Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sam Heughan - the MPC Prep Program 2016

Outlander Finally Casts Its Biggest Season 2 Role: Meet Brianna!

The #Breewatch is over!

Outlander fans, we'd like to officially introduce you to your Brianna. Warning: major Outlander book spoilers ahead! If you don't want to be spoiled on a major season two and beyond storyline, avert your eyes now...

Sophie Skelton has landed the coveted and buzzed-about role of Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire's (Caitriona Balfe) daughter in the upcoming second season of the Starz hit, E! News has confirmed.

A striking redheaded lady, Brianna is strong-minded and intelligent beyond her years (traits inherited from both of her parents, of course!) and she has a distinctly scholastic mind-set....and a healthy dose of Fraser stubbornness, per Starz.

But wait, how do Jamie and Claire have a 20-year-old daughter, you might be asking?! (AGAIN, spoilers ahoy!)
Starz/Sony Pictures Television

Back in August, we asked executive producer Ronald D. Moore about casting Jamie and Claire's kids, and he told us that they were planning on taking their time to find the perfect actors to take on Brianna as well as Jamie and Claire's adopted son Fergus, who's about 10 when we meet him in France in 1744. And he also said there wasn't a strict list of requirements when it came to the casting process.

Well, as all fans of Diana Gabaldon's epic book series know, season two is based on the second book, Dragonfly in Amber, which includes a huge time jump.

"There's no one particular thing that you're looking for in any of these roles, except that when they get on camera, they kind of become that character and they lose themselves in the role," he said. "It's just one of those things that you just know it when you see it. When you see the tape, you just sort of sit up and go, ‘Oh my god!' It's an ineffable quality that the right actor with the right role can bring to the show."

Sounds like Sophie was the right actor and Brianna was the right role!

Skelton, best known for her work on Foyle's War, isn't season two's only newcomer: We exclusively reported that Stanley Weber (pictured above) will play Compte St. Germain, a wine merchant and member of the French Court, while Richard Rankin is set to play Roger Wakefield, the adult version of Reverend Wakefield's son and Harry Potter star Frances De La Tour will take on the role of Mother Hildegarde.

Plus, two other family members will be introduced: Scottish actor Robert Cavanahwill be playing Jared, Jamie's cousin who they will meet in France, and Laurence Dobiesz will take on the role of Alex, Black Jack's brother.

Outlander returns to Starz this April.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Celebrate Burns Night with Sam Heughan

Sam's second poem verse for the celebration of Burns night.

With Fans In New York (01/04/2015) | Lotte Verbeek & Sam Heughan

Last year's premiere promo's in NYC.

Caitriona Balfe | 2016 Bafta Tea | What prize does she think she should ...

We love the Anglophile Channel and this interview with Caitriona Balfe is very sweet.

Sam Heughan Brings Burns Poetry to Life, 1 of 2 coming later.

Look out for Sam Heughan's next Rabbie Burns verse coming later to celebrate Burns Night.

Outlander | Interview with Caitriona Balfe at Golden Globes Party, 2015 worth the watch

This is the reason we love Caitriona Balfe. Her thoughts on how we, the fans, shared our love of the books with the show.

Outlander's Caitriona Balfe on her favorite scene so far

Interview from this years Golden Globes.

Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Tobias Menzies, Golden Globes red carpet

The interview of all 3 cast members from the Golden Globes red carpet. Tobias Menzies answer is cheeky//

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Burns Night: A Scottish tradition Honoring the Bard.

Who was Robert Burns?
By the BBC

Early life

Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 in the village of Alloway, two miles south of Ayr. His parents, Willian Burnes[s] and Agnes Broun, were tenant farmers but they ensured their son received a relatively good education and he began to read avidly. The works of Alexander Pope, Henry Mackenzie and Laurence Sterne fired Burns's poetic impulse and relationships with the opposite sex provided his inspiration. Handsome Nell, for Nellie Kilpatrick, was his first song.

Hard physical labour on the family farm took its toll on the young Burns, who increasingly turned his attentions towards the passions of poetry, nature, drink and women which would characterise the rest of his life. He fathered twins with eventual wife Jean Armour, but a rift in their relationship nearly led to Burns emigrating to the West Indies with lover Mary Campbell (his Highland Mary). Mary's sudden death and the sensational success of his first published collection of verse kept him in Scotland. At just 27, Burns had already become famous across the country with poems such as To a Louse, To a Mouse and The Cotter's Saturday Night.

Late twenties

Newly hailed as the Ploughman Poet because his poems complemented the growing literary taste for romanticism and pastoral pleasures, Burns arrived in Edinburgh, where he was welcomed by a circle of wealthy and important friends.

Illicit relationships and fathering illegitimate children ran parallel to a productive period in his working life. His correspondence with Agnes 'Nancy' McLehose resulted in the classic Ae Fond Kiss. A collaboration with James Johnson led to a long-term involvement in The Scots Musical Museum, which included the likes of Auld Lang Syne.

Later life

In just 18 short months, Burns had spent most of the wealth from his published poetry, so in 1789 he began work as an Excise Officer in Dumfries (an irony not lost on him) and resumed his relationship with wife Jean. His increasingly radical political views influenced many of the phenomenal number of poems, songs and letters he continued to pen, including such famous works as For a' that and a' that.

The hard work this new job entailed, combined with the toil of his earlier life and dissolute lifestyle began to take their toll on Burns's health. He died on 21 July 1796 aged just 37 and was buried with full civil and military honours on the very day his son Maxwell was born. A memorial edition of his poems was published to raise money for his wife and children.

Burns Night Supper

For our Outlander fans who celebrate Burns night, and for those who would like to for the first time. We found a comprehensive guide to follow, so your Burns night may be as authentic as old traditions demand,
by the BBC.
The long held traditions of Burns night broken down for you, in order.
Right down to the type of food to eat...

The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life: a night to celebrate the life and works of the national Bard. Suppers can range from an informal gathering of friends to a huge, formal dinner full of pomp and circumstance. This running order covers all the key elements you need to plan and structure a Burns Supper that suits your intentions.

Piping in the guests

A big-time Burns Night calls for a piper to welcome guests. If you don't want all that baggage, some traditional music will do nicely. For more formal events, the audience should stand to welcome arriving guests: the piper plays until the high table is ready to be seated, at which point a round of applause is due. At a more egalitarian gathering - with no high table - the chair can simply bang on the table to draw attention to the start of the evening's proceedings.

Chairman's welcome

The Chair (host/organiser) warmly welcomes and introduces the assembled guests and the evening's entertainment.

The Selkirk Grace

A short but important prayer read to usher in the meal, The Selkirk Grace is also known as Burns's Grace at Kirkcudbright. Although the text is often printed in English, it is usually recited in Scots. Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it, But we hae meat and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thankit.

Piping in the haggis

Guests should normally stand to welcome the dinner's star attraction, which should be delivered on a silver platter by a procession comprising the chef, the piper and the person who will address the Haggis. A whisky-bearer should also arrive to ensure the toasts are well lubricated.

During the procession, guests clap in time to the music until the Haggis reaches its destination at the table. The music stops and everyone is seated in anticipation of the address To a Haggis.

Address to the haggis

The honoured reader now seizes their moment of glory by offering a fluent and entertaining rendition of To a Haggis. The reader should have his knife poised at the ready. On cue (His knife see Rustic-labour dight), he cuts the casing along its length, making sure to spill out some of the tasty gore within (trenching its gushing entrails).

Warning: it is wise to have a small cut made in the haggis skin before it is piped in. Instances are recorded of top table guests being scalded by flying pieces of haggis when enthusiastic reciters omitted this precaution! Alternatively, the distribution of bits of haggis about the assembled company is regarded in some quarters as a part of the fun...

The recital ends with the reader raising the haggis in triumph during the final line Gie her a haggis!, which the guests greet with rapturous applause.

Toast to the haggis

Prompted by the speaker, the audience now joins in the toast to the haggis. Raise a glass and shout: The haggis! Then it's time to serve the main course with its traditional companions, neeps and tatties. In larger events, the piper leads a procession carrying the opened haggis out to the kitchen for serving; audience members should clap as the procession departs.

The meal

Served with some suitable background music, the sumptuous Bill o' Fare includes:-


Traditional cock-a-leekie soup;

Main course

Haggis, neeps & tatties (Haggis wi' bashit neeps an' champit tatties);


Clootie Dumpling (a pudding prepared in a linen cloth or cloot) or Typsy Laird (a Scottish sherry trifle);

Cheeseboard with bannocks (oatcakes) and tea/coffee.

Variations do exist: beef lovers can serve the haggis, neeps & tatties as a starter with roast beef or steak pie as the main dish. Vegetarians can of course choose vegetarian haggis, while pescatarians could opt for a seafood main course such as Cullen Skink.

For more detailed information about the food on Burns Night, read How to host a Burns Night supper over on the BBC Food blog.

The drink

Liberal lashings of wine or ale should be served with dinner and it's often customary to douse the haggis with a splash of whisky sauce, which, with true Scots understatement, is neat whisky.

After the meal, it's time for connoisseurs to compare notes on the wonderful selection of malts served by the generous chair.

The first entertainment

The nervous first entertainer follows immediately after the meal. Often it will be a singer or musician performing Burns songs such as:-
My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose;
Rantin', Rovin' Robin;
John Anderson, my jo; or
Ae Fond Kiss, and Then We Sever.

Alternatively it could be a moving recital of a Burns poem, with perennial preference for:-
Tam o' Shanter;
Holy Willie's Prayer;
To a Louse;
Address to the Unco Guid; or
For a' that and a' that.

The immortal memory

The keynote speaker takes the stage to deliver a spell-binding oratoration on the life of Robert Burns: his literary genius, his politics, his highs and lows, his human frailty and - most importantly - his nationalism. The speech must bridge the dangerous chasm between serious intent and sparkling wit, painting a colourful picture of Scotland's beloved Bard.

The speaker concludes with a heart-felt toast: To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns!

The second entertainment

The chair introduces more celebration of Burns' work, preferably a poem or song to complement the earlier entertainment.

Toast to the Lassies

The humorous highlight of any Burns Night comes in this toast, which is designed to praise the role of women in the world today. This should be done by selective quotation from Burns's works and should build towards a positive note. Particular reference to those present makes for a more meaningful toast.

The toast concludes: To the Lassies!

The final entertainment

The final course of the evening's entertainment comprises more Burns readings.

Reply to the Toast to the Lassies

Revenge for the women present as they get their chance to reply.

Vote of thanks

The chair now climbs to his potentially unsteady feet to thank everyone who has contributed to a wonderful evening and to suggest that taxis will arrive shortly.

Auld Lang Syne

The chair closes the proceedings by inviting guests to stand and belt out a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne. The company joins hands and sings as one, having made sure to brush up on those difficult later lines.
Optional extras

These can slot into any part of the evening.

Lost Burns manuscripts

Some Burns Night suppers include a lost manuscript reading, where a participant with literary aspirations recites from a fictitious long-lost musing of the great man on a new subject.

Quizzes and/or recitation competitions

Involving the guests - instead of having them sit passively - is key to a fun and successful Burns night. Make up your own activities for best effect.

Ae Fond Kiss, A poem by Robert Burnes. Performed by Sam Heughan

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy:
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never lov'd sae kindly,
Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
Never met-or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
Ae fareweeli alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Check back after Burns night for Nancy M Guillory's post of her very own BATON ROUGE Burns night, with all the authenticity of Scotland. .

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

France and the unique fixations of the times.

By Kim Murphy-Winslow 

Dragonfly in Amber, Chapter 9 - The Splendour of Versailles

It was neither the gown or the prospect it revealed that rattled me, though. The breasts of "Nesle," while reasonably adequate in size, pleasant in proportion, and tipped with large brownish aureole, were further adorned with a pair of nipple jewels that caused their setting to recede into insignificance. A pair of diamond encrusted swans with ruby eyes stretched their necks toward each other, swinging precariously in their gold hooped perches. The workmanship was superb and the materials stunning, but it was the fact that each gold hoop passed THROUGH her nipple that made me feel rather faint. The nipples themselves were rather seriously inverted, but this fact was disguised by a large pearl that covered each one, dangling on a thin gold chain that looped from side to side of the main hoop.

18th Century Paris

The first known case of nipple piercing, in the civilized world, was in Rome. It's said that Roman solders would pierce their nipples to prove their strength and so they could hang their capes from the hoops. It isn't until the 14th century that we see women piercing their nipples. 
 It was Queen Isabeau of Bavaria that introduced nipple piercing to the upper class society. At that time the style of dress, for the upper class, was VERY low cut, and some necklines were so low as to show the navel, thus showing a LOT of cleavage. Soon women were baring their nipples freely and enhancing them with nipple rouge and jewelry.

In the Victorian period nipple piercing became very fashionable. The women in France loved the way the piercing made their nipples stay erect, as a result they found that having constantly erect nipples made them more sexually appealing to their husbands and lovers. Women also would pierce their nipples to make their nipples look bigger or to keep them from inverting.

Honestly, when I think of nipple piercing I think....OUCH!! It's funny how we look at the past as being old fashion, but times change...people don't. 

People will always love fashion and trends, even in the 18th century, fashionista's were setting trends and being amazing. 
I can't wait to see Diana Gabaldon's vision of Versailles brought to life by Ron D Moore in the upcoming season of Outlander. 

I myself do not plan on following the nipple piercing trend, but C'est la vie!

Modern day nipple piercing:

Nipple piercing became a fashion trend among society women during the Victorian period around 1890. Reports about nipple piercings were featured in magazines such as Vogue at the end of the 19th century:

For a long time I could not understand why I should consent to such a painful operation without sufficient reason. I soon, however came to the conclusion that many ladies are ready to bear the passing pain for the sake of love. I found that the breasts of those who wore rings were incomparably rounder and fuller developed than those who did not. My doubts were now at an I had my nipples pierced, and when the wounds were healed, I had rings inserted...with regard to the experience of wearing these rings, I can only say that they are not in the least uncomfortable or painful. On the contrary, the slight rubbing and slipping of the rings causes in me an extremely titillating feeling, and all my colleagues I have spoken to on this subject have confirmed my opinion.
— – London socialite writing in Vogue, 1890

In the late 1970s, the practice was revived again by Jim Ward and gained foothold in gay BDSM and leather subcultures. During the 1980s and early 1990s, theModern primitive movement embraced nipple piercings among other forms of body modification. With its roots at the United States west coast, modern primitives were intrigued by indigenous, so-called "primitive" cultures and adopted various forms of body modification.[7][8] The mainstream popularity of the practice is partly due to celebrities who publicly displayed their piercings or confessed to have one in the 1990s, such as Tommy Lee, Corey Taylor and Lenny Kravitz.

Nipple piercing has gained much popularity in recent years with many celebrities and fashion models having this type of piercing. Despite this, many are motivated to get a nipple piercing for personal reasons including for self-expression and to feel unique. Furthermore, at least one study has shown people take, on average, 1–2 years to make a decision to get pierced.

The Naughty Side Of 18th Century French Fashions.
By Evelyn Kennedy Duncan 

Above is a French fashion plate from the 1780's showing just how low fashionable 
bodices had come. There is no question that the ladies nipple is indeed exposed.
This is not a solo fashion plate. I have several that show exposed nipples from this same time period and others where a majority of the breast is exposed even if the nipple is not obvious to see. 

This extreme fashion was not only in France but to some extent in England and other progressive European countries. Not all women went as far as to expose their nipple(s), others chose only to allow the areolae to be visible and those more modest, would allow the bodice to come just to but not quite expose the that much of their charms. 

Any way you look at it, showing cleavage or one's décolletage was an acceptable fashion statement of the day. The question was not would you show cleavage but "how low will you go"?

I thought it would be interesting to post about some of the more daring fashions from this time of Marie Antoinette (the late 1770's through the late 1780's) that show how low the bodices could be. Some do not blatantly expose the nipple(s) as seen in the above engraving; however in many of them on closer inspection you realize just how exposed they really are.

For an in depth look at naughty Couture in the 18th century, go to EKDuncan blog:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Voyager and Laoghaire MacKenzie

By OutlanderHomepage Originals 
Major spoilers.

We saw the picture of Laoghaire (Beautiful Nell Hudson) taken with a fan. There was a gasp heard in the Outlander Fandom. Questions were everywhere on Social media. What has Ron done with Season two, Dragonfly in Amber? Why is Leery in season two?

For everyone who read the first Outlanderbook, we know Leery has a fixation with Jamie and feels betrayed by his Marriage to Claire. We know about the ill wish placed under Claire's bed.
As we last saw Leery, she writes the note for Claire to go to Geillis, at her home in the Village, pretending Geillis is sick. Leery knowing full well that she was about to be arrested and tried as a witch by the locals.

We don't see her again, but hear about her from the point of view of Claire, feeling resentment and fury. Jamie (weirdly enough) isn't told about any of this. He only knows, he told Claire to stay away from Geillis but had to come back from a boar hunt with the Duke of Sandringham to save her because she didn't.

We see the same scenario with Leery, but she is more directly involved in the aftermath of the arrest and is seen at Geillis' house to ensure that Claire had indeed been arrested. To drive the point home, (Thanks Ron) she testifies at the Witch trial. Argues with Ned Gowan about her love for Jamie and when Claire is found guilty, Leery says the infamous line: I will dance upon your ashes....

There isn't a big difference from Book to show. In cinema, we need visuals to show the story. Great job so far...

Dragonfly in Amber
Leery is absent from this book, though her deed is analysed though out the story by Claire, while she is trying to come to terms with the events that lead the Fraser's to leave Castle Leoch, go to Lallybroch, and eventually to Jamie's arrest and rape at the hands of Black Jack Randall, and their escape to France.

With the one exception, after the Fraser's come back to Scotland, when Colum MacKenzie comes to see them during the Jacobite rising, right before the battle of Culloden, to figure out his clans participation with Charles Edward Stuart in regaining his throne. This is where Colum learns about Leery's deception, and offers to punish her for Claire, while asking her for an elixir to end his own life. Being that Claire worked through what had taken place, (in Leery's eyes about Jamie having married her) she considers this offer but declines.

Ron D Moore, may have written a version of this, but we don't know until the series airs what his ultimate story will contain. What we do know is that the Fraser's are in France, but come back to Scotland, which ends with Scottish rising of 1745. This is like the book story, as far as we know it.

This is what Diana Gabaldon wrote to a fan about this:

This is where there is a major disconnect in the Jamie and Claire story. The adventures, good and bad of both these characters that we love together through two books, is now in part their own stories alone, even though they never leave each others hearts and minds.

We read about Claire trying to get back to Jamie, after Roger Wakefield, learning he did not die on the battlefield of Culloden, finds him.
We get to know Brianna, Roger falls in love with her pretty hard.
We are told what becoming a Doctor cost Claire, about her relationship with Frank, and what took place between them after she returns to her own time. We learn about Frank's love for his daughter, and the changing dynamics of Claire and Franks marriage, and his passing.
Jamie has his own more tragic story. Years of hiding in a cave after returning to Lallybroch a wanted man, self-sacrifice to save his family and tenants, years in prison, and meeting Lord John Grey. Being indentured at Helwater and the life he tried to make there to be with his son, William. Coming home to Lallybroch, realizing he has nothing holding him there, he moves to 'Edinburgh', where Claire finds him thanks to his A. Malcom Printer persona, among other aliases used for his new line of work, smuggling.

Getting through all of that, for a little bit of Jamie and Claire bliss, I'm sure you will agree was worth it and a great read, even though heart breaking.

But as the story unfolds, we are betrayed along with Claire (because we know what Leery had done) when we find out about Jamie's marriage to Leery, at Jenny's provoking. We then find forgiveness right along with Claire, to get the chance to love Jamie again through Claire, and hate Leery even more for shooting Jamie.
But no matter how they stay together its okay, we want them together!

Their time is but momentary. They find themselves sailing across the ocean to find young Ian, kidnapped by none other than Geillis Duncan, in her bid for a chest of jewels to go back through the stones.
In their current circumstances this far into the book, Jamie loses Claire again, to an English Ship Captain, whose crew is killed off by an epidemic, so Claire trying to save lives, is pressed into service. Obviously they find each other again, they rescue young Ian, and all is well after they manage (in a hurricane and a sea chase) to wash ashore in the Colonies. But for most of Voyager, Claire and Jamie are recounting times when they are apart, or are physically apart due to the situations they become entangled in. Not to mention that Claire almost drowns.

I'm not sure after Ron D Moore spent two seasons setting up Jaime and Claire's story, that season three as a stand alone book could be adapted well, in a sense that the shows two main characters are not in each others stories for a greater part of season three. It's hard to write an adaptation about two people thinking about each other. Do we really want to watch every episode with Jamie and Claire seperated except for a few? It's even harder to adapt what is needed visually to continue the Jamie and Claire story flow and include key information of their lives apart so the story unfolds naturally and is understood by none readers.

Laoghaire and why she's in season two.
If Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager were one long story for Ron to adapt, in part changing some of the flash back sequences into real time, to keep Jamie in Claire's storyline through out, perhaps season two and season three will have all of the nuances of Diana's story, told by Ron in a way made for television, and be one story told in two seasons.
Would it bother fans, or ruin the story?
For me the second half of Outlander is where Frasers Ridge starts, book 4 and that would be a clean slate of where to begin their story.

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Outlander' Q&A: Duncan Lacroix On Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser

In honor of our cast follow by actor Duncan Lacroix, we dug up an interview by Access Hollywood, all about Duncan, the gaelic and what getting into character means when playing Murtagh... 

By Jolie Lash

Duncan Lacroix as Murtagh and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser (Sony Pictures Television/Starz)

Duncan Lacroix has delighted "Outlander" fans all season long with his portrayal of Jamie Fraser's right hand man, Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser.

As a surrogate dad for the all-grown-up lad, Murtagh has not only had Jamie's back, but he's offered him support and guidance (memorably sharing a special moment ahead of Jamie's wedding to Claire).

Duncan told Access Hollywood he originally auditioned for a different role in the show, one that "wasn't a good fit." But the people behind the show liked what they saw because they came back to Duncan and asked him to read for Murtagh.

"I kind of read the description of the character as 'dark, kind of brooding, hawk-like.' I thought, 'Yeah I can do that,'" Duncan laughed, as he spoke with Access over the phone from Scotland.
"I did the self-tape in my flat with a friend of mine on his iPhone and sent it away. I didn’t really expect to hear anything back, or if I did, I thought, you know, there'd be kind of rounds of interviews. But yeah, a week later, I got offered the role, which was huge, and [I was] whisked off to Scotland that very week."

With Duncan's Murtagh about to join Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jenny (Laura Donnelly) in the search for the missing Jamie Fraser, Access decided it was about time we spoke with the actor playing the marvelous Murtagh. Apparently you had a small little role in 'Game of Thrones'?
Duncan Lacroix: That was – small is an overstatement, I think. Yeah, it was just a day job, I think. I can't remember – was it Season 2, when Jaime Lannister's being hauled through the mud... and I think I was in the background somewhere. If you pause it for about one minute, I think you might see my face. That was the extent of that.

Access: It's a really big show, and you get to say that you were a part of it, just like Tobias Menzies.
Duncan: It was, yeah. It was my first big job when I finally arrived in Dublin and got an agent. It was a great laugh.

Access: What did they have you audition with for Murtagh? Because obviously your character doesn't actually speak a lot. That's part of his charm.
Duncan: It was the scene, I think, where I'm explaining to Claire in Castle Leoch when Jamie's coming in for The Gathering, and I'm explaining kind of the ins and outs to Claire. And I think Ira [Steven Behr], one of the producers -- I think he said I got it from my eyebrows within about two seconds apparently, so I didn't even have to do much acting.

Access: You know what though, the expressions are as important, I think, to every character, as how they say their words. I've got to ask though, kind of a funny question – was one of the requirements, 'must be able to grow giant mountain man beard'?
Duncan: Yeah… I'd already had one kind of on the go because I'd had a small part in 'Vikings' as well, so I had one on the go from that, and yeah, who knew. I was able to grow a massive, bushy beard within about a month, so that was a big bonus.

Access: Was there a brief that they gave you guys on the Scottish accent for those of you that aren't Scottish?
Duncan: Yeah, well, we got a dialect coach --- Carol Ann [Crawford], who's brilliant -- and we kind of sat down, well I did, sat down intensively with her, when we had a bootcamp, before [Season] 1 and like a lot of my time was spent with her and Àdhamh [Ó Broin], the Gaelic coach. Yeah, I mean, the Highland accent's kind of, you know, when an Englishman tries to do a Scottish accent, it's usually the broad Glaswegian accent, but the Highland accent is a lot more mellower. It's kind of nice. [I spent] lots of time with [Carol Ann] and she's always there on set as well to pick me up when I'm mucking it all up.

Access: Tell me about the Gaelic though – a lot of people are very interested in it. Was it tough for you?
Duncan: The Gaelic, I mean, originally, Àdhamh was – he's just one of the most enthusiastic people you ever want to meet, and he was trying to teach us the whole language, which was obviously too much, so it's just a question of breaking it down phonetically. Actually, the very first take I did I think, was when we went into the cottage with Claire... I was kind of so nervous 'cause I think it was one of my first scenes that I [gobbled] the Gaelic, but apparently, what I was saying actually made sense anyway.

Access: That's awesome.
Duncan: Yeah, I was kind of improvising in Gaelic without even knowing it.

Access: I spoke with Sam [Heughan] last year and one of the things he said to me is that you guys -- in order to sort of make that Jamie/Murtagh connection -- you guys always try and either see each other in scenes or speak Gaelic to each other. Is that right?
Duncan: Yeah, yeah. Well there's a lot of kind of I think non-verbal communication we kind of get in, in the scenes. … Yeah, it just kind of adds to that bond we've got as characters.

Access: On screen, you guys have a lot of chemistry and you feel the history between these two characters. Did you kind of have an instant chemistry with Sam when you met him? Because you really feel that between the two of you as actors when you're watching it and that doesn't happen all the time.
Duncan: That's great to hear. I think it's just very hard not to have an affinity with Sam. He's just such a lovely guy, you know what I mean? Same as Caitriona, they're very easy actors to work with. … There actually was a scene that we did quite early on, which I think got cut out in one of the episodes, which kind of set up a nice intimacy between us, [which] is when we got back to Castle Leoch after the 'Rent' episode, and because we filmed those out of sequence, it was one the first kind of big scenes we had together. … He's a very good actor at listening, and yeah, I think it just comes along naturally in those moments. I can't really explain it. There's nothing we really work on, I think it was just natural.

-- Jolie Lash... Outlander Homepage would like to thank Jolie, we follow her on twitter, and she is a funny lady... Great inspiration

Friday, January 15, 2016

OutlanderHomepage Originals: Interview with Elena Vas, Outlander Fan Videographer

Elena Vas - A pretty amazing Outlander Fan, & Video Creator. 

Co- blogging by Susie Brown,

A children’s author, teacher-librarian and Outlander fan who lives in Australia.

If you love going on YouTube to look for Outlander videos, you may have come across many created by Elena Vas. We caught up with her to find out what inspires her to make these moving, emotional videos of Outlander. Mixing, amazing footage of the series and music that crushes the soul.

Ever since the first Outlander novel was published in 1991, the story of Jamie and Claire Fraser has captivated readers worldwide. Many fans have paid tribute to this remarkable series by creating themed products, such as jewellery and clothing. But the arrival of the television series, coupled with the chemistry between its two main stars, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, has given fans new ways to demonstrate their love of the world of Outlander. A simple YouTube search for Outlander fan videos yields thousands of results, but very few of these creators have had the privilege of having their videos recommended by the author herself. Today we share an interview conducted with Elena Vas, the talented fan video creator who did indeed catch Diana Gabaldon’s eye.

OHP: Elena, we know that there are many Outlander fans all over the world. Which country do you come from?

Elena:  I'm from a small country called Israel.

OHP: What made you start your video career?

Elena: Well, it's really more of a hobby, rather than a career.  I had dreamed about making videos ever since I was a teenager, but I actually started making them in 2004, while I was a fan of the television series, "Lost".

OHP: How long have you been making the Outlander fan videos?

Elena: Since the start of the show. I have a habit, whenever I like the romance in a show or a movie, to start making videos about it. My Outlander videos are my personal ode to this beautiful show and its beautiful leading couple.

OHP: What inspired you to make them?

Elena: So many things! Firstly, I loved the chemistry that Cait and Sam share. I also loved the show’s cinematography. I was affected by the colors and the imagery, as well as the romantic and historical aspects. Outlander is kind of a perfect show for me, and when I love something that much, I put it into a music video.

OHP:  How long does it take you to make each video?

Elena: It varies. Sometimes it's couple of days; sometimes a week or two; sometimes even more. It depends on how inspired I am and how much time I have on my hands. Often I will sit through the night making a video, not even noticing how much time has passed!

OHP: Each of your videos tells a story and creates a mood. Is that intentional on your part, or has it just happened?

Elena: Wow, thanks for saying this! It's wonderful to think that my videos have an impact. It’s not always a conscious decision on my part to tell a story; mostly it happens during the process of making the video. And even when I do have a plan for a particular plot from the get go, the story can change and ends up being entirely different from my original idea.

OHP: Tell us a little bit about the process of making a video. For example: how do you choose the video excerpts and where do you find the music?

Elena: Watching a new episode or even a promo of the show will often inspire me. Then I’ll go and look for the music. Other times, I start with the music. I can hear a song on the radio or on a CD and it hits me. Images start appearing in my head and I feel that I need to put the song into a video.

OHP: We know that Diana Gabaldon commented on one of your videos - how did that feel? Have you ever been contacted by Sam or Caitriona, or anyone else from the show?

Elena: Reading Diana’s comments felt great! It was one of the moments when I felt that what I have been doing for such a long time had paid off. I’ve never been contacted by Sam or Cait, although I’d love to know what they think.

The video we’re talking about, together with a link to Diana’s response:

OHP: Have you read the Outlander books, or did you discover the story via the tv series?

Elena: I have read all the books now, but I discovered the books after watching the show.

OHP:  Do you have a favorite Outlander video? Do you still make videos for any other tv shows?

Elena: I have made many videos for other shows such as "New Girl", "Beauty and the Beast" and "Lost", but now I only have my eyes for "Outlander". I don't really have a favorite. I always find faults in them after I finally put them online!

OHP:  Will you continue to make videos in season 2?

Elena: As long as I continue enjoying the show, I certainly will!

OHP:  How can people see your work? What plans do you have for the future?

Elena: People can watch all of my videos on my YouTube channel:
Go to Elena's page on Youtube....

I have to admit I don't really have plans for the future; I make them as I go.

We’d like to thank Elena for answering our questions - and if you need some more help to survive “Droughtlander”, we certainly recommend heading to YouTube and watching her many beautiful videos!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Interview with Kyle Carey, Gaelic Americana

OutlanderHomepage Originals 

Kyle Carey, Gaelic Americana.... 

When you sing like an angel and speak fluent Gaelic, it's not a difficult decision to sing the ancient songs of the Scottish Highlands.

For this beauty (who we met and were drawn to by her charms), The Gatherings at the Scottish and Irish festivals and all their Celtic traditions, is as natural a match, as Jamie and Claire are at Frasers ridge.

On January 24th The Celtic Connections presents, Gaelic meets Gaelic Americana, with Gillebride MacMillan and Kyle Carey among other artists, at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow Scotland, which will be attended by our own administrator Liz Mercado. (also a manager of some of the talent performing) She will be posting a blog of the events from the concert, some time in February, when she gets back to New York City..

For tickets, if you are lucky enough to be in Scotland, click

Kyle Carey's Biography :
Tomorrow’s First Light
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Kyle Carey has taken folk music traditions she describes as “two branches of the same tree” and grafted them together into something uniquely her own.

“Kyle Carey represents an interesting crossroads of Celtic Americana (which she refers to as Gaelic Americana),” wrote Art Ketchen in Celtic Beat in June, 2013. “In her gentle, modest way she represents both a well-traveled path, but also an innovation.”
Poets, painters, and sculptors also walk paths that bring them to crossroads of tradition and innovation. A folk musician doesn’t necessarily need to go adventuring through those crossroads. The folk tradition itself is beautiful enough, substantial enough, relevant enough to bear repeating as it is. You choose your genre and just ride it.

But the best and most adventurous—like Kyle Carey, for example—assume the weight of that tradition and make it new all over again. Ketchen notes that some Celtic purists find this upsetting. “But that is what makes her such a valuable artist,” he continues. Carey stands at a crossroads, and from there sings old songs that are entirely Celtic, completely American, wholly something else besides—and as new as tomorrow’s first light.

And who could be more comfortable in that crossroads than one of those rare Americans who actually speaks the language of her Gaelic ancestors, and is fluent in it? The daughter of schoolteacher parents, she spent her early years in the Yupik Eskimo villages of the Alaskan Bush, immersed in that other northern language. While at Skidmore College, she waited tables at the legendary Caffé Lena in Saratoga, NY, and earned a Fulbright Fellowship to study Gaelic and traditional fiddle styles on Cape Breton.

That was followed by a two-year sojourn on the Isle of Skye, where she cemented her command of Gaelic. There she also fell under the tutelage of Christine Primrose—a native of Lewis and one of Scotland’s most respected traditional singers—from whom she learned the secrets of pronunciation and tone that distinguish singers like Primrose in their performances of the old songs.

Carey’s 2011 debut CD, “Monongah,” was recorded in western Ireland and produced by Donogh Hennessy of the Irish acoustic super-group Lùnasa. She was backed by Pauline Scanlon (Lumiere) and Aoife Clancy (Cherish the Ladies) on harmony vocals; Brendan O’Sullivan (Gràda) and Cape Breton’s Rosie MacKenzie (the Cottars) on fiddle; Appalachian expert John Kirk (Quickstep) on mandolin and banjo; and Trevor Hutchinson (the Waterboys, Lùnasa) on double bass.

The album shot to #8 on American Folk DJ charts, and made too many best-of-the-year lists to mention here. Most of its songs are original and in English, their subject matter ranging on one level through the present and the history of rural America, Canada, the British Isles; on another level through the busy crossroads and winding byways of the human heart.

“Drawing from both the American and British folk traditions, the songs, including some very fine originals, are beautifully crafted and performed,” wrote Jeremy Searle in R2 UK. “Her voice is soft and gentle without ever descending into tweeness, and the sparse backing, largely acoustic guitars and fiddles, is haunting and moving. ‘Magical’ is the mot juste for this album. Assured, confident, charming, and irresistible, it sticks to the CD player like glue, as does the finger on the ‘repeat’ button.”
“Though many of my songs contain themes of longing and immigration,” says Carey herself, “the most important thing about my music is its mix of Celtic and American Appalachian styles—which in the end are really just branches of the same tree. I think the most exciting music comes from the crossing of cultural and artistic boundaries.” The World Music Network is among the many who agree: “Kyle Carey,” said a label spokesman, “represents the true vision of a transatlantic artist.”

Carey’s eagerly anticipated forthcoming CD, “North Star,” has been produced by Seamus Egan, a founding member of the Irish-American folk super-group Solas, and is supported by a cast of musicians (Dirk Powell, Natalie Haas, Chris Stout, Josienne Clarke, Ben Walker) no less brilliant than those on “Monongah”. And what to expect on this one?

“I think what makes this album most different from ‘Monongah’ is the subject matter of the songs,” Carey says. “I’ve introduced some love songs—some fictitious, and one in particular that’s highly personal. I think, too, the Gaelic/Celtic and American mix of this album is more fully realized—through the musicians we chose to bring on board, the various recording locations (Scotland, Ireland, New England, and Louisiana), and the careful thought we put into each song’s arrangement. Seamus Egan, being Irish-American himself and with a background working with both singer/songwriter and Celtic musicians, was the perfect fit for my sound.”

It’s a sound composed of equal parts of what’s tried-and-true and the unprecedented results of reformulating the old in new and imaginative ways. Kyle Carey represents an interesting crossroads indeed—one that spans the Atlantic, and has already commanded a hundred stages on both sides of that pond.

Among those stages, of course, is that of the Caffé Lena, where once she was hired help—but listening carefully, soaking it all in, and now making it new again. Website and listing of future appearances and for Newsletter.

Excerpt of Kyle's Newsletter 


OutlanderHomepage spoke to Kyle, asking her about what makes the Celtic Music so alluring for her. With her CD's as popular to the Celtic fans as Bear McCreary's scores are to television audiences, we had to find out how this lady was drawn to the Scottish Highlands, Ireland, and to the festivals we all dream of attending for our love of Outlander..

Where did you grow up? Was your house hold a Celtic "familiar" one? As
I've told you, my dad is from Ireland, our day to day lives
were very related to how he grew up, so I'm wondering if that was the same
for you, which would explain your vast knowledge of the Celtic ways and
what brought you to learn more of the culture as an adult and love it as you do..

I spent the first seven years of my life in Alaska actually. My parents went up to teach in Yupik villages in the tundra, and I grew up speaking both English and the native Yupik language. I think this later helped me to learn Scottish Gaelic - in the some of the sounds are quite similar. My father in particular has always loved Celtic and folk music, and also plays guitar, so I grew up hearing a lot of that music in the house. I started to sing around the same time I started to talk - and according to my parents, I was always very drawn to music. When I turned seven my family moved to New Hampshire and I spent the rest of my childhood there - in an artistic town up in the mountains where folk music was a big part of the community.

OutlanderHomepage :
When did you become interested in the Gaelic language? As you mentioned
you spent quite a while in Scotland and months learning the language on the
Isle of Skye, can you tell us about that? What was your journey like? You said you'd been to Ireland too, (and pronounced the area my dad is from, perfectly, which I do not.)

I became interested in Gaelic when I traveled to Ireland for the first time during my sophomore year at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. I heard Irish Gaelic being sung at a session and fell in love with the language. A few years earlier, I'd also found one of my father's old folklore texts from his Harvard years - a book called 'The Islandman' by Tomas O' Crohan. The book was originally written in Irish and made me want to visit West Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula - the area where O' Crohan had lived. As luck would have it - the trip I went on also stopped off in Dingle, where I learned of a study abroad program I could take in the village. I subsequently applied and spent eight months of my junior year living in Dingle and learning Irish.

After graduating from Skidmore, I went up to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on a Fulbright Fellowship to study traditional music, and started learning Scottish Gaelic when I was there - which I didn't mind as both Irish and Scottish Gaelic are so closely related. I grew to love Gaelic and learned about the Gaelic college on Skye - Sabhal Mòr Ostaig while in Cape Breton, and applied to go there next. I was granted a scholarship and after leaving Cape Breton, I traveled to Skye and spent a year there immersed in Gaelic. It was a wonderful experience - very challenging at times, but I knew that if I wanted to accurately sing in the language - I needed to learn it fluently and make it a part of my life. I also relished the opportunity to study singing with Christine Primrose - a beautiful Gaelic singer from the Isle of Lewis who was very generous in her knowledge and expertise.

OutlanderHomepage :
You teach the Gaelic language now. How did that come about? Do you know
Adhamh O’Broin? (Gaelic advisor for the Series, Outlander.) Please go to her website for details of signing up as a student.

After leaving Skye, I went back to Ireland where I recorded my first album, 'Monongah' in Dingle. That was five years ago, and since then I've tried to find as many ways as I can to make my rather unorthodox lifestyle sustainable. One of the answers has been teaching Gaelic, which allows me to support myself when I'm not touring, and also allows me to share the knowledge of a language I love. The Skype lessons are ideal in that I can teach from anywhere, and have a bit more flexibility in my scheduling. What's more - it keeps the language fresh in my mind, as I'm continually learning from my students as well. I don't know Adhamh but we have lots of mutual friends and acquaintances and I've heard lovely things about him. It warms my heart to hear so much Gaelic on Outlander!

OutlanderHomepage :
You are beautiful singer, which came first for you, the love of music or
the love of Celtic music, which then drew you to your singing career?

That's a great question - I think my love of music first brought me to singing, and then the interest in Celtic and folk came later. Singing has always been very intuitive for me, so much so that I don't actually remember learning how to do it. One thing too I find fascinating is the art that can come from areas where cultures combine. In that sense, exploring the Celtic roots of American folk music, and learning Gaelic, has allowed me to develop a sound that's uniquely my own, a transatlantic mix I call 'Gaelic Americana'.

I so enjoyed these questions Dorianne! Please let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know/might need and thank you so much again for this - I appreciate the time and thought you've put into this.

Le gràdh.

Kyle Carey's melodic songs, can be purchased on this link..

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Sam Heughan on … the Roots of My Peak Challenge

In this Web exclusive, Sam Heughan, star of “Outlander” and recovering distance runner, weighs in on his history of inspiring others to work out.

Jordana Brown by BOX MAGAZINE

Before Outlander, you starred as Bruce Wayne in Batman Live, a touring stage show. Did you also have to train for that role?

Yeah, we very much had a boot camp for that, too, actually. There was a lot of flying involved, so there was a lot of core conditioning. Flying on wires — so it’s just to maintain the position in the air — that’s all about core, really. And then there was a lot of stage combat, lots of krav maga and mixed-martial-arts kinds of things. Stick fighting, as well, and sword fighting. We did a lot of bodyweight training because we had a lot of acrobats with us. A lot of them were British champions or working on Cirque du Soleil and those sort of things, so they were all in there with us, and we just did their kind of workouts. It was all bodyweight. Squats, push-ups, pull-ups were sort of the standard.

The gymnastics feeds into CrossFit, too.

Absolutely, yeah. One thing I really wanted to do was get a handstand. They were teaching me, and I kept working on it, but I have to admit I sort of lost interest. Then I started working on a muscle-up and then that developed into wanting to do 100 pull-ups unbroken. I was working on it for a long time, and I got up to about 40, I think. But then I lost interest in that, too.

It was hard because we were traveling — each week we’d go to a different country. Then I heard of an event called the Marcothon, which for the whole of December every day you have to run either a 5K or 25 minutes, whichever comes first. So I committed to do it for charity, and I managed to encourage about 15 people from the company to do it. A lot of them didn’t really run or they were, like, either actors or acrobats who didn’t run, but they all did it, and every day people were running.

It’s not far to run, but without having a day off, it really begins to fatigue you very quickly and it becomes a mental thing. It was amazing — on Christmas Day we ran all together along the Seine in Paris; we ran in Switzerland in the snow; we ran in Germany. There was one guy who was pretty overweight, an actor who had never done anything physical, and he started doing this and he didn’t stop. Now he’s running — every weekend he runs like 18 miles, 20 miles. He’s gotten into it. But it was great. Exercise brings people together, and I’ve had some great experiences just working out with people and going to hang out. You just get to know people when you share activity.

To read the full interview with Sam Heughan, buy the January/February 2016 issue here.

My Peak Challenge, Sam Heughan’s charitable initiative, raises money for blood-cancer research by encouraging participants to set a fitness goal and offering a full 60-day training and nutrition program to help them meet it. For more information or to join, go to

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Globe and Mail

John Doyle: A likeable woman: Caitriona Balfe, Golden Globe nominee for Outlander

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.

Caitriona Balfe in her youth.. During her modeling career

Outlander's Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan Are All Ready for Golden Globes 2016


What they wore for inquiring minds... 

Outlander stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan arrive looking very chic at the 2016 Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday (January 10) in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The 36-year-old actress is up for the Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama award for her work on the show!

FYI: Caitriona is wearing an Alexander McQueen dress, Fred Leighton jewelry, a Christian Louboutin handbag, and Roger Vivier shoes. Sam is wearing a Dunhill tux, a Piaget timepiece, Ileana Makri cufflinks, and Louis Leeman shoes.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


New ‘Outlander’ trailer highlights a change from the book


Starz premiered a new trailer for “Outlander” Season 2 at the 2016 TCA winter press tour Friday (Jan. 8), which offers viewers more details on the upcoming season, including a change from the books.

As the trailer opens, Claire (Caitriona Balfe) is shown waking up near the stones and then wandering down a road, where she asks a man in a car, “What year is it?” and he tells her, “It’s 1948.”

Claire is also shown in a hospital bed with Frank (Tobias Menzies) by her side. “I am so grateful … all that matters to me is that you’re here now. Whatever happened, wherever you’ve been,” says Frank.

Those scenes are juxtaposed with footage of Claire and Jamie (Sam Heughan) in 1740s Paris, attending galas at the king’s palace and conspiring to try to stop Prince Charles Stuart’s uprising.

“Change the future, is such a thing even possible?” asks Jamie, telling Claire that “whatever happens,” he’ll make sure she’s safe.

It ends in Claire impressing upon Jamie that they have to trust in each other and he says, “In this I do and in this I will.”

Unfortunately the trailer is not being released wide yet, but there is a new behind-the-scenes video to tide fans over until the trailer is released.


‘Outlander’ EP says they’re ‘very close to casting Brianna’


Outlander” fans are eagerly awaiting word about who will play Brianna, the adult daughter of Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) in Season 2 of the hit Starz show. Executive producer Ron Moore tells Zap2it that they’re very close, but fans will have to wait a little longer.

“We’re very close to casting Brianna,” says Moore. “We might have found some candidates. I think we might be really closing in on somebody. I’m confident that we have a Brianna.”

Despite not having cast the role yet, Moore does offer a few tidbits about when in Season 2 fans will meet her.

“You will get to see her [but] not until we get back to the 1968 story, which won’t be for a while — towards the end of the season,” he says.

“Outlander” returns April 2016.

Sam Heughan ('Outlander') chats on the BAFTA tea party red carpet

Caitriona Balfe ('Outlander') chats on the BAFTA tea party red carpet

Saturday, January 9, 2016

OUTLANDER / 8 JAN 2016 Howl at the Moon


A 'Great' comprehensive look at season two from Journalist Terry Schwartz


Outlander is out to save the future in Season 2. The stars and creators of the Starz series headed to the 2016 winter Television Critics Association press tour to preview what's ahead when Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) head to Paris to try to prevent the Jacobite Rebellion and its subsequent failure.

From the return of Tobias Menzies as Frank to how showrunner Ron Moore and author Diana Gabaldon are working to prevent adverse butterfly effects as much as possible, here are eight key new details learned during the TCA presentation. Some minor spoilers for Season 2 ahead.

1. Diana Gabaldon Has Her Own Theory of Time Travel, Officially

There's a science behind the time travel in Outlander, even if it's a science that Gabaldon invented. "You always do that if you're dealing with time travel in any serious literary way, anyone who does time travel stuff, unless it's a costume drama where she goes back and she's going to be fancy clothes, but she's going to be a 20th century woman and show people the errors of their ways. This is not what I do," she said. "You do in fact figure out how time works one way or another. I am honored to say I was invited to write up the Gabaldon Theory of Time Travel for the Journal of Transfigural Mathematics in Berlin -- which I did."

2. Frank's Return Is Complicated

Menzies, who played the dual roles of Claire's first husband Frank and sadistic British officer Black Jack Randall in Season 1, will return as Frank in Season 2. Moore said of bringing him back, "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 series. It didn't take a lot to realize that in the second season that that would be a component of it as well. It's just a rich and interesting character. Tobias is a great actor. It was a very organic process to be in the writers room working on story and it just folded itself into different elements as we broke the season."

Claire and Frank will cross paths again, which will be an interesting reunion considering Claire's adventures in Scotland during their time apart. "I think as much as when Claire first encounters Black Jack and can't fail but to see Frank in him and believe that somewhere there is that connection ... there is also that reverse thing where every time she looks at Frank she can't help but see Black Jack," Balfe said. "She's definitely not the same woman that left."

3. The Butterfly Effect Is Being Avoided as Much as Possible

Moore and Gabaldon have had a close working relationship since even before Outlander was sold to a network, and that has carried through the multiple seasons of the show. "She was always very generous with the material and spirit of 'I know there's going to be changes in adaptations and I trust that you guys will do the right thing by us.' I think that was a very mutually beneficial relationship. Ever since, it's always very positive," Moore explained to critics. "We can use her as a sounding board and say if we make this change, what's the butterfly effect down the line with all the other books. It's a massive mythology that she's created. Whenever we make fundamental changes to something that seems minor, you always want to make sure that it's not going to have repercussions that come back and bite us later in Season 5 or 6 or something like that."

"It's been great from my point of view. They've included me to an amazing extent," Gabaldon added. "I was very flattered and very pleased that they did want to talk to me about things. It's been a really interesting process I actually wrote one of the scripts for Season 2, which was definitely an experience. It's way different than writing a novel, for sure."

4. Claire's Pregnancy Is Pivotal

Season 1 ended with the reveal that Claire is pregnant, and Moore said "it definitely plays into the storyline, and that particular issue does come up at a certain point. ... Claire's pregnancy is a thread that's there from the first episode as soon as they arrive in Paris, and we continue it throughout the story, how it affects their relationship and her perception in her own role in the plot to disrupt the Jacobite Rebellion and so on."

5. Fergus Brings Out a New Side to Claire and Jamie

Heughan teases there are "new enemies, new allies" in Outlander: Season 2, and chief among them is a young French pickpocket named Fergus, played by Romann Berrux, who becomes a character close to Claire and Jamie. "He brings this great dimension to Claire and Jamie," Heughan said. "He becomes their surrogate son, and it's really nice to see Claire and Jamie play father and mother, and play this family. It brings another energy and dynamic to their relationship."

6. Jamie Is a Master Deceiver

Heughan said he's been "very surprised by Season 2," especially in what he's learned about Jamie.

"Season 1 was about discovery, about a young man growing up and finding his place in the world and in a relationship. Season 2 has been about discovering a side of the character that I didn't know was there. He's playing someone else, he's being quite deceptive and learning to be deceitful, and he does it very well," he said. "Jamie's very capable and good at most things. There's a side to him that I didn't know. He's still obviously traumatized or struggling with what happened to him. There's not a darkness, but there's a side of him I didn't know existed. His humor and his buoyancy and his natural ability to keep going no matter what's wrong, and also his absolute dedication to claire is admirable and inspiring."

7. Caitriona Balfe Looks Forward to Future Claire

Similarly, Balfe is getting a chance to learn new things about her character, and she's looking forward to storylines that she knows are coming down the pipeline. "The difference with this season is there's time to 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, and it's been a really amazing discovery in that way," Balfe said. "I feel that in I've gotten to know her much more. We have such, hopefully, a long journey to go hopefully with these characters. 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.

She continued, "I really admire her resilience and her intelligence. I would love to just ask her what her thoughts are being in all these places and times and how she sees humanity, having that conversation with her and about her drive for her career. It would be a very interesting dinner -- a very drunk dinner."

8. There's More Politics in Season 2

Expect a slight change of tone in Outlander: Season 2. "The danger and Paris is Versailles is less physical with the swords and weaponry. It's more politics and backstabbing and poison. It's more hidden," Heughan said. "There's a lot of politics at work and a lot more danger. 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."