash, sassenachs, Outlander wines are on sale now at Lot18!

Choose between your favorite characters or get the whole set. 

The 2015 Claire Fraser Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is a wine that will transport you to another time and place, and leave you longing for more. 

The 2014 Jamie Fraser Paso Robles Red Blend is a ripe and juicy wine that's worthy of toasting a true Scottish warrior. 

The 2015 Frank Randall Vin de Pays d'Oc Cabernet Sauvignon is refined yet reliable, much like Frank himself. And the NV Claire Randall Vin Blanc is a transcendent wine that can't help but stand out from the rest.

Only 2,500 bottles of each label were made for this limited edition run, so don't hesitate or they'll all be gone faster than we can say, "Dinna tarry!" As a bonus, the first 100 buyers will receive free exclusive wine charms with scenes from the show.


Tasting notes:

2015 Claire Fraser Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Fruit forward, with ripe black cherry, black raspberry, light cola and a hint of underbrush. A crowd-pleasing style of Pinot Noir.

2014 Jamie Fraser Paso Robles Red Blend

Displaying many of the characteristics found in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, the wine is concentrated and extracted, featuring an elevated acidity and minerality that provide lift and focus.

2015 Frank Randall Vin de Pays d'Oc Cabernet Sauvignon

This densely colored red reveals both fruit and floral aromas. Black currant, black plum and dark cherry flavors are accompanied by violet and dried herb notes. These characters repeat on the palate and are supported by balanced acidity and moderately firm tannins.

NV Claire Randall Vin Blanc

An incredibly balanced white blend of Viognier and Pinot Gris. The vibrant flavors of white peach, ginger and baking spice are focused by a minerally core.

Advertising :

Link for purchase:

Friday, December 9, 2016

Vanity Fair talks to Caitriona Balfe on Season 3..

Outlander Star Caitriona Balfe Promises More Sex for Season 3
“If I don’t have one husband, I’ve always got the backup.”

(Great point Caitriona!)


Of Vanity Fair 
Full article

By Adela Loconte/WireImage

It’s been just under four months since Outlander fans had to say good-bye to Claire and Jamie Fraser during the emotional Season 2 finale. But it’s also a long wait until the time-traveling, star-crossed couple returns to Starz for Season 3 next April. Thankfully, in the meantime, there’s a new Blu-ray edition of Season 2 out on Tuesday, November 1. And, for the true devotees to both the show and the Diana Gabaldon novels, there’s also a special Collector’s Edition that features an exclusive excerpt from the upcoming Outlander novel, “Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.” Series star Caitriona Balfe took a break from her grueling 11-month shooting schedule to reflect back on Season 2 and give a preview of why fans missing the steamier side of Outlander won’t be disappointed by Season 3.

: Did you hear that over the weekend Diana Gabaldon announced her Outlander novels would probably be ending with book 10?

Caitriona Balfe: I didn’t actually hear that!

Let me fetch the exact quote! She said: “It’ll be the very last thing in the last book, which I think is probably book 10.” Given that she’s already working on book nine right now, fans are panicking. What do you think?
I think it’s amazing that she’s done even 10 novels, and I’m sure at some point Jamie and Claire—they’re getting on there in age by the time we get into the eighth and ninth books—I guess it’d have to be inevitable.

I know some fans will be devastated to have no more book story. Did you ever suspect, when you signed on, that this particular fandom would be so intense?
No, it’s been really amazing to be part of something that fans have such an ownership of. These characters have played such an important part in so many people’s lives. It’s incredible to be swept along in it and to have fans share the love that they have for the characters and for the books with you. I’m very aware of how lucky I am in that respect. I was so blind to it all when I first started. I just found out that these were books the week I was asked to come back for casting. I read the first book, but I didn’t even know at that point how many there were. It’s been quite an eye-opening journey the last three years.

© 2014 Sony Pictures Television

But because you have such a passionate fan base, I know you get constant feedback when the Outlander lovers feel something is missing. What did they miss most in Season 2?

I definitely heard that they missed a lot of the intimacy between Jamie and Claire, which I think we were sort of expecting. I think even Sam and I sort of missed—especially in the beginning because it was so heavy on the politics—I think we were all missing those more intimate moments. They have so many of their iconic fan moments that they really are looking forward to, so you definitely always hear whenever some of those are not there. I’m trying to think of specifics for you, but the one that I just kept hearing, from what I saw on my Twitter: “Where's the sex?”

Which of these iconic fan moments will you be in trouble for leaving out of Season 3?

The first thing everyone talks about is the print shop [where Jamie and Claire are re-united after decades apart]. “Are you going to do the print shop? You can’t change one line of the print shop.” We haven’t actually gotten to film that yet, but I think the writers are well aware that they have to do the fans right. There’s Jamie and the cave, and I think there’s a lot of Claire and Brianna stuff that fans are looking forward to as well.

Season 3 is a big leap as you go from playing the ingenue to playing mother to Brianna [played by 22 year-old Sophie Skelton]. What’s it like zooming so far forward in someone’s timeline?

It definitely is a tough thing to try and figure out where you would be in 20 years, and then to do it for somebody else. I was talking to someone recently, and she was saying how every person feels a certain age for the rest of their life. For her grandmother, she always felt like she was 21. A friend of mine was saying, ”I think 28. I must’ve been so happy at 28, that that’s how I always see myself.”

With Claire, I latched onto that. When she has gone back to Boston and she’s not with Jamie, she’s a mother and she’s very professional, but she’s put a side of herself away. That kind of sexual, romantic side of herself has been shelved almost for 20 years. When she gets back to Jamie, she’s back to that—27, 28, or whatever age she was supposed to be—time when she first met him because that’s when she really, I think, first came alive.

If Claire is putting the sexual, romantic part of herself away for much of Season 3, does that mean you’re going to get a lot more angry tweets from the “where’s the sex?” people?

No! There will be some other sex going on. I think to really let the reunion and everything that’s going to happen once Jamie and Claire see each other, I think it’s really special. Maybe they’ll have to wait a little bit, but I don’t think it’s going to be as scarce as last season, shall we say?

© 2014 Sony PicturesTelevision

Meanwhile, you get to wear some fabulous, modern clothing. Do you miss the more lavish Parisian and Scottish fashions?

Probably, to the disappointment of all the costume fans, I did not miss that corset or bum roll for one second. Being able to do 40s, 50s, and 60s—especially the 60s—it was just such fun. [Costume designer] Terry [Dresbach] had in racks and racks of clothing. She made some pieces in-house and other pieces are vintage finds that she had. I love what each era tells you about the women of the time—it’s just such an interesting barometer. Some of the 60s pieces are so cool and beautiful that I asked her to make me doubles of some things.

Then when Claire goes back, Terry came up with this great, fun idea for the costume that Claire takes back to the 17th century with her. That’s much more traditional. It melds both the Parisian world with the Scottish world a little bit, but it’s going to be very different to other seasons. In Season 3, I think I have one costume for the back end. Before, I had 17, 18, 19 different looks. It gets quite simplified towards the end because we obviously go on a ship.

So we don’t get a pirate outfit for Claire?

Yes. I don’t think that’s what we were going for, but that would be quite funny if I just showed up with a patch and a parrot.

When I talked to Sam last week, he said filming Season 3 without you was “like having a death in the family—”

Och! He’s already killed me in his mind. Gone. Too sad.

What is it like for you to shoot without Sam?

It’s really strange! Sam and I obviously have worked so closely together for the last three years. Even when I was filming some stuff with Tobias [Menzies who plays both Claire’s modern-day husband, Frank Randall, and the 17th century villain Black Jack], it was never solid blocks where Sam and I wouldn’t be working at least a couple of days in between. I definitely miss him. The other day we were in the makeup trailer right beside each other, and we’re like, “Oh, you’re off to your world, and I’m off to my world.” It’s very strange, but the nice thing is I have been able to work with Tobias. I feel quite lucky. If I don’t have one husband, I’ve always got the backup. Not that either of them are backups, but it’s been an interesting and strange dynamic. I think pretty soon we’ll be back together, and he’ll be sick of the sight of me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Caitriona Balfe talks to Entertainment Weekly

Outlander: Caitriona Balfe shares scoop from season 3

The actress, who's up for two awards, reveals when she'll reunite with Sam Heughan

Full article

Caitriona Balfe may need to clear some shelf space for a few trophies: The Outlander actress is up for a Critics Choice Awards this Sunday, a People’s Choice prize next month, and a much-deserved nomination from the Hollywood Foreign Press for the Golden Globes in January. In preparation for her red carpet arrival, we asked Balfe to reflect on her last season’s most gut-wrenching episode — the death of her baby, Faith — and what we can expect from season 3 of the Starz drama.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What are you doing right now?

CAITRIONA BALFE: I have been filming a lot of Boston with Brianna [played by Sophie Skelton].

Did you say parts of Glasgow in Scotland double as Boston?

Yeah. We have Claire and Frank’s Boston apartment in the studio, and then we use some of the west end in Glasgow as exteriors.

Can you say what episode you’re on now?

We’re gonna film six and seven. We’ve already shot eight. We’re almost halfway through.

How far ahead have you read the scripts? Do you know how this season will end?

No. I mean, we start shooting our next block this week, and I got the script [last week]. It’s not a long time, and I only got one of them, so I’m still waiting on the second one. It can be quite quick, you know? I mean, obviously, we know the general trajectory because we’ve read the book, but what the writers have chosen to do with the book, we don’t know yet until we read the script.

Are you shooting in order this season? Have you still not done anything with Sam Heughan [who plays Jamie Fraser]?

We’ve shot a little out of order, so Sam and I have shot one episode together. So [this week] Jamie and Claire will be together from now on. So Sam and I will be on set together as we go forward. We’ve mostly shot the first stuff up front, but we had to pull one episode forward because of different actors’ schedules, so yeah. We’ve done a little bit together.

Earlier this year, we ran a first look shot of you walking on the battlefield. Was that from a dream sequence, with Jamie imagining his life without you?

I don’t think he’s imagining his life without Claire. It’s an image that Jamie has conjured up in his head. That’s the best way of saying it.

Can you reflect on the dark places that you went last season, like the episode involving the death of your daughter Faith? 

Any time you get material like that as an actor, it’s a gift, to be able to explore those different aspects of humanity, death, and loss and love. They’re essential to our humanity, so to be able to explore those in your work is always gratifying. That episode that Toni Graphia wrote… it was hard to sort of trace yourself in that emotional space and stay in it, especially when we were filming that. We were filming those scenes for over a week but it was a really beautiful and important part of the character’s story. I think this season is different. Especially in the first part of the season, we’re going through 20 years of Claire’s life and seeing little vignettes of who she’s become as a woman, and that was a very different type of challenge. How do you tell the story of a relationship and of a life and of a woman over her 20 years in the space of a few scenes? So that had its own unique challenges. It’s definitely different to last season.

What is Claire’s look these days?

Well, it’s different. Obviously, we go through 20 years, so you’ll see some ’40s, some ’50s, some ’60s. The ’60s sort of look we’ve seen already from last season. And then, when Claire goes back [through the stones] — I suppose it’s something like the things that she’s worn in France, I guess, but it’s quite subdued. It’s not nearly as flamboyant, I guess, as some of the Parisian faire that I wore last season.

What’s it been like on set in terms of paparazzi? Are you finding more this time around than before?

A little. Because we’ve been filming around Glasgow, some people come out and but, you know, generally, in the U.K., people are quite respectful and we’re up in Glasgow, so there’s not a huge amount of paparazzi around, which is quite nice. There are days when we’re on the street and you don’t always notice that they’re there, but then, a few days later, somebody’ll say, ‘Oh, we saw you were filming, and then you realize there’s pictures everywhere! But I tend to absolutely not notice until there’s some terrible photos floating around.

you going to be working up to Christmas this month? What’s the production plan?

Yes. I think we stop two, three days before Christmas. So yeah, we’re gonna be shooting right up until the 22nd, I think.

Has Starz let you know when they’ll announce when the show returns?

I’m quite happily ignorant to all of that. I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend I don’t know. I have no idea.

you think you’re gonna be working straight through for much of 2017? Do you know when your next big hiatus is?

I know when we finish season 3, if we don’t take some sort of a break, we might have a few main actors in hospitals. I think they have to give us something. This show is just so big, and it’s such a beast that it just wouldn’t be feasible to go straight from one season to the other. I don’t know how long that will be.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Outlander’s Sam Heughan on Why Season 3 Is “Like Having a Death in the Family”

“It’s always hard when we’re apart,” he says of co-star Caitriona Balfe.


Full article

By Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

It’s been just under four months since Outlander fans had to say good-bye to Claire and Jamie Fraser during the emotional Season 2 finale. 

But it’s also a long wait until the time-traveling, star-crossed couple returns to Starz for Season 3 next April. 

Thankfully, in the meantime, there’s a new Blu-ray edition of Season 2 out on Tuesday, November 1. And, for the true devotees to both the show and the Diana Gabaldon novels, there’s also a special Collector’s Edition that features an exclusive excerpt from the upcomingOutlander novel “Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone.” 

Outlander star Sam Heughan took a break from his grueling 11-month shooting schedule to reflect back on Season 2 and give a preview of why Season 3 feels like “a different show.” (Hint: It has to do with him missing co-star Caitriona Balfe.)

Vanity Fair: After the overwhelmingly warm reception for Season 1, was there a particular fan reaction to Season 2 that you did not see coming?

Sam Heughan
: I think the first half of the season set in France was quite complicated, and it certainly wasn't going back over the old ground of Season 1. I think we were very aware that the first season was this young relationship and about new love. We wanted to show something a bit more complicated [in Season 2]. I think fans were surprised. People tune in expecting the same show or the same sort of scenes and, yeah, I think we surprised fans with that.

I know you hear from fans who are put out or surprised by changes from the books. Was there any particular book aspect left out of Season 2 that you felt like fans were most hoping to see and didn’t?
Diana is all over this. I mean, I have constant e-mail updates, several times a day, about things she’s watched or things she’s read. We confer a lot, probably more than the producers want us to. There’s always going to be little details that will be missed because the show is only an hour-long episode each week. I know myself and Caitriona, we read the books and if we can sneak in a small detail that may not be in the script or even just that we know ourselves, that going from one scene to another, that something's happened in between that maybe we haven't been able to show, but at least we know it and, hopefully, in some way it manifests itself. Hopefully it’s all in Diana’s world. I know that she said herself that Season 2, especially at the start, was kind of complex and difficult to make into episodic TV.

There’s a behind-the-scenes feature on the Blu-ray of you, Caitriona, and Graham McTavish prepping for your big Season 2 fight scene. Can you tease anything about what fans might not know about how you prepare for combat?
Yeah, I mean, my God, the show is incredible. Not to give away much, but today, one minute I was on a horse riding across the Scottish countryside, and then I'm somewhere else in studio, and then I'm laying in a cot. But that particular Season 2 scene was very emotional. I absolutely loved doing a fight scene with Graham; I've always wanted to. He absolutely hated me fighting him. We actually shot several alternate endings to the fight because, obviously, in the book, Claire isn't complicit. We thought, Jamie and Claire are a couple and they need to be both guilty of this deed. It's not that Claire wants to kill anyone—she's not a killer, she's a hero—but she wants to aid Jamie and she basically ends up being complicit in the death of Dougal.

It was very funny because we were actually shooting a pick up on that and we didn't have Caitriona there at the time; it was actually a double's hands that are on the dagger. Graham was very wary of this double pushing too hard down on him that he might actually get stabbed. He was just this very hard man complaining that someone was pushing a fake dagger too hard on him.

Of course, with any Blu-ray, there are deleted scenes included here. Which deleted Season 2 scene were you most devastated not to see included in the original episodes?
There was one recently that was released on social media; it was the “Faith” scene. Certainly, from my perspective, you got to see a lot more of Jamie and his angst. I mean, he’s kind of not present for most of that episode. I think that's important, that's an important cut. We go on that journey with Claire and see her go through all the stages of grief and mourning and then some sort of brittle resolve. Almost, in a way, we didn't want the camera to blink from her. I think that’s what was decided. Watching Jamie also go through it, well, absolutely, it’s another side. I certainly know that I really felt very strong in that scene. I felt that it was a very awkward place for Jamie to be that will have some sort of repercussion—even now in Season 3. I don’t think Jamie or Claire get over the loss of Faith. I think it’s wonderful that the fans actually get to see a glimpse into some of the other work that we do that’s not always on the screen.

I’ve heard you say that, as opposed to Caitriona with her elaborate costumes, it only takes you five minutes to get into wardrobe when Jamie is wearing the kilt. But I was curious, since we’re going to jump forward several years in Season 3, if you have some extra time in makeup chair this year and if you can tell us anything about what older Jaime looks like?
I mean, I’m probably not allowed to say much, but I think we all know that the books do span a great amount of time. Season 3, in particular, yeah, I mean, there was an aging process. There was definitely a different look to the characters, but you’ll have to tune in to find out, I guess. But even in Season 1, I had hours and hours of prosthetic makeup whenever the back scarring was on or Jamie got shot or injured. By no means does that stop in Season 3 so, yes, there’s been a lot of very long days where I’ve been in makeup.

The end of Season 2 saw Claire back in her own timeline so I really don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that you filmed a good part of Season 3 without Caitriona. Since you two have been such close partners on this whole experience, what was it like to go on without her?

Yeah. Honestly, it’s like having a death in the family. Well, I don’t know, I mean, it’s just like a different show. It’s hard to separate yourself from the character. Jamie’s present, living in his world, and Claire’s present and living in her world, and they both believe the other is dead. It’s always hard when we’re apart, actually, because she’s a great person, great to come to work with, and a very good actress. But I think it all adds to the reunion—if there’s a reunion, or when there’s a reunion—well you know there’s one in the books. It should be very special.

Do you have a fondest memory from Season 2 that you’re excited for the fans to re-live via the Blu-ray?

Wow. Whoa, that's tough, I think—Paris was almost like another world and it was great fun—but for us getting back to Scotland, to Lallybroch, and then to having all the MacKenzies turn up, Graham McTavish as Dougal and Stephen Walters as Angus and all the others. It was so rewarding to be in Scotland with the wind and the rain and the cold and everyone was miserable but kind of happy because we were back and it felt like coming home. I think it’s a very sad ending because we all knew that people were going to die— that’s what history tells us—that's what Jamie and Claire are fighting to stop is the end of these people. 

So it’s a bittersweet return home to Scotland. In the back of your mind, you’re aware that it’s sort of coming to a close.

Caitriona Balfe auctions outfit for World Child Cancer

Outlander's Caitriona Balfe auctions Bafta outfit for charity
Outlander star Caitriona Balfe is auctioning her Bafta outfit to raise funds for a children's charity.

BY VALARIE KINNEY Scotland NowFor full article

Caitriona Balfe in the Bafta

Lead actress in Outlander, Caitriona Balfe, is donating the clothes she wore to the British Academy Scotland Awards to a charity that will help support children with cancer in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Balfe, a former model, won for best television actress, for her role as Claire Fraser in Outlander.

Up for grabs is the dress she wore to the awards ceremony - an Iris and Ink creation – and her shoes, which are by Kurt Geiger London, as well as her jewellery, which was handcrafted by mothers in Ghana whose children are fighting cancer. The jewelry is traditional Ghanian style.

Traditional Ghanian necklace and earring set

The stylish star has tirelessly worked to raise funds for children with cancer through the World Child Cancer organization, and has visited Ghana as a patron of the charity.

Her fan group, Caitrionation, has also been involved with helping raise money for World Child Cancer organization.

Cait's Kurt Geiger shoes

The stars of Outlander have been generous with their donations to various charities.

Earlier this year, actor Sam Heughan donated one of his old workout shirts to be auctioned for the Hollywood Charity Horse Show, which is headed by Star Trek actor William Shatner.

The Outlander heart throb was one of several celebrities who donated old items to help raise funds and awareness for Zero Waste Scotland.

The auction runs until 7 December here and is currently sitting at £2900 from an anonymous bidder.

To bid on this click

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Outlander | Deleted Scene - 201 To His Majesty Over the Water (Claire, J...

Inside Outlander’s Hunt for Claire Fraser

An exclusive adaptation from the book The Making of Outlander: The Series.

For full VF article


Courtesy of Starz.

In this adaption from The Making of Outlander: The Series, author Tara Bennett goes behind the scenes of the show’s early production, including the long search to find the right actress to play Claire and the major effort required for the show to be filmed in Scotland.


For two decades, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels existed exclusively on the page and in readers’ heads. Fans had free license to imagine their own Claires, Jamies, Murtaghs, et al., mentally casting and re-casting based on Diana’s descriptions, celebrity crushes, or doppelgänger acquaintances until the cows came home. As with any beloved book or series, everyone has their own mental picture of what those characters look like. And suddenly the show’s producers and the series’s casting team had to find real-life actors to be the public, official face of those characters, shouldering a Mount Everest–size burden of fan expectation.

As one of those longtime readers and fans, executive producer Maril Davis felt the responsibility keenly as they embarked on the casting process with Emmy-winning casting director Suzanne Smith (Band of Brothers). “I love casting, but, normally, when we go into a project I pretty quickly have a prototype in my head of who some of these characters are,” Davis details. “This is the first time I think I have approached a series where I literally had no idea in my head, because Jamie and Claire had been in my head for so long. That was a little daunting when we started the process.”

From her London-based casting office, Smith admits she had not been familiar with the books before she began work on the show, which enabled her to approach the process with a clean mental slate. She was, however, very aware of how invested the fandom was in who these characters were and who should play them. “I know the fans have an idea that it has to be a certain set of eyes,” she says, explaining that fans often focus on the physical descriptions provided in the books. “But it is the acting that comes into it and what each of those actors brings to the table.”

Smith adds that often means that a high-profile actor who might seem like a dream casting might not be right for the role, or available, or even interested in a television series. “Sometimes ‘names’ are mentioned,” she says of early casting talks. “Other times I mention names and then bring them in, or sometimes we get show reels for more-prominent actors. The lovely thing about Starz and Sony was I was given the opportunity to cast unknowns, which is wonderful, because casting is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes names take away from a character.”

As it turns out, primary casting did lean toward unknowns and character actors, in part because Smith made it a priority to bring a sense of authenticity to the casting. “We have utilized a lot of Scottish actors,” she says. “There are some actors who are not Scottish pretending to be Scottish, but a Scottish friend of mine said their accents are great. I have a casting associate who is with a casting director up in Scotland, so we work together in tandem to create everything, and we discuss it with our writer-producers.”

When it came to casting the core three characters—Jamie, Claire, and Black Jack/Frank—Davis and Smith said they were prepared to cast wide nets and potentially commit to a long search. Jamie, in particular, was assumed by all to be the casting unicorn of the bunch. “I said to [show-runner] Ron [Moore] that there’s no way we’re going to find Jamie,” Davis laughs. “We call Jamie ‘the King of Men’ in the writers’ room. So it’s strange that we found him so quickly.”

When they released the casting call for Jamie, a process that Davis explains involves her and the writers collaborating on a character description and sending it out into the world, piles of taped auditions came back from actors around the globe, including from Scottish actor Sam Heughan.

“We saw Sam and we really liked him,” Davis enthuses. The writers discussed his audition, which then prompted Davis and co-executive producer Ira Behr to book a Skype interview with Heughan. “We thought he was really good and we wanted to give him a little feedback about doing a scene. As soon as we got on the Skype call with him and I talked with him, I was like, ‘Oh my God, he is so charming,’” Davis laughs. “Sam is naturally very charming and in some ways has a lot of Jamie there.” Not long after, Heughan earned the title of first actor cast onOutlander.

Next came the alt-Randalls. Smith says she knew British theater and television actor Tobias Menzies very well from previous casting and asked him to audition. “He read a scene for Black Jack and he read a scene for Frank so [producers] could see the two sides to the characters,” Smith details. “The Black Jack scene was quite long, as it was the interrogation scene with Claire. He did it seamlessly.” Menzies was given some notes and a new scene to read for show-runner Ron Moore. “Ron met him, and we did a studio test with just him and some of the scenes. From that, he was chosen. It was very quick. Sometimes it’s like that.”

And, no, the violence and incredible darkness of Black Jack Randall’s character was never a concern for either Smith or Menzies, Smith offers. “Starz asked me to ask Tobias and his agent whether he would be uncomfortable playing a sadist.” She smiles. “He laughed and said, ‘Of course not.’ British actors don’t think of it that way, because they want to be stretched. They know when it comes down to it that it will be handled in the right way.”

With Jamie and Black Jack cast, all that was left of the core three characters was arguably the linchpin of the entire series, Claire Beauchamp Randall, and for some time she was nowhere to be found. “Weirdly, I thought she would be easier to cast, and I was so wrong,” Davis reveals. “There are so few great parts like this for women, but so many amazing female actresses, I just assumed that we would find our person. We saw some amazing people, so that was not even a question, but it just wasn’t Claire. I remember Ron and I were sitting in our office in Scotland and we were literally three weeks away from shooting and we didn’t have Claire yet. We had a couple of female actresses on hold and said, ‘If we don’t get Jamie and Claire right, we might as well not do the series. We will be dead before we start.’”

Producer Toni Graphia had seen pictures and video clips of Irish actressCaitriona Balfe online and, intrigued by her potential, flagged her audition tape for a second look. She was asked to do another self-tape, which Smith says made them decide to bring her in for a chemistry read with Heughan. When they first put the two actors together in a room, it was clear that the show had found its Jamie and Claire. Moore says Balfe was committed to her role from the start. “You could see she was in it,” he says, recalling the first day of filming. “Then in the scenes with Frank, there was a charm and fun to it. Then her running to the woods in the white shift. Then her scene with Jack Randall. With Cait, it was very apparent, very quickly, that this was going to work. She’s it,” he enthuses.



While Diana Gabaldon’s original novel is set in Scotland, it wasn’t clear from the start that filming there would ever be possible. The location, as with any show, would ultimately be decided by many factors, including budget, available crew, stage facilities, and a myriad of other issues. At various times, Eastern Europe and New Zealand were both in the running to simulate the Highlands, until Moore was able to persuade the network and studio to commit to filming in the wilds of Scotland.

“The show is a love letter to Scotland in a lot of ways,” Moore says. “It’s a specific country with a specific look to it. We talk a lot with the director of photography,Neville Kidd, about the quality of light.”

As a native of the country, Kidd was eager to present his home as one of the main characters of the show. “The good thing about Outlander is that there’s very little of Scotland that has been filmed for U.S. television,” he says. “So I think you generally feel like this is a new world that nobody has filmed or seen before.”

In addition to showcasing his beloved country, Kidd says, he also wanted to keep the series feeling true to its 18th-century setting. “In 1743, it’s an environment with no pollution,” he explains. “Everything was very clean, though incredibly gritty. Yet it still has a wonderful quality of light, which we wanted to pass across in our filming. So when we’re filming 1743, we used a lot of reflected lights in the studios to re-create outside scenes and different colors of woods to give a unique feel and quality. We’re also trying to maintain the real color palettes they would have had at that time.”

With that goal in mind, Kidd says, they don’t use contemporary lighting such as L.E.D. or fluorescents on the show. “We have avoided that for 1945 and 1743,” he says. “When in 1743, we use a lot of candlelight flames. We use flame sources or tungsten lighting to replicate candle lighting. All of these techniques give a nice, warm, and inviting feel.”

Kidd also explains that, whenever possible, the camera is used as an extension of Claire’s point of view. “We make it feel like you’re not on a set. If everybody thinks you’re in a castle, then my job is done.”

Making sure the series showcases as much of Scotland as possible was a task that fell on the shoulders of series producer David Brown and locations managerHugh Gourlay. Both are longtime professionals in the U.K. production world, so they established Outlander’s studio base and the database of location partners the series features in any given episode.

“Being able to build an infrastructure for the show was really important,” Brown says. Production began in an older warehouse complex near Glasgow that now features 200,000 square feet of soundstages, as well as workrooms for the costume, construction, and prop departments. “For Season 2, we built another two stages. So in the same time that we invented the show, we built the only studio in Scotland. And in terms of infrastructure, we’ve also employed over 800 different people. In a relatively small environment like Scotland, the show has an enormous impact.”

Meanwhile, Gourlay was out exploring, cataloging, and brokering the use of towns, parks, museums, historical locations, and private properties that could be dressed to fit the needs of the show. Outlander is not a small production, so even when an ideal location is found, a lot of work goes into making it feasible. “We have so much equipment for the crew of a 125 people,” he says. “We need to be able to get them into these locations.”

Adding to the logistical complications is the fact that many of the locations are protected historical sites, including Doune Castle and Blackness Castle. “Because these properties are ancient monuments, there are a lot of restrictions on what you can, and can’t, do in them. It’s very important that they are left as we found them and there is no damage. Actually, it is a criminal offense to damage any of these monuments, so if we had damage, I could in theory end up in jail as the person looking after them,” Gourlay explains.

As to the specifics of turning a 21st-century location into an 18th-century one, production designer Jon Gary Steele says it encompasses a variety of physical alterations. “We have greensmen work two to three weeks per location covering up all the things that are not period,” he says. “We put our own windows in front of existing windows in every location, because they need to have leaded glass, which looks a little bit pebbly. We add shutters. We add thatched or tile roofs on some things. We add cobbles on some streets. There are truckloads of dressing sometimes that come for locations that will play a day or two. I am blown away how much happens per location,” he says.

Adapted from The Making of Outlander: The Series, by Tara Bennett, to be published October 18, 2016 by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group; © 2016 by the author.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Town and Country interviews Sam Heughan

Sam Heughan Talks Barbour, Becoming a Fashion Designer, and Outlander Season 3

Plus, what it feels like to have women camping out to meet him.


From Town & Country 

For full article

There are few things in this world that grown women are willing to camp out for: the arrival of a royal baby, Beyoncé, probably, Hamilton tickets, in its Lin Manuel-Miranda heyday. After last week, add Outlander actor Sam Heughan to the list.

In New York on a quick break from shooting season three of the Starz show that some have called a feminist alternative to Game of Thrones, Heughan announced he was doing an appearance at the uptown Barbour store, and the first 20 in line would have the opportunity to take photos with the actor.

People started lining up the night before the event.

"Can you believe it? They've been there since midnight," Heughan said, clearly bewildered by his own stardom, as we sat down to breakfast. "I was terrified that no one would turn up, and that I would have to fly my family out to pretend that they want to come and see me. It's magnificent."

In person Heughan's Scottish accent is much softer than that of his character, Jaime Fraser, and, of course, he's sporting a Barbour plaid button-down instead of the show's 18th-century period garb.

Heughan was recently named Barbour's global brand ambassador, and we were there to talk shop about the partnership he calls "a perfect fit." After all, he grew up in the same part of Scotland as the company's founder John Barbour, an area called Dumfries and Galloway in the southwestern part of the country.

"Barbour is a brand that I have grown up with and been associated with since I was living near the borders of Scotland," he said. "I was brought up in a very rural area on grounds of a castle. It was a working farm, and I even remember the local shepherd wearing his Barbour jacket."


So what does being a global brand ambassador entail, exactly? Doing promotional events like the one at the store and appearing advertisements—like these ones for Barbour's shirt department which debuted earlier this summer—are a given. But what's most intriguing to Heughan about the role role is the opportunity to design a collection for the brand.

"I've been working with their whole design team and Gary Janes, who is just this fascinating designer. And we've had many discussions and meetings about the line, and what we want it to represent, and how we can marry some of my ideas with their great heritage. We talked about everything that I love and then they made the prototypes."

And while he's never done anything related to fashion design before, Heughan wants to make sure he gets this right, visiting the brand workshops and the company's archives to look at old catalogs, and jackets from the early 1900s, which helped to inspire the line.

"It's completely new. Growing up as an actor, [fashion] isn't something you ever think is going to be part of your job description, but it's been great fun. This family at Barbour they've made me feel very welcome. And it's been great to go down and see their workshops and see the people that work, and the community that they've got," he said.


The collection is slated to launch with a collection of pieces for men and women for Fall 2017, but for now the vintage-inspired prototypes are being kept tightly under wraps.

No stranger to spoilers, Heughan was also tight-lipped when asked about Outlanderseason three, which will follow Diana Gabaldon's Voyager novel. In fact, a siren roared the second I asked my question—even the city wanted the show's secrets kept safe.

"I'm extremely excited about it. I feel already it's a very strong season, and I think people are really going to enjoy it," he said.

As for what's next? Something tells me there could be a Barbour kilt in Heughan's future.

"Actually, we'll see. It might be in the pipeline," he said of the prospect. "I love wearing them, and I think it would be really interesting to see a Barbour kilt, with all the different elements of what Barbour could bring with its wax or herringbone, and all these different materials and all these different fabrics. We may have talked about it. Who knows?"

Outlander fans can only hope.