V sex scenes might appear steamy to viewers, but the actors who perform them on-screen don’t always feel the heat. “Jessica Jones’” Krysten Ritter and “Outlander’s” Sam Heughan said there’s no pleasure in shooting sex scenes, while chatting for Variety and PBS’ “Actors on Actors” series.
“I don’t like doing sex scenes, but with Jessica, I always felt like the sex scenes came from such a place of character and strength so it always made sense to me,” said Ritter, who plays the title character on Netflix’s “Jessica Jones.”
“I never thought of them as being like anything that spectacular.”
Ritter said her father doesn’t watch the superhero series due to said scenes.
“Having everybody’s eyes on you, sometimes, it’s difficult,” Ritter continued. “There are days when that’s like, ‘Aww man, I wish I could just like disappear for a day.”‘
Heughan, who sat opposite Ritter, agreed the scenes can be “tough” and “so not sexy.” But, like Ritter, he appreciates the value sex scenes add to “Outlander.”
“We always talk to the producers and the writers and work out how it moves the relationship forward or what it reveals about the character. But our show is definitely a central relationship and so we learn a lot about our characters through their sex life,” he said.
“We always approach it like a play,” he added. “You go through it and work out exactly what you want the audience to feel or see, and then you just have to literally block it out and it becomes so almost mechanical.”
Get ready for a lot more action from the Scottish Highlands.
Starz announced on Wednesday that it has ordered two more seasons of Outlander, the series adapted from Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling books and executive produced by Ronald D. Moore.
The third season will kick off in April 2016. The current season wraps in July.
The third season will be based on Voyager, the third of the eight books from Gabaldon’s Outlander book series. The fourth will be adapted from Drums of Autumn.
Outlander is like nothing seen before on television,” said Starz CEO Chris Albrecht in statement. “From its depiction of a truly powerful female lead character, to the devastating decimation of the Highlander way of life, to what is a rarely seen genuine and timeless love story, it is a show that not only transports the viewer, but inspires the passion and admiration of its fans. On this 25th anniversary of the publication of the first book in the U.S., we are thrilled and honored to be able to continue the story that began with author Diana Gabaldon, and is brought to life by the incredibly talented Ronald D. Moore. There are no better storytellers for Outlander than this team, both in front and behind the camera.”
Outlander’s second season premiere episode more than doubled viewing versus the first season premiere episode. It also set a new Starz record for an original series/season premiere. Through seven episodes in season 2, the series has also been a top-two rated show across all of cable among women over 18.
For more on Outlander’s current season, tune into EW Radio’s Outlander Live! The recap show airs Mondays at 2 p.m. ET on Sirius XM 105.
Fans of Starz’s time-travel drama “Outlander” may be surprised that no one asked Sam Heughan to take his shirt off during the audition process.
That may sound reasonable, but as viewers know, Heughan spends much of his onscreen time flashing some serious skin—and as it turns out, the series lucked out with the Scot when it comes to physiques.
“I’ve been in many auditions thinking, God, do I have to take my shirt off? It’s quite a physical role…,” Heughan says while his co-star—and onscreen nemesis—Tobias Menzies chuckles across the table. “It’s quite exposing, actually. But no, they didn’t [ask]. And at the time, I was keeping quite fit. So it was all right!”
For the legions of fans who have turned Heughan and Menzies into the thinking woman’s sex symbols, it turned out to be a bit more than all right. Fiercely protective fans of Diana Gabaldon’s series of novels detailing the time-traveling adventures of World War II–era nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), her 1940s husband, Frank (Menzies), the dashing 18th-century Highlander hunk she ends up marrying, Jamie (Heughan), and Frank’s sadistic ancestor Capt. Jack Randall (Menzies again), almost immediately relaxed when the series premiered in the summer of 2014. Here were Jamie and Black Jack and Claire brought to life in ways that very few adaptations manage. And though the show quickly made a name for itself for its vivid sex scenes—the website Vulture recently heralded the show as “the best sex on television”—what is less frequently discussed is the high-wire act its actors must perform to ground the material.
“It’s some of the hardest stuff to sell, I think, in acting,” Menzies says. “The time traveler element of the story is the most esoteric aspect. And if you wink, you’re kind of done. The air will deflate out of it.”
Both Menzies and Heughan are serious about their performances on “Outlander,” down to questioning dialogue or storylines.
“There were some quite overt direct speeches in the novel, which can be quite bumpy,” Menzies says. “An example is Claire’s ‘Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.’ Which obviously all the fans are obsessed with. But I know Cat spent a lot of time going, ‘I don’t know how to make this work for me.’ She really wrestled with it. And that’s part of the adaptation process.”
Heughan agrees, saying that an open-door policy on the part of the writers has been “really fruitful, I think. You are the one person who is looking only at that journey, that one character. The writers are looking at the structure and different characters and how they all kind of interact. So it’s always an interesting thing to stand up for.”
And Heughan and Balfe were both concerned about Jamie and Claire’s relationship at the beginning of Season 2. The last episodes of Season 1 found them struggling to reconnect after Jamie’s rape at the hands of Capt. Jack, and the finale saw the pair sailing to Paris. But when Heughan and Balfe read the first scripts for the new season, they went to the writers.
“It felt like [Jamie and Claire] got over what happened in Season 1 and there wasn’t enough of a hangover,” Heughan recalls. “And we went back to them and actually, they completely reworked it. It was great to see [showrunner] Ron [Moore] going, ‘OK, we can delay that and move this forward here.’ It’s great fun to be able to have that influence on the script!”
The first few episodes of Season 2 were difficult for both men: Menzies returns for the first time as Frank after spending most of the previous season in Capt. Jack’s shoes, and Jamie moves from the outdoors to the lavish world of Paris and all the foppery and frills that entails.
“I remember the first few weeks just looking for the character, like, where is he. Where has he gone?” Heughan recalls. “He’s still not himself and he’s also pretending to be someone else [in the French courts]. I wanted to play him like half a man, like he’s lost his sparkle.”
As difficult as it was to return to a character after a hiatus and find the setting and the circumstances vastly changed, Balfe has nothing but praise for Heughan. “The two of us were quite apprehensive; it felt like we were being thrust into this new world,” she says. “And Sam had this beautiful storyline suffering from PTSD and he was so fantastic; he has this physical strength but then this softness that’s so beautiful to watch. Given these circumstantial shifts, as Sam and I were experiencing discomfort, so were Claire and Jamie. It helps to feed our journey as characters.”
As for playing opposite Menzies as Frank in the first episode of the new season, Balfe raves, “Tobias was so wonderful in those scenes, and he came to it with such hopefulness. His emotion was so honest and at hand, it was great. It just feels so wonderful to go to scenes like that with him because you feel like you’ve had an acting exercise in some ways.”
The remarkable thing about Menzies’ performance as both characters is that he’s instantly different with very little external change—and yet you can see echoes of Capt. Jack in Frank.
“There’s something intuitive about [creating a distinction],” Menzies says. “In the very broadest terms, Frank’s physicality and demeanor are much closer to me. And Jack is more of a stretch. But how he holds himself, the costumes help with that a bit. And then the rest is trying to make it about the moral code, the outlook, and play that rather than crude physical indicators, like one has a limp and one doesn’t,” he adds with a laugh.
The amount of heavy lifting that Menzies and Heughan do as their characters can be lost in the shuffle of lavish sets and costumes, plentiful nudity, and Balfe’s fierce performance as a woman out of sync with her times, but make no mistake: These two have created fully realized men, both of whom undergo major transformations in subtle ways. While Menzies worked to differentiate his two roles, Heughan and Moore were discussing Jamie’s Season 1 trajectory, and Heughan sought out small, nuanced ways to convey his growth from impulsive man-boy to a more measured then almost broken man over the course of 13 episodes. And though the results have led to stardom and screaming fans for both in America, the attention paid to them in Glasgow is vastly different.
“In Glasgow no one cares about us,” Heughan says when discussing the intense fan love the show has inspired. “The other day I was walking down the street and some car drove past and they’re like, ‘You! You! “Outlander!” ’ I was, like, ‘Yeah!’ And they’re, like, ‘Wanker.’ ” Heughan and Menzies both laugh.
“It’s kind of great, actually,” Menzies says. “We’ve got a healthy level of just being disregarded a little bit.”
Asked for their worst audition stories, neither Menzies nor Heughan hesitates for long. “I mean, God! I think there’s so many,” Menzies says. “That’s the truth about early on. It’s 90 percent humiliation, isn’t it? Just going in and kind of crashing and burning and also doing things that you look back and go, Why on earth was I being seen for that? I was just so wrong. I remember auditioning for ‘Moulin Rouge!,’ the part that Ewan McGregor played. I was so young, I was literally just out of college. But they were just doing that sort of mass casting, just ring up everyone and put them on tape. And I had to sing and dance and it was just ridiculous. What was I doing in that room? Terrible! I tried so hard, it was so terrible!”
As for Heughan, he shudderingly recalls an audition for “Mamma Mia!” that coincided with his performance onstage in Noël Coward’s “The Vortex,” which meant that he was sporting a stylish 1920s mustache at the time.
“I was just completely wrong for ‘Mamma Mia!’ anyway,” he says. “I was working with Will Young, this British musician, and he helped me with the song. He was, like, ‘This is really high, I’ll transfer it down an octave.’ So I felt reasonably comfortable with it. And I went in and I gave it to the piano player and I was, like, ‘I’m just gonna put this down an octave.’ And he was, like, ‘No you’re not. I’m the musical supervisor, you’re going to do it like this.’ It was like strangling a cat, singing for ‘Mamma Mia!’ ”
• 2016: Backstage Magazine – MQ, will search for HQ.
The first season of the Starz historical romance epic “Outlander,” based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, saw heroine Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) travel back 200 years to the 1740s where she soon fell in love with the equally heroic Scot Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). She also found a nemesis in the odious Black Jack Randall, a captain in the occupying British army and the ancestor of Claire’s 1940s husband, Frank (both played by Tobias Menzies). That season ended with Jack brutalizing Jamie before Claire saved him from capture; the couple then escaped to France. This season finds the lovers infiltrating the French court, plotting to save their Scottish way of life.
See the most-read stories in Entertainment this hour >>
Gathered in a Hollywood hotel penthouse for a photo shoot and an interview with The Envelope, the three actors briefly pose as Charlie’s Angels. They each have legions of fans: Caitriots, Heughanots and Menziatics. When asked whose group is the fiercest, Balfe and Menzies simply point at Heughan.
Men, how does it feel to be objectified?
Menzies: It’s a curiosity of the show that that role is reversed.
Balfe [pointing to her body]: Nobody’s interested in this. They’re like, “Put your clothes back on, love. But you!” [Pointing to the men]
Menzies: But it’s Jamie more than Jack or Frank.
Balfe: There’s Team Frank. There’s also team Jack, which is — let’s not talk about those ladies.
Heughan: I don’t really pay any attention to it. Are we objectified?
Balfe: I sometimes get indignant on your behalf. The way that the women speak about Sam sometimes, if a guy was ever saying those things about an actress, there would be an uproar. I always want his acting prowess and his talent to be front and center.
Heughan: It’s the character, isn’t it? That’s what they’re all obsessed with. I can’t wait to see what he’s like if we do more seasons, because he’s changed a lot in my mind already.
Balfe: This genre can sometimes have these archetypes of such fantasy, but for us as actors, it’s only interesting if that person is real to you. For the audience to go along with this story and really believe the journey, the people have to feel very fully formed and very real.
That speaks to the Black Jack fans. As horrible as he is, you’ve imbued him with great depth.
Balfe: It’s because he’s hot.
Menzies: We could have gone with the cliché —
Balfe: — mustache twirling —
Menzies: That then makes it very hard to sustain over seasons.
This season in the French court is all about constraint, after the freedom of the Scottish Highlands.
Menzies: It’s starting with a completely different tone and texture, and a very different look. It takes you in unexpected directions. Toward the back end of the season, we come back to something more familiar. But it is a departure.
Balfe: Last year, Claire was just coping from moment to moment. For Jamie and Claire, this season is so much more contemplative. They are in one place for a much longer period than we’ve seen them before, so emotionally, events have landed on them, and it’s about how they cope.
Heughan: Last season was about individuals, and the triangle. This feels like a bigger scale. Fate is playing a bigger factor in Season 2, in terms of changing history.
Balfe: We always talk about how Claire’s a very intelligent woman, and yet she goes into this very dubious mission blindly. Emotionally, she has this guilt with Frank, and that has disastrous consequences for their relationship. She asks something huge of Jamie that nobody in their right mind should ask.
What were the biggest challenges in playing your roles as you moved into this season?
Menzies: In the first episode, we come up against the time travel aspect again, which is in a way the most far-fetched aspect of the story, and so rooting that and making it real for the characters was a challenge.
Heughan: I remember coming in to Season 2 being so terrified that this was going to turn into a period drama with frills.
Balfe: He was like, “I’m not wearing a fancy shirt!”
Heughan: We spent a whole season getting to know these characters, and then when we entered Season 2 we were in a different world. It felt like uneven ground, not only for the characters but for ourselves. Who are these characters and what are they doing in that world? Jamie certainly has to be deceitful and manipulative, where up to now he’s been very honorable, he speaks his mind, he’s very forthright. But if we’d gone straight back to Scotland, it would have been a lesser season. Paris really does bring dimensions to it.
Balfe: The danger sometimes with period drama is that people play periods. I hope we don’t do that at all. People are people, they have the same fears, hopes and dreams 300 years ago as we do now. The circumstances are just different. You have to play the human instead of the time.
Now for a technical question: Were Brazilian waxes really French?
Balfe: Apparently that was done in the day. Who knew? That was one of the funniest scenes to film. Claire Sermonne [who plays Louise de Rohan] was so fantastic, but that poor girl. They were using honey, and she was drowned in it. It was flying all over the place. A naked, sticky mess.
The second season of Outlander is currently underway, and producers are already making plans for a third. Although the network has yet to green light another year, here’s everything we know about Outlander’s third season.According to Hypable, there is good reason to believe that Outlander will be renewed for another season. After all, Season 1 was a huge success and the second season has managed to attract even more viewers.
With everything going well for the hit series, it is only a matter of time before Starz invests in another season. In fact, executive producer Ronald D. Moore is so confident of a renewal that he has already started planning for Season 3 of Outlander.
During a quick question and answer session on Twitter, Moore revealed that plans were underway. “Nothing official yet but I’m very optimistic, and we’re actively starting to plan,” Moore wrote on Twitter.
For those who haven’t read the books, the third season of Outlander will be based on the book by Diana Gabaldon, titled Voyager. Unlike the first two seasons, Voyager is set within the confines of a collection of ships. The book follows Claire (Caitriona Balfe) as she makes her way through multiple time periods, including the 18th and 20th centuries. During her travels, Claire and her seasick husband Jamie (Sam Heughan) embark on a number of ocean voyages that take them from Scotland to Hispaniola.
According to Scotland Now, the first couple of seasons offered their own set of challenges for Moore and his team. However, Moore admitted that the third season will be completely different. “Very exciting to talk about the ships,” Moore in another Twitter post. “Whole season looks like a lot of fun. Very challenging – but that’s Outlander.” Moore went on to share how the storyline will be easier to adapt than previous years. However, the production and filming the ship scenes will be the challenging part.
At the same time, the third season will also feature a number of new characters. This includes the characters, Ian and William, though neither of them have been cast. Meanwhile, Gabaldon is gearing up for the release of the next book in the Outlander series. While the latest book, Written in My Own Hearts Blood, debuted when Outlander’s first season premiered, it is unclear if the timing will match up with the third season.
Thankfully, Gabaldon is well ahead of the TV show when it comes to the books. While the series might eventually catch up to the books, that is not going to happen any time soon. While there is a lot to look forward to in the Outlander universe, the network has not approved a third season. However, Enstarz is reporting that a renewal might be right around the corner. After all, the second season was renewed early, with the network making the announcement during the show’s freshman year. Does that mean Starz will do the same in the near future?
Outlander is currently at the half-way point for season two, which means an announcement could be on the way at any moment. At this point, it is anyone’s guess as to when the network will renew the series. The important thing is that Outlander will be renewed and that Moore is already working hard on adapting the book to the small screens. Of course, for those fans who have only watched the show, the adaptation from the book is a non-issue. As long as Claire and Jamie remain together, everything else is a secondary point.
Until more information regarding the third season is released, fans can enjoy the second season of Outlander Saturday nights on Starz.
Never mind ‘Game of Thrones’, for some bingey box-set fans, it’s all about ‘Outlander’, the Amazon Prime drama set in the stunning Scottish Highlands.
The show, now in its second series, sees a married World War II nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) transported back in time to Scotland of 1743, just in time to become embroiled in the Jacobite risings, and come face to face with the dashing warrior Jamie Fraser.
Who he? The equally dashing Scottish actor Sam Heughan, whose charismatic performance, not to mention his somewhat Poldark-esque qualities have brought him a massive fanbase wherever in the world the drama is shown. But who IS he? Read on…
1. Sam Heughan was born in New Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway.
2. Scots may be famous for their ginger hair and ability to pull off kilts, but this famous Scot is not a natural ginger. Sam calls himself a “pseudo-ginger” – nothing pseudo about his kilt, though.
3. He was named as one of People Magazine’s Top 10 Sexiest Men Alive in 2015
4. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer in 2003, for his performance in the play ‘Outlying Islands’, performed at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs.
5. Sam has raised money for Bloodwise. He launched My Peak Challenge, which encourages people to do 15 minutes of activity every day to reach their “peak”, from setting personal health and fitness goals to learning new skills while raising money for charity.
6. He auditioned for ‘Game of Thrones’ seven times.
7. His fans call themselves the ‘Heughligans’.
8. Sam wanted the role of Jamie Fraser due to the fact he loved ‘Outlander’ creator Ron D. Moore’s work on ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’.
9. Did we mention he loves a kilt?
‘Outlander Season Two’ is available for Amazon Prime members exclusively with new episodes every Sunday.
“This is a victory, not only for Outlander but for all fandoms!” says the show’s star
Outlander has been crowned the winner of Division 1 in RadioTimes.com’s inaugural League of Fandoms.
The hit fantasy drama, following highlander Jamie Fraser and his time-travelling wife Claire, finished three points ahead of closest rival Poldark, remaining unbeaten for the entire nine-game season, after also triumphing over Sherlock, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Supernatural, Game of Thrones and The 100.
“This is a victory, not only for Outlander but for all fandoms!” star Sam Heughan told RadioTimes.com. “The competition has been fierce and proves how dedicated all the fan bases are… Thank you to everyone who voted for us!”
“Outlander grows stronger each season and we are so happy to have increased our fan base,” he continued, adding: “The second half of this season is so strong and I’m very proud of it. Tune in weekly on Amazon. Everything is about to change and fate really has dealt Jamie and Claire a bad hand this time…”
League of Fandoms Division 2 will be decided in the final fixtures on Thursday at 4pm BST, after which we’ll know which teams will be promoted to the top flight.
***MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR OUTLANDER AHEAD***
We’re not even halfway through this season of Outlander, but fans are already bracing themselves for the drama ahead. Since Outlander closely mirrors the popular book series by Diana Gabaldon, it’s easy for hardcore fanatics to spoil themselves (and it’s also easy to just google what’s coming up).
With that in mind, we couldn’t resist the temptation of asking series stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan about the future of Outlander.
***AGAIN: MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD. DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED.***
If you’re familiar with the books, you’ll know that we eventually meet older versions of Claire and Jamie. In fact, based on certain casting announcements, we may meet them this year. So we asked Balfe and Heughan if there had been any chatter about the what the aging process would entail.
Balfe stayed a little bit coy on the topic. She said, “I think it’s such an exciting challenge to move forward with your character and figure out what do those years of experience and those years of life do to change you?”
Heughan, on the other hand, let some kind of big spoilers drop with his answer. “What happens to Jamie when he loses the woman he loves and thinks he’s going to die and is alive?” mused Heughan. “How does that change him?”
We’ll have to be patient to see what Balfe and Heughan uncover in the seasons to come.
THE Scots actor, who plays Jamie Fraser in the Starz time travel series, took a few minutes to answer some fan questions that were submitted via Twitter.
OUTLANDER star Sam Heughan has revealed all after taking part in a Q&A with fans.
Taking part in Variety’s Actors on Actors series, the Scots actor, who plays Jamie Fraser in the Starz time travel series, spent a few minutes answering some fan questions submitted via Twitter. One fan asked whether it would be quicker to travel back in time through the standing stones, just like Claire Randall did in Diana Gabaldon’s story, or in Back to the Future’s DeLorean. Sam debated the issue, with the car needing to speed up to 88mph to travel while the Scottish standing stones are fixed in position and decided it was “a mixed bag”. He was also asked whether he would have made different decisions on the Battle of Culloden and Bonnie Prince Charlie if he were in Jamie’s shoes and whether being able to refer to Diana’s books, as well as the script, has an impact on what viewers see on screen.
You can see Sam’s answers to these questions and more with the video below.
Since arriving in France, Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) just hasn’t been himself as a result of the cruel treatment and rape he experienced at the hands of Captain Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) in the last few episodes of Season 1.
But that all changed last week on Outlander when Jamie learned that Black Jack was still alive. Claire (Caitriona Balfe) had initially been reluctant to tell Jamie when she discovered that the brutal Brit was still breathing, fearing Jamie would hightail it back to Scotland to face him — but also face the possibility of a meeting with the hangman.
Finally, events made it necessary for her to reveal his existence, and no one was more surprised than she when the news put a smile on Jamie’s face.
“The first part of that season, Jamie’s not who he was,” Heughan told Parade.com in a one-on-one interview. “He’s lost his spark, he’s lost part of himself, and the thing that releases him and gives him control and power again is the fact that he can now end this nightmare and end Randall’s life, so yes, it releases him. When he finds out that Randall’s alive, we see the Jamie of old again in a way. He’s elated and has new hope. Unfortunately, though, the revival of Black Jack really is the catalyst to many other moments that have a ripple effect with history and time.”
One of the positive things to come out of the news is that Jamie is finally able to be a true husband to Claire. Earlier this season when they tried to make love, Jamie would see Black Jack’s face instead of Claire’s and that would put an end to things, as you can imagine. Even though they still loved each other passionately, making love wasn’t a possibility.
But unlike earlier sex scenes, Claire is now pregnant and showing. And Outlander did it right! When Jamie and Claire get naked, they show Claire’s baby bump, and it looks really realistic.
“Caitriona and I felt very strongly that we should see the bump,” Heughan says. “It’s very sexy. I think initially they didn’t want it. It wasn’t a full prosthetic, and at times I had to hide various zips and parts of her body with my hand or with her arm, so we had to shoot in certain angles, but it does; it looks great, and I think it was so important that we see that. We rarely see women on camera who are pregnant having sex. I think it’s very rare, and I don’t know why, because they’re super sexy, and I think it’s absolutely the thing that brings them together. Not the sex so much, but this child. Their unborn child is the thing that reconnects Jamie and Claire. This new hope.”
Even with the technical difficulties of shooting this sex scene, it had to be done. As Heughan says, it reconnects Jamie and Claire in a way that all their machinations to end the Jacobite Rebellion haven’t done during their time in France.
“We were very adamant last season that the sex scenes weren’t gratuitous, and if they’re there, they’re there for a reason,” Balfe tells Parade.com. “It’s the same with this season. Initially, I think they had an awful lot more sex in it, and we sort of fought for the fact that, (a) this has got to be much harder for Jaime to get over, and (b) if they are going to come together, then it has to be a celebration of them as a couple, and this pregnancy is one thing that keeps bringing them back together and bonding.
“I think as a woman, I talked to many of my friends who’ve had babies — I’ve never been pregnant — but I think there’s a big chunk of time where you feel very womanly and sexy and you want to have sex, and I wanted to celebrate that. I wanted to celebrate this beautiful moment that she’s going through.”
On this week’s Untimely Resurrection episode of Outlander, reunited, Jamie and Claire attempt to extinguish the fires their dinner party ignited; however, Claire is set off on an unexpected change of course. Then Jamie and Claire’s relationship is put to the ultimate test when the past rears its ugly head.
Outlander airs Saturday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on STARZ.