Friday, August 7, 2015

"Outlander" Star Caitriona Balfe: "Who Knew Women Were So Horny?"

"As women, we're kind of going through this new sort of feminist movement again, and I think it's fantastic."
By Jenni Miller

In the mid-season premiere of Starz's sexy time-travel adaptation Outlander, fans of Diana Gabaldon's sprawling book series finally got to see how the infamous spanking scene — in which Jamie disciplines Claire (Caitriona Balfe) for disobeying him — plays out on screen.

"We all wanted to portray this in a delicate way," Balfe told in an interview last week. "Obviously, you don't want to sensationalize spousal abuse."
Here, Balfe further discusses that plot point, her feelings on social media, and male objectification.

I was curious about the mid-season premiere episode and how the writers would tackle the scene —
The spanking scene?

It wasn't funny, but it was somehow more lighthearted than you might have expected.
We all wanted to portray this in a delicate way. Obviously, you don't want to sensationalize spousal abuse. That's not something we're in any way, shape, or form interested in promoting. When we were talking about it, we all were very adamant that you have to look at it from the mind-frame of 1743. And in that time, it was a perfectly justified punishment for a husband to dole out, and so I think the writers were very smart in the way that they chose this episode to show Jamie's perspective.
Because we're seeing Jamie's version, you know he's not doing it with any malice. He's not doing it with any intent on hurting her. It's a very matter-of-fact, simple duty that he's performing. And we never really hear what Claire's thinking, because I think if we did, it would be very hard to like Jamie as a character afterward.

What's it like to have just the immediate reaction via social media, this constant scrutiny? What kind of fan reactions do you get? And how do you — Protect yourself?
Yeah. We have a saying that when you write online, don't read the comments. And you're getting the comments right in your face.
I have a loose relationship with Twitter and stuff. The fans are so avid on Twitter, and I think it's a nice thing to be able to go and check in with them every so often, and they get so much out of it that it's a nice thing to do. But I'm not on it all the time, and I don't think it's that healthy to be. And I'm a private person. I don't like taking pictures of every place that I am and checking in at these places. It's just not me. I don't know why I would want everyone to know where I am. And some people love that, but it's just not who I am.

I would imagine you can still go out and about here in New York or L.A?
I tend to go under the radar quite easily. I look quite different when I'm not all glammed up or Claired up. I don't get hassled too much.

How far have you read into the series?
I'm only on book two. I'm almost finished. I started reading it in January, and then I got a new job so I had to put it aside. But just this last week I've picked it up [again], and I think I read 200 pages the other day.

It's amazing that they can fit these 800-, 900-page novels into a season?
It's going to be interesting next season because we're down to 13 episodes, so I wonder if certain things might have to get pushed or get condensed. Ron [Moore, the producer] is such an incredible man. His ability to tell stories in such a beautiful way is so amazing. Him and Diana together, it's such a perfect team, and I trust that they'll do a good job with next season, too.

The show offers such a lusty, wonderful kind of female gaze —
Who knew all us women were so horny? [Laughs.]
I think it's amazing. I got a letter from a fan who was writing on behalf of her 82-year-old mother, and she was saying how much her mother loves the series, especially the naughty bits. And I just think that's so wonderful. As women, we're kind of going through this new sort of feminist movement again, and I think it's fantastic.

I have two things to say about it: One thing is, I think we have to be careful, because I do see the objectification of men sometimes — if that was turned around, we would be up in arms if people objectified a woman in that way.

People grabbing Sam and stuff?
Yeah. It's interesting. But as women we've been starved of [seeing] real sex from a female point-of-view, and it's great that people are now writing that. And the more women writers we get and the more women directors we get, we'll get more of that in our media, and that's a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment