As the leading man of an epic love story, in this case Jamie Fraser in Starz’s “Outlander,” Sam Heughan has more than shown viewers his romantic side. But to live a life apart from his destined love required the actor to channel grief rather than romance.
The first half of the third season of the time-traveling drama explored the two decades that Jamie and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) lived apart after he sent her to the future (the 1940s) to raise their baby. For Jamie, who was expecting to die in the battle of Culloden but didn’t, the ensuing years of coping with love lost was a battle of emotions.
Heughan, on a short break from production overseas on the fourth season, stopped by The Times studio recently to discuss the approach he took in bringing weight to the pain.
“It’s the different stages of grief, really,” Heughan said. “He goes through anger, sadness … eventually acceptance. Each episode was so strong, and he’s such a different character … but he’s still living in the memory of Claire, living in the shadows.”
Though Claire is raising their daughter in the future with her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies), viewers still got a glimpse of Jamie as a father — albeit a restricted glimpse. He comes to father an illegitimate son, Willie, who he helps to raise temporarily. And he also becomes the stepfather to two daughters.
“He’s always wanted to be a father figure,” Heughan said. “It’s something he yearns for.”
During this Droughtlander, the Outlander fans have become an army of very thirsty detectives!
Some keen-eyed viewers have spotted a tiny “J” carved onto Claire’s palm and a little “C” etched onto Jamie’s hand in the deleted scenes from Outlander’s third season, but there was never an explanation for the appearance of these mysterious initials on the hit Starz drama.
In our quest to cut to the truth, ET caught up with Outlander executive producers Ronald D. Moore and Maril Davis at a special Television Academy panel in Los Angeles on Sunday, and we asked the creative duo to explain the behind-the-scenes secrets of Jamie and Claire’s carvings.
“Yes, our sharp-eyed viewers are at it again!” Moore said proudly to ET’s cameras on the red carpet. “Essentially, there’s a scene in [Diana Gabaldon’s] book — and actually in a different book — where Claire and Jamie carve their initials into each other’s hands. I think it was in the second book, [Dragonfly in Amber,] if I’m not mistaken.”
“Yeah,” Davis agreed. “Right before she goes back through the stones.”
Moore continued, “We did not do that [scene] in season two, but it was one of those little details that we kept thinking, ‘At some point we’re going to do this.’ So we shot a version of that scene in season three, but we weren’t really that satisfied with it and it didn’t really work, so we cut the scene — but we wanted to still sort of preserve the idea of doing that at some later date.”
“So we didn’t include that scene in the deleted scenes for the DVD, however, sharp-eyed fans found the initials in a separate deleted scene that we had not gone in and digitally erased so it’s like, ‘Curses! They found us!'” Moore added with a laugh.
Despite the fact that fans have foiled the executive producers’ plan to keep the initials scene a secret, Davis revealed that it’s “actually kind of fun” that the Outlander audience is so invested in each and every onscreen detail.
“I hope [the fans] know it’s something that we really want to do,” Davis explained. “And while you hope that you don’t have those little things happen, on the other hand, it’s kind of a fun, little tidbit for people to see and to recognize that people are actually watching.”
As for the actors who lived through the cut scene, (pun totally intended!) stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe expressed their reactions to learning that the highly anticipated scene had been edited out of season three.
“You know that happens a lot. We shoot a lot of stuff that doesn’t make it into the final edit,” Balfe dished to ET. “It’s sort of in a really organic place in the book and it sort of fits where it was supposed to be. I think it’s difficult sometimes when you’re trying to shoehorn something into another moment, but you know, it’s also a fan favorite. So we do try to do these things for the fans and so you always have to try and find something that works and it has to work for the story.”
Heughan echoed his co-star’s sentiments and said, “I think I was quite excited for the fans to see that because they wanted it from before, but you know, it may make an appearance somewhere else. But you know, that happens all the time. There’s so much that we shoot that doesn’t make it into the show and we can’t include everything.”
“And to be honest, “Heughan continued, “I don’t think the scene quite worked in the story and where it was, so yeah, they made a great decision.”
Dinna fash, Outlander fans! It sounds like this special moment between Jamie and Claire could be reworked into another season.
“I didn’t know that they were going to put it somewhere else, but I guess they will,” Balfe exclaimed with a smile. “So we’ll see it then, we’ll do that scene again!”
Heughan concluded, “Who knows, maybe you’ll see it somewhere else. Maybe Jamie gets a “C” carved on his toes next season.”
For more behind-the-scenes bonus material like this one, pick up your copy of Outlander: Season Three, which will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital as well as on a Limited Collector’s Edition from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on April 10.
This evening Caitriona, Sam, and the creators of Outlander have attended an event For Your Consideration for the Emmy awards. They both look so lovely. I’ve added some photos to the gallery. More to come soon. Enjoy!
Sam was filming in Glasgow yesterday with Caitriona. I have added photos to the gallery. I can’t wait for season 4. Enjoy!
Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been preoccupied with other things. I have sooooo much I want to add to the site. I have a “to be sorted and added folder” with well over 1,000 photos to add to the site as well as a new design I am working on. I’m getting there! In the meantime, check out some new (old) photo session additions I have added to the gallery. I’ve also added new outtakes to Caitriona as well on Caitriona-Balfe.com if you’re interested in seeing those head on over there.
We have a very special Valentine’s Day surprise for you, Sassenachs…
Everyone knows that Outlander’s Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have an undeniably electric on-screen connection, and since fans are feeling particularly thirsty during this Droughtlander, ET is gifting you with the exclusive first look at the actors’ original chemistry test!
Before you scream, “Je suis prest!” and press play on the video above, we must warn you that the never-before-seen footage you’re about to watch is mind-blowingly adorable. Side-effects may include excessive giggling, extreme swooning and the firm realization that no on-screen couple will ever compare to this one.
At this point in Outlander’s script-to-screen timeline, Heughan had already been cast to play Jamie Fraser and the production team was looking for the perfect actress to fill Claire Randall’s one-of-a-kind shoes.
“We were looking for chemistry between the two characters,” Outlander executive producer Ronald D. Moore said while prefacing the flashback moment. “We really felt that Cat was probably going to be the one, but this was the final moment. This was literally when she sealed the deal and got the show.”
“And as you see, they’ve already got the shorthand of their characters and there is definitely on-camera chemistry between the two. After the scene was over, we just kind of kept the tape running a little bit.” Moore continued, “We just wanted to see them a little bit more relaxed and sort of interacting. You can see that they’re sort of awkwardly aware that the camera is still running, but nonetheless, there is enough spontaneity and genuine affection and good humor between the two of them that it spoke volumes about their potential relationship.”
For more behind-the-scenes bonus material like this one, pick up your copy of Outlander: Season Threewhich will be available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital as well as on a Limited Collector’s Edition from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on April 10th.
I’ve added HD screencaptures of Sam from last night’s episode of Outlander. What a great episode. Enjoy!
Outlander sneak peek: Claire and Jamie discover two unexpected companions
As if Jamie and Claire didn’t have enough to worry about with Ian’s disappearance!
In this exclusive clip from Sunday’s episode of Outlander, the couple discovers they have two unexpected companions aboard the Artemis: Fergus (Cesar Domboy) and his new girlfriend Marsali (Lauren Lyle), who hand-fasted back in Scotland and are now eager to live their lives as, ahem, a married couple!
Outlander airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.