Monday, August 29, 2016

Outlander finds its Lord John Grey

Outlander finds its Lord John Grey — exclusive BY EW!


For the full article

Casting news should help take away the pain of the ongoing Droughtlander.

EW has learned exclusively that Starz has found the actor who will play the pivotal role of Lord John Grey in the third season of Outlander, premiering in 2017.

Australian actor David Berry will take over as Grey, the former British soldier-turned-Ardsmuir Prison governor who strikes up a dubious friendship with the incarcerated Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). The third season of Outlander will be based on Voyager, the third novel in Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling series that was published in 1993.

Here’s the official description of Lord Grey by Starz: “He’s a steadfast and honorable British subject, torn between a finely-honed sense of familial duty and a strong moral compass of right and wrong. He is boyishly handsome with an upper class rearing — the consummate gentleman. However, a scandal from his past has relegated Lord John to an undesirable position as governor of a desolate prison in Northern Scotland.”

The third season will pick up right after Claire travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948. Now pregnant, she struggles with the fallout of her sudden reappearance and its effect on her marriage to her first husband, Frank. Back in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire. Separated by continents and centuries, Claire and Jamie must find their way back to each other.

A newcomer to American TV, Berry is best known for playing James Bligh in the Australian TV show A Place to Call Home. Berry also tours nationally and internationally as a singer with the act Scream and Shout.

Starz has yet to announce when Outlander will return in 2017 — but at least fans can rest assured that it will be around for years to come. Though the drama that also stars Caitriona Balfe was picked up for a third and fourth season, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht told reporters in Beverly Hills last month that the series from Ronald D. Moore “will be around for a long time.”

Outlander Just Confirmed A Major Character Will Be Back For Season 3

For the full article 

At CinemaBlend

Outlander has been renewed for Season 3, a hurrah-worthy renewal, and now that we know the series is moving forward for not just Season 3 but also Season 4, we have a lot of questions about the upcoming episodes, including who will be returning as the timelines change and Claire and Jamie work to get back to one another. In fact, in a recent interview we learned that Tobias Menzies is expected to return for the upcoming episodes.

Menzies confirmed the news to Variety that he will be back for Season 3. So far, the "tentative" goal is to at least bring Menzies back to play Claire's husband Frank on the series. If what he says holds up, the series will look into Claire and Frank's move to Boston and their marriage while Brianna was growing up. It should still give Menzies some meaty stuff to work with. His comments also indicate that we may get to see more of the interactions between Claire and Frank that showed how hopeless their marriage was in the face of her undying love for Jamie and her (seemingly) fantastical time travel story.

That may not be all Menzies will be involved with in Season 3, however. In Outlander, Tobias Menzies actually plays two characters: Black Jack Randall and Frank Randall. In Jamie's world, Black Jack Randall is a dark and angry man who takes what he wants through rape and brutality. He has been Jamie's main antagonist for some time on the series and his loss would be felt. He adds a lot to the drama, after all. By the time of the Season 2 finale, however, we knew Black Jack Randall was preparing to fight at the Battle of Culloden where he--books spoiler---dies in Diana Gabaldon's series. Likewise, the 1960s timeline showed us that Frank had died some time before Claire decided to return to the past. So, the fact that the actor will be back for Season 3 is actually quite significant and it says a lot.

Series lead Sam Heughan says he really hopes that TV audiences will get to see the Randall and Jamie fight during the Battle of Culloden.

If you've read the books you will know that Randall will appear again. I know that Diana has written the scene of how they ended up [back together], so hopefully -- and who knows, I haven't read the script yet, but hopefully, we'll get to see Jamie and Randall in the Battle of Culloden.

In the books, Jamie is really befuddled during the battle, which means that Diana Gabaldon doesn't have to get into any major details about exactly how the battle unfolded. TV is a different medium, however, and this would be another way to keep Menzies in the fold. While other characters have shuffled in and out of the narrative, Tobias Menzies' two characters have both been key components throughout the first two seasons of Starz's Outlander. He even featured prominently in the Season 1 key art photos. Losing Tobias Menzies' characters would be a big blow to Outlander, so if the show can figure out a way to keep the actor around for longer, we're all for it.

Unfortunately, we still have a long ways to go before Outlander returns to the schedule for Season 3. While we wait to learn more about the upcoming season, you can take a look at what we do know about the upcoming set of episodes.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Next year what will Outlander do at the EMMY'S?

Outlander’ fans, rejoice: More Emmy nominations next year thanks to ‘Game of Thrones’ ineligibility?

Marcus James Dixon

By The Gold Derby

For the full article

Now that we know “Game of Thrones” is taking next year off at the Emmy Awards, it’s a safe bet that “Outlander” will be one of the shows to benefit the most from all those open slots. “Game of Thrones” earned a whopping 23 Emmy nominations this year, more than any other show. “Outlander,” meanwhile, only scored a pair of bids: Best Production Design and Best Costumes. Will “Game of Thrones'” absence be “Outlander’s” gain?

Sign up to get Gold Derby’s free newsletter with experts’ latest predictions and breaking news

Last year Starz’s “Outlander” broke into the Emmy derby with a nomination for Best Music Composition. It was predicted to do much better for Season 2 as it’s an established hit with strong critical acclaim. However, it failed to make the cut on nominations morning thanks in no small part to “Game of Thrones.” This HBO behemoth dominated many of the tech races at the Emmys, taking slots from other deserving fantasy/sci-fi shows, namely “Outlander.”

Join the live Emmy Awards debate going on right now in our world-famous forums

It’s worth noting that while “Game of Thrones” has six acting nominations (see below), it does not contend in the lead categories. So “Outlander” stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan would not benefit from the absence of “Game of Thrones” at the Emmys. However, supporting player Tobias Menzies could easily take one of the open slots next year left behind by Peter Dinklage and Kit Harington.

Find out what will win at the Emmys this year — Click Here

Here are the 23 “Game of Thrones” nominations for the 2016 Emmys:

Best Drama Series

Best Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage)

Best Supporting Actor (Kit Harington)

Best Supporting Actress (Emilia Clarke)

Best Supporting Actress (Lena Headey)

Best Supporting Actress (Maisie Williams)

Best Guest Actor (Max von Sydow, “The Door”)

Best Directing (Miguel Sapochnik, “Battle Of The Bastards”)

Best Directing (Jack Bender, “The Door”)

Best Writing (David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, “Battle Of The Bastards”)

Best Casting

Best Cinematography (“Home”)

Best Costumes (“The Winds Of Winter”)

Best Editing (“Battle Of The Bastards”)

Best Editing (“Oathbreaker”)

Best Hairstyling (“The Door”)

Best Makeup, Non-Prosthetic (“Battle Of The Bastards”)

Best Makeup, Prosthetic (“The Door”)

Best Production Design (“Blood Of My Blood,” “The Broken Man,” “No One”)

Best Sound Editing (“The Door”)

Best Sound Mixing (“Battle Of The Bastards”)

Best Stunt Coordination

Best Visual Effects (“Battle Of The Bastards”)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Diana Gabaldon at the Literary Festival, speaks to press!

Outlander author reveals her tears for Culloden

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon

by Iain Ramage
Of The Press and Journal 

For website

The American author behind the TV blockbuster Outlander visited Culloden Battlefield yesterday – and warned of the importance of protecting the historical site and other Highland treasures.

Diana Gabaldon has backed recent campaigns aimed at shielding the battle site and her beloved Rannoch Moor – the backdrop for her award-winning romantic stories – from new housing estates and windfarms, respectively.

She spoke to the Press and Journal prior to a literary festival question-answer session with some of her fans, tickets for which sold out within a few hours.

Breaking down in tears at one point, she said: “Rannoch Moor is more an ecological concern, but it doesn’t have the ethnographic resonance that this place has. Culloden has cultural resonance – this is where the Highland way of life was destroyed.”

Ms Gabaldon last year added her voice to opposition to an Inverness developer’s proposals to build homes within sight of the battlefield – before councillors put their foot down, approving a buffer zone five times the size of that which previously protected the sacred site.

She also joined a chorus of 1,000 people opposed to an energy firm’s plans to build 24 massive wind turbines smack in the middle of the wilderness of Rannoch Moor in Highland Perthshire – the stage for much of her work.

The same month that extra protection was granted to Culloden, those behind the proposed Talladh-a-Bheithe wind scheme confirmed they would not challenge the Scottish Government’s rejection of their project.

The towers would have been visible from more than 300 Munros and Corbetts, the scenic West Highland rail line and the A82 tourist route.

The Arizona-born author revealed that she and her husband paid their first visit to the Highlands after writing the first of her Outlander novels. She is clearly besotted with the region.

Rannoch Moor has been the setting for her tales of a World War II nurse, transported back to a strife-torn Scotland of 1743. The books merge historical fiction with romance, mystery, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.

Outlander has millions of followers and has helped reap millions of pounds for Scotland’s economy. She is currently working on a ninth book in the series, with the title “Go tell the bees that I am gone.”

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Terry Dresbach's Newsletter: accessories!

Terry Dresbach gives us insight into designing the accessories for OUTLANDER! 

For Terry's full blog at An 18th Century Life:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Diana Gabaldon reveals meaning behind ninth Outlander book title!


THE author revealed the title for the ninth book in her Outlander series, Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone, is attributed to an ancient Celtic tradition.

For the full article and more

Diana Gabaldon

DIANA Gabaldon is currently working on the much anticipated ninth book in her Outlander series and recently treated fans by announcing its title on social media.

As well as providing sneak peeks of her new material, the author announced that the title for Book Nine would be Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone.

And now she has revealed that the name holds connections to Scotland as it is attributed to an ancient Celtic tradition.

Diana told STV: "It's called Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone. It comes from an old Celtic folklore custom when people kept beehives, it was traditional to go and tell the bees all the gossip of the community.

"If someone died and you didn't tell the bees, they would become annoyed and fly away so you would always go and tell the bees when something happened."

The story will see Jamie in his late 50's and Claire in her early 60's, which Diana described as the "prime of life".

Last week, Diana released more Daily Lines on her Facebook page focusing on Minnie and Hal's story.

The author went on to interact with fans, with one asking if Minnie and Hal's story will make it to publication prior to her ninth Outlander novel.

Diana would then confirm it will be part of a seven-story collection that will be out next year.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Diana Gabaldon on historical accuracy, Gaelic and series three of Outlander

The author visited Scotland to mark the 270th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden this week.

BY Victoria Pease


The author of hit series Outlander has visited Scotland this week Outlander

Standing on the outskirts of the historic Highland site, Diana Gabaldon is in Scotland for the 270th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden.

"I try to come to Scotland at least once every year, sometimes twice," the author of the hit Outlander series explains.

But it wasn't until the 64-year-old author had written the first Outlander novel in 1991, set in Scotland during the Jacobite risings, that she decided she had better visit the land that had inspired her stories of time travel, love and sacrifice.

"I came to Scotland after the first book, I said to my husband I really must go and see it and that's when I encountered Culloden for the first time."

Outlander, a eight-strong series of novels and television series which has just been renewed for seasons three and four, has its own nuances of time travel within its success.

Diana visited the site of the historic battle which is a major part of the story STV

The books rose to popularity in the early 90s and have been translated into 38 languages with an estimated 27 million books in print.

The television series, which aired on the Starz network in the US in 2013 and on Amazon Prime in the UK a year later, reached a whole new audience of history and romance-loving viewers.

While the 1746 Battle of Culloden is a centre plot point of the Outlander series, the historic battle is at times a mere backdrop to the blossoming romance between Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe), a married combat nurse mysteriously swept back in time, and warrior Jamie (played by Scottish actor Sam Heughan).

The series may draw in fans thanks to the chemistry between the two leads but it is the historical accuracy and intrigue surrounding battles, castles and fights that has helped Outlander become a worldwide hit, securing praise for bringing elements of Scotland's past to the fore.

The television series will begin shooting season three Starz

It's something that is vastly important to Diana, to accurately portray the real historical elements of the time period she is recreating, woven with Gaelic words and turns of phrases with a whirlwind love story at its centre.

She says: "[Historical accuracy] is very important, not only as a matter of duty to the dead but also if you are going to do odd things in your book as my husband have to make the other parts of the story be as accurate as you possibly can.

"That's what it is that induces a sense of belief and immersion for the audience. They can feel this is absolutely real because it was real and you tell it as though it were real then they will go with you when you jump off a cliff [with the story]."

When first writing the fantastical account of Jamie and Claire, Diana relied upon a tiny Gaelic dictionary she had to order from Boston back in 1988 in to bring the language to life.

While the show's dialect coach Carol Ann Crawford believes Outlander's popularity could spark new interest in Scots and Gaelic among fans, Diana reveals that it was actually a Scot who offered his assistance with her language skills years before.

She explains: "I had a nice gentleman write to me named Ian McKinnon Taylor and he said 'I'm fascinated by your books, the history is so wonderful, and it's so great to see this culture treated so respectfully.

"He said 'there's just this one thing, which I hesitate to mention, I was born on the Isle of Harris, I am a native Gaelic speaker and I think you must be getting your Gaelic from a dictionary'."

Mr Taylor went on to assist Diana with the language for her next three books until health issues forced him to withdraw. Gaelic singer and speaker Catherine Ann McPhee then helped with the series, but as a native of Barra, Diana notes that 'at that point the dialect of my novels changed'.

While the fans of the novels have been visiting Scotland to see historical sites mentioned in the books for years, the television adaptation has seen filming locations such as Doune Castle in Stirling enjoy record-breaking visitor numbers since the show aired.

"I think it's extremely strange," Diana says. "I didn't expect any of this mind you, I wrote the first book for practice so I wasn't expecting anyone to read it.

"But once it came out, people took to it and they not only took to it they started expanding you might say, there are thousands of social groups that get together over the books and they start having craft groups, doing traditional knitting and making 18th century costumes and baking."

While fans of the novels have had to wait years for the next instalment, filming for series three of the television show is currently under way, with plans to adapt books Voyager and Drums of Autumn for the small screen.

So what can fans of the series expect from Diana's archive of Scottish tales when the next series airs?

She explains: "Our protagonists were split at the end of the last season and season three, like the book, begins with them apart.

"Claire in the 20th century but 20 years on from where we left her and Jamie of course is still back in the 18th century but we pick him up immediately from where we last saw him which is here [at Culloden]."

Diana explains the narrative is braided from three different perspectives and time periods of Claire, her daughter and Jamie, but hints that a reunion will see the series return to a linear timeframe from around 1866.

But fans of the novels are also gearing up for an even newer instalment; the long awaited ninth novel.

Diana says: "I'm presently working on the ninth book in the Outlander series, luckily I have a title for it I just acquired a couple of weeks ago.

"It's called Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone. It comes from an old celtic folklore custom when people kept beehives, it was traditional to go and tell the bees all the gossip of the community.

"If someone died and you didn't tell the bees, they would become annoyed and fly away so you would always go and tell the bees when something happened."

Reading between the lines, it would appear the time travelling romance still has plenty of secrets and stories to spill.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

'Outlander's' Most Shocking Deaths Ranked

'Outlander's' Most Shocking Deaths Ranked full article by The Hollywood Reporter

(I do want to say that Colum MacKenzie was not listed in this.)

The Hollywood Reporter
by Sydney Bucksbaum

Showrunner Ron Moore's adaptation of the best-selling novels has not pulled any punches when it comes to shocking, brutal and heartbreaking deaths.


Whether you know what's coming in the story having read the books or if you have no idea what heartbreak is in store as each episode unfolds, every death on Outlander packs a serious emotional punch.

Author Diana Gabaldon has laid the groundwork for executive producer Ron Moore to bring to life an intensely emotional adaptation of her best-selling novels. Outlander follows WWII nurse Claire (Caitriona Balfe) accidentally travels back in time to the Scottish Highlands in the 1700s. While learning how to survive in this new dangerous climate, she meets and falls in love with Highlander Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), and the rest is literally history. The two newlyweds attempt to navigate murky political waters to try and prevent the Scottish culture and way of life from extinction while war is brewing and enemies try to pull them apart from every direction.

While Claire and Jamie have managed to make it out of two seasons of the Starz drama alive, their friends, loved ones, allies and enemies have not been so lucky. In order to prepare for season three, The Hollywood Reporter looks back on all the most shocking deaths on Outlanderso far.

11. Horrocks (Lochlann O'Mearain)

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

In "The Watch," Jamie's brother-in-law Ian (Steven Cree) was forced to take a man's life in order to save Jamie's. When the British traitor Horrocks arrived at Lallybroch, knowing full well the price on Jamie's head, he tried to blackmail Jamie. To everyone's surprise, it was Ian who saves the day by killing Horrocks. But since Ian was not accustomed to such violence, he's the first character on Outlander who really struggles with the consequences of what he's done, even though he knew that Horrocks was a bad man who was threatening his family.

10. Le Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber)

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

After season one's villain, Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), traumatized Claire and Jamie in truly disturbing ways, season two's villain, Le Comte St. Germain, felt like a disappointing follow-up. Sure, he was still dangerous, as proven by the fact that he poisoned Claire and tried to kill her on multiple occasions while she was in France. But he got his just desserts when the King of France (Lionel Lingelser) forced Claire to use her "sorcery" powers to decide the fates of suspected witchcraft users Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon) and St. Germain. Claire tried to save them both, but Master Raymond poisoned St. Germain after he confessed to trying to kill Claire. It was clear that Raymond spiked St. Germain's cup with poison, so viewers knew his death was coming, but it was shocking to see it finally play out in such a theatrical way.

9. Angus (Stephen Walters)

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

After the victorious Battle of Prestonpans, crude, goofy, fan-favorite Highlander Angus sat by his friend Rupert's (Grant O'Rourke) bedside as he recovered from his injuries. But since the stubborn Angus didn't get proper medical care for his own internal bleeding, he ended up collapsing and dying, with Claire unable to help him. Another fan-favorite Highlander, Kincaid (Gregor Firth), also died from his injuries from the battle. The one-two punch of these deaths made the victory bittersweet for everyone.

8. Arthur Duncan (John Sessions)

Courtesy of Starz

In "By the Pricking of My Thumbs," Geillis (Lotte Verbeek) poisoned her 18th century husband Arthur after Dougal's (Graham McTavish) own wife died so they can be together out in the open. But it did not work: Colum (Gary Lewis) forbade Dougal from pursuing a relationship with Geillis, and Claire and Geillis were then arrested for witchcraft.

7. Greg Edgars (James Robinson)

Courtesy of Starz

Geillis certainly was predictable. In the season two finale, Claire, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger (Richard Rankin) witnessed Geillis/Gillian Edgars (her modern name) going through the stones for her first time. Since she believed you needed a human sacrifice to travel through time, Geillis murdered her modern husband Greg to make it happen. While viewers didn't get to know her first husband all too well before he was murdered (besides him drunkenly pining for his missing wife), witnessing the stones' magic firsthand was the final push Brianna and Roger needed to believe Claire's story, so his death holds major weight for the series moving forward.

6. Alex Randall (Laurence Dobiesz)

Courtesy of Starz

Black Jack's younger, kinder brother Alex had the unfortunate luck to contract a fatal illness just as he fell in love with Mary Hawkins (Rosie Day). Before he succumbed to his illness, his dying wish was for his love Mary to marry Black Jack so that their unborn child would grow up with money and protection thanks to Black Jack's military history and legacy. This unholy matrimony solidified Claire's modern husband Frank's (Menzies) existence in the future, except it turned out that he actually came from Alex's bloodline and not Black Jack, much to Claire's delight.

5. Frank Randall

Sony Pictures Television

When the season two finale began, viewers immediately found out that not only have 20 years passed since Claire returned to Frank in modern time, but Frank has also died. We never got to see Frank raising Jamie's daughter Brianna as his own child, or helping Claire ease back into life in modern times. It was quite a shock to the system, but one that viewers had to get over quickly as the super-sized finale continued.

4. Danton (Andrea Dolente)

Courtesy of Starz

This death was extremely welcome to watch play out onscreen as Mary finally got her revenge on the Duke of Sandringham's (Simon Callow) valet Danton after learning that he was the masked man who had raped her in Paris. The young girl stabbed and killed him while Claire and the Duke could only look on, horrified. Mary took her fate into her own hands after being pushed around all her life, and it was truly a joy to see.

3. The Duke of Sandringham (Simon Callow)

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

Another shocking death that was more satisfying than heartbreaking came just moments later, when Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix) also was finally able to get his revenge after not being able to protect Mary and Claire from Danton's attack. After learning that the Duke of Sandringham was the one who ordered the attack to happen in the first place, he beheaded the Duke and laid the bloody head at Claire's feet. Talk about a mic drop moment.

2. Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish)

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

After accidentally overhearing Claire and Jamie's plans to assassinate Prince Charles (Andrew Gower) in an attempt to stop the disastrous Battle of Culloden before it happened, Dougal tried to kill them for treason. But Claire and Jamie worked together in the resulting fight, and they ended up overpowering the tough Highlander, stabbing and killing Dougal. This fan-favorite character always walked the line between good and bad, depending on his mood, but watching the expression on his face as he died was heartbreaking as his beloved nephew was the one who delivered the killing blow.

1. Faith

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

In one of the most heartwrenching episodes of the entire series, Claire gave birth to her and Jamie's daughter Faith, but she was stillborn and Claire nearly died from complications from the birth. The rest of the hour is told in flashbacks from Claire's perspective, from when she held her dead baby in her arms, in denial, all alone while Jamie was held in the Bastille for the dueling Black Jack Randall. It took Mother Hildegarde (Frances de la Tour), Master Raymond and Claire's friend Louise (Claire Sermonne) to help bring her back to reality. When Jamie was finally released from prison, he and Claire mend their broken relationship and the death of their child motivates them to leave Paris and return to Scotland.

What do you think was the most heartbreaking death on Outlander so far? Let us know in the comments section.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Daily record UK, Duncan Lacroix, talks season three, acting, and Murtagh!

Duncan Lacroix on Why You should Always Take A Murtagh


For the full article go to source

MURTAGH has become the unlikely hero of Outlander and here actor Duncan Lacroix talks about the enduring appeal of the character.

Duncan Lacroix season two

MURTAGH has become one of the most loved characters in Outlander, as Jamie Fraser’s right-hand man, Godfather and trusted confidant.

Irritable, funny, loyal and brave and with the most expressive eyebrows in TV Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser even has a hashtag on social media in his honour - #AlwaysTakeAMurtagh. *

But his slow burning appeal was a blessing for actor Duncan Lacroix, giving him the time to fully realise the character as the show developed over two seasons.

“I’m not sure many people really knew who he was for the bulk of season one until the Search episode when my character and Claire tried to find Jamie , then you got more of his back story,” says Duncan.

“Then, in season two, he was the only Highlander who accompanies the main characters to France, which was lucky for me.

Outlander recap: Episode 14, The Search: Murtagh can dance if he wants to

“Murtagh is capable of extreme violence and tenderness at the same time with that sense of humour running through him,” adds Duncan.

But his unrequited love for Ellen (Jamie mother’s) was one of the integral elements of the show and one that Duncan latched onto.

“That idea where you have one love and stay true to that one love, was very revealing to me.

“We’ve all had one person that you can’t get over for a long time, that haunts future relationships.

By Conniebv

“Murtagh is also the most open of the Highlanders. He accepts Claire through her actions rather than judging her as a ‘Sassenach’ or a woman.”

The transformation of the irascible Highland warrior, from the pages of Diana Gabaldon’s books to the small screen, has been Duncan’s big career break.

Originally from South London, and with an accent to match – yes, we were shocked at this revelation too – Duncan had a succession of office jobs after studying drama.

Fearing his “dream was starting to fade away” aged 30 he upped stakes and moved to Ireland. “There was a nice artistic community and I was able to properly learn my trade doing play after play after play.”

Acting is an addiction, he says: “It’s a habit, something you can’t do without. There have been times – and very long periods of time - when I’ve had no money and have been in desperate situations but I just can’t let it go.

“Especially when you really pull it off and in theatre you get an immediate gratification from the atmosphere in the room.”

Duncan Lacroix headshot

In September, Duncan will join cast members including Grant O’Rourke, Graham McTavish and Stephen Walters for ScotCon, the first fan convention in Scotland.

Duncan is looking forward to connecting with Outlander’s famous fan base.

“We’ve had the most amazing fans from day one and I love these conventions and the chance to get their feedback.”

But do they even confuse Duncan with his character?

“As soon as I open my mouth they are disabused from that,” he laughs.

In Outlander he has a soft Scottish Highland brogue, which makes his real South London accent even more incongruous.

Sam Heughan and Duncan Lacroix in costume for filming at Troon Harbour

“The accent worried me,” he admits. “Luckily we had an amazing voice coach in Caroline Crawford who really broke the Highland accent down.

“But there are still times when I look back on certain early scenes and wince.”

At ScotCon, Duncan will judge a Battle of the Bands competition, something he and his fellow cast members are all taking very seriously, mindful of the precarious nature of success in showbiz.

“Outlander has afforded me great lifestyle changes. I was just quietly working away in theatre for 13 years before this big break happened,” he says.

Now based in Glasgow during almost 10 months of filming every year, Duncan enjoys a life of relative anonymity, as without his famous beard few people recognise him.

But he’s looking forward to joining his band of merry men on set again.

Caitriona Balfe and Duncan Lacroix

Before the filming of season three starts again in a few weeks, Duncan will join Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe for a two-week bootcamp where they’ll reconnect over dinner and literally ease them themselves back in the saddle again.

Fans of the books will be aware Murtagh dies during the Battle of Culloden and there is much speculation whether producers will deviate from the original story to retain this popular character.

“The dynamic is very interesting between Jamie and Murtagh, especially around Culloden,” he says.

Catching himself from revealing too much, he laughs, adding: “I’m still to fully find out myself but even if I knew I wouldn’t give the game away.”

But tellingly, Duncan, at the age of 46, is going to strike while the iron is hot

And dip his toe into the water in Los Angeles.

It’s a daunting and bold move for the actor, who wishes he had a real life Murtagh of his own for support.

“I’ve never had someone like that,” he says. “He’d be a good character to have in your pocket during tricky situations. The fans are right - It would great if you could Always Take A Murtagh.”

* The hastag was coined by our very own writer Connie Verzak in her popular Outlander recaps for Scotland Now.

• You can buy tickets for ScotCon and get more information from here .

Friday, August 5, 2016

“GUARDING THE RIGHT - Being Ian Murray” An interview with Steven Cree by your Aussie Blogging Lass

Outlander Homepage Originals By Susie Brown 

Throughout season 1 of the television series (and briefly again in season 2), actor Steven Cree portrayed the role of Ian Murray, close friend and brother-in-law of Jamie Fraser. The bond between Jamie and Ian is as strong as if the two men were actually blood brothers, something that Jenny mentions to Claire in Dragonfly in Amber:

“I remember, when they were young, auld John told Ian it was his job to stand to Jamie’s right, for he must guard his chief’s weaker side in a fight. And he did— they took it verra seriously, the two of them.”

Despite the passing of the years and the loss of part of his leg, Ian never forgets his promise to guard Jamie’s right. Jamie, in turn, takes comfort from the undying support of his oldest friend. 

So what is it like to bring the important character of Ian Murray to life? Luckily for us, Steven Cree graciously agreed to an interview with Outlander Homepage, chatting about everything from music teachers, to his favourite breakfast - and even a wooden leg with a mind of its own! 

“I first got involved in acting through doing musicals at my school,” Steven told us. “I had an amazing music teacher called Fiona McKenzie, who was a huge inspiration. I loved singing and was in the school choir. When I was about 12 I saw the film version of 'Jesus Christ Superstar', which made me really want to be an actor. I was obsessed with the film and watched it literally hundreds of times.”

Then, when he was in drama school, Steven finally got to play the role of Jesus. 

“Maybe it was because I could grow a good beard!” he joked. “In a way, I always wanted to act or perform, though I never really believed it would be possible. I'm not from an acting background and didn't know anyone involved. So it seemed very unrealistic.”

As it turned out, it wasn’t unrealistic at all! Steven later moved from portraying the Messiah to being the lead in a musical on London’s West End. 

“My favourite role outside of Outlander was playing Cliff in Cabaret,” he said. “Cabaret is an incredible show and Cliff was a fantastic part. No matter what happens for the rest of my career, I was lucky enough to achieve my childhood dream and play a lead part in a London West End musical. The part also came very out of the blue, at a time when I'd been largely unemployed as an actor for 6 years. It was very special and gave me the belief that I could actually make a career out of acting.”

In fact, by the time Outlander auditions came around, Steven was on the list of actors to be approached.

“I auditioned for Outlander because the casting director, Suzanne Smith, asked me to,” he said. It was that audition which led to Steven being cast in the role of Ian Murray.

“When I found out I had the part of Ian, I got the book and read it immediately,” Steven said. “It helped to inform me of the world that Ian comes from and also just helped flesh out my idea of the character. He's written so well in the scripts anyway, but I wanted to be truthful for the fans and help bring that character to life.  Of course, you also bring what you have naturally and then add any other flavours on top of that - plus a wig and a great costume always helps! I wouldn't say Sam, Laura and I discussed the relationships between Jamie, Jenny and Ian per se, but there are always discussions before each scene about what's going on and what the relationships are. Everyone obviously brings a very strong characterisation to their parts too and you bounce off what you are given.” 

Of course, given that Ian has lost the lower part of his leg, portraying the character brought with it the difficulties of working with a very specific prop. 

“I got the wooden leg before we started filming to practise on,” Steven explained, “but to be honest it took a lot of getting used to. It was really painful at first. The first few days, I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it, as walking and talking was quite tricky! But slowly I got used to it and by the end I was actually pretty fast! I had to do quite a lot of physio through filming though, as it kind of displaced the right side of my back. It made me very, very grateful to have both my legs, that’s for sure. But it was great to have as an actor, as it really adds to the character and helped me play Ian Murray.  The scenes were tiring sometimes but like I say, I did get used to it and at the end of the day I always think I'm not performing heart surgery. I'm just a guy dressing up in clothes with a wooden leg pretending I'm in the 18th century! It's great fun.”

‘Behind the Scenes’ video clips showed Steven walking around with a green sock covering his real leg and we asked whether this was annoying.  

“The green sock isn't annoying at all,” he replied. “Why would it be? Well, maybe slightly in the winter, when it's cold and I only have a thin green sock on! But it's very sexy...isn't it?”

After all the discomfort, physio appointments and chilly feet, the wooden leg also contributed to one of the funniest “on set” bloopers. 

“There were loads of funny moments,” said Steven, “but possibly the funniest was my wooden leg shooting off in one scene into a basket of cabbages. I tried to keep going, but everyone lost it. Plus I had lost my leg!”

With filming on season 3 starting soon, we asked Steven what he likes to do when he has some time off.

“I'm in the gym a lot,” he replied. “I also love going to the cinema, always have done. It's only annoying when people make loads of noise, but I love going to see an amazing movie and getting lost in it whilst eating Ben & Jerry’s. Actually, I have to go to the gym a lot because I love Ben & Jerry’s so much. My favourite is Peanut Butter cup. And Nutella.

As well as the movies, I love sitting in cafes, drinking coffee and talking sh*t. I'm very good at that! I play football too, which I love and I love watching sports, especially tennis, football and golf.”

With such a wide variety of interests, we wondered what Steven’s perfect day would look like.  

“My perfect day would be having breakfast with my wife at my favourite cafe,” he answered.  “Avocado, lime & coriander on rye toast, with crispy bacon and a couple of sausages on the side. Amazing. Then I'd go to Wimbledon to see Andy Murray win Wimbledon and in the evening I'd fly to Italy to go to La Pergola restaurant in Rome - which is the best restaurant I've ever been to - and have an incredible meal. Then, just as I was having dessert, I'd get a phone call from Spielberg completely out the blue, saying he wanted me for his next film opposite Tom Cruise. Hmmm, did you say perfect day or dream day?!”

Finally, we wondered what is coming up next in Steven’s busy schedule.

“I don't have anything lined up for after Outlander yet,” he replied, “but I've written a short film that we are hopefully going to make this year, plus there are always other projects buzzing about. I also have 3 films coming out that I've done in the past year: 'Brotherhood', 'The Titan' and 'Churchill', so that's exciting.”

We would like to thank Steven for being so generous with his time and look forward to seeing him on our screens - whether film or tv - again soon! 

This interview was conducted by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. As book fans are aware, the character of Ian features in “Voyager,” so hopefully, the wooden leg will behave itself this time! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

People magazine features Sam Heughan as Barbour's Global ambassador

Outlander's Sam Heughan Is Designing Tartan Clothing, Aly Raisman Does a Routine in Jeans and More Style News

By Colleen Kratofil


Sometimes we’re pretty convinced celebs just have more hours in a day than the rest of us. On top of their success as actors, singers, athletes, they’re always working on brand partnerships. Outlander‘s Sam Heughan is putting his fashion design skills to the test with Barbour, gymnast Aly Raisman is fronting Aéropostale’s back-to-school denim campaign, plus check out what’s new from Rihanna’s Dior partnership and Juicy Couture’s return to the tracksuit.

After serving as the Grand Marshall in the Barbour-sponsored N.Y.C. Tartan Day Parade, Outlander‘s Sam Heughan has been named the first Global Brand Ambassador for the English clothing company. And as part of his partnership Heughan will develop his own capsule collection made with the brand’s signature tartans — we’re holding out hope that includes a tartan kilt to add to his collection.

“I am delighted to be working with Barbour and feel very privileged that they have chosen me to be their first Global Brand Ambassador,” he said in a statement. “Being Scottish, I grew up with the brand and have always been a big fan — being born in the same rural area as John Barbour, in the south of Scotland.”

He also respects the longevity of the brand saying that he’s intrigued by how Barbour “has adapted yet retained its strong identity.” “I have a great passion for the company and their employees that feels more like I’ve been welcomed into their extended family. I very much look forward to designing my own capsule collection based on this ethos and to representing the brand in the UK, the US and internationally.

For the full article 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Dougal MacKenzie: A Man of Honor

Outlander Homepage Originals
By Nancy M Guillory

I remember watching that very first episode of Outlander, anxious to get my first look at Jamie Fraser, and being totally focused on him until those final scenes of the clansmen returning to Leoch.

It wasn’t Jamie and Claire huddled together under his plaid that got my interest, it was Dougal MacKenzie, riding tall in the saddle, astride a gorgeous gray gelding, looking every bit a very handsome Highland warrior, that got my unbridled attention.

I don't know Graham McTavish personally, but he's played two of my most favorite fictional characters, Dwalin and Dougal, so I kind of feel like I do.
I think to be such a talented actor, as is Graham, you probably have to find some common ground with the character you're playing.

I could tell Dwalin was a good guy from the start, (The Hobbit) and he only grew even more endearing as the movies progressed, because Graham made a grumpy, brutish Dwarf with the table manners of an orc, lovable.

But, what he did with one of Diana Gabaldon's key story characters was more than just good acting. He breathed life into not just Dougal MacKenzie, but into a way of life, the culture of my ancestors.

Now, considering that, let's delve deeper into the heart, soul, and psyche of Dougal MacKenzie, War Chief of Clan MacKenzie.

If you're a true book fan, watching Dougal's machinations likely coaxed a smirk, or snarky smile, not because we liked what he was up to, but because watching Graham portray every intimate nuance of such a canny, conniving personality, was spot on.

From his loyalty to his brother and clan, his manipulations of those loyal to him, and his personal interaction, Dougal MacKenzie never did anything without a reason, motive, or intent. Contrary to many, his motives weren't just for personal gain.
Dougal rarely did anything that didn't benefit his clan, or country, as well as himself, in some way.

Granted, I will be the first to admit, propositioning your nephew's bride, fresh from her marriage bed, was.... well, if there was a Gaelic word for douchy, it would apply. That, along with proposing to his nephews wife, not just for the sole purpose of grinding her corn, but to seize control of Lallybroch while said nephew awaited the hangman's noose in a British prison, and cheating on his wife with a murderous witch, painted Dougal in a rather bad light. Somewhat unfairly, I say.

You see, despite his flaws, Dougal was truly an honorable man. Deep in his heart he loved his family, his country, and would gladly give his life fighting for them.

Though his convictions seemed suspect, Dougal could not deny his true nature, that of the pragmatic Scot.

Would he have killed Claire in that attic room at Culloden? Yes, he would have, because he firmly believed she was a witch.

Would he have fought to the death to protect her from Black Jack Randall at the inn? That's a great big Tulach Ard, there, and he'd relish every drop of Red Coat blood he spilled trying to get her out the door.

After all, in Dougal's mind, all he was doing was his duty, same as he had when he insured Colum an heir, and used any means possible to raise funds for the Jacobite rebellion. So, I suppose the question you should be asking yourselves now is, did I misjudge this character?

Was Dougal MacKenzie a good guy, or not?

Well, the answer is easy. He was neither good, nor bad. Dougal MacKenzie was simply, a man of his time!

When asked, Graham McTavish said this about Dougal MacKenzie and the, what if, opportunity to fight in the Culloden rising, that Dougal so much believed they would win:

TVLINE | When I spoke with Stephen Walters, he mentioned that if Angus had made it to Culloden, he would’ve been at the front of the charge. How do you think Dougal would have faired if he made it to the battle?

Graham McTavish / What a great question. Him and Angus and Rupert and Duncan [Lacroix]’s character Murtagh would have pushed themselves to the front, definitely. They probably would be a bit argy-bargy, pushing people out of the way so they could be at the front. They would have gone completely mental… I don’t know whether they would have survived, sadly probably not. It was a very, very nasty battle, and a lot of the atrocities committed afterwards were pretty terrible, but Dougal might have survived. He’s just the kind of guy that would be able to crawl off the battlefield and find a horse, get to a little cottage, meet a nice, new woman that he took shine to, and then went off to some island to live there. [Laughs] Who knows? I’m going to go with that one.

By Robert Bruce:
“We fight not for honor, nor glory, nor for wealth. But only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life.”

An interview with Graham McTavish by Arthur Kade:

‘Tùlach Àrd’