Outlander fans can be transported back to 18th century Paris and get a closer look at the gorgeous costumes and set designs for the hit STARZ series, which are on display as part of the The Artistry of Outlander exhibit, now at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.
Parade.com was invited to an opening-night preview and Q&A with series stars Sam Heughan (Jamie Frazer) and Caitriona Balfe (Claire), costume designer Terry Dresbach, production designer Jon Gary Steele and executive producers Maril Davis and Ronald D. Moore to talk about the massive amount of work that went into recreating Paris circa 1745 – and to reveal their favorite costumes and sets.
Check out the photo gallery to get a first-hand look at what the exhibit contains.
“The brothel is incredible,” Heughan said on the red carpet. “I actually grew to hate it, though, because even though it’s magnificent, we were shooting there in the summer and it was hot, so we were boiling. But it was just so sumptuous. I loved the mannequins on the wall, the screens that you can see people behind. It’s very sexy and mysterious.”
Steele is also a fan of the brothel with its special touches and color palette, but for him, the set that stands out the most is the Star Chamber, the circular room where Claire was forced by King Louis XV (Lionel Lingelser) to determine if either Master Raymond (Dominique Pinon) or Comte St. Germain (Stanley Weber) were practicing black magic.
“It’s a mystical, secret room in Versailles Palace, in our mind, anyway,” Steele said. “And I wanted to have a dome that’s pierced with light, so that when Claire walks through the secret doors into this room, shafts of light hit her face and dress.”
It was also a pricey room, but well worth it, as it definitely helped Balfe take on her persona as La Dame Blanche. She says, “The Star Chamber was amazing, and we used it for one scene. It was a very long scene, but just one scene, which was insane. It was so beautiful.”
As for favorites when it comes to costumes, fans may favor Claire’s stunning red dress or King Louis’ mistress’ nipple dress, but both Balfe and Dresbach love what they call the Dior dress.
Dresbach explains, “Claire is a woman from the 1940s, and Caitriona and I worked very, very hard to retain that [identity] through Season One. Claire was given all of the clothes she wore in Season 1, but in Season 2, she actually went to a dressmaker. I looked at all of these fancy, frilly costumes and went, ‘It’s not her. I can’t do that with her. It’s not going to work.’ So I started looking to the ’40s and the most quintessential costume of the 1940s. Probably the most well-known fashion-piece ever is the Dior Bar Suit, which is what this is.”
Balfe agrees that the interpretation of the Dior Bar Suit for Claire is one of the outstanding pieces of the season. She says, “I love so much how it is [Claire], a woman from the ’40s in the 18th century.” But it isn’t her only favorite. She adds, “Dressage, as we call it, is a gorgeous embroidered number that Claire wears when Black Jack first sees Jamie at Versailles. Also, the dress I wore in the Star Chamber.”
Heughan recalls expressing some concern about Jamie’s wardrobe to Dresbach when Jamie and Claire were off to Paris. He was concerned about all the frills and fripperies that men wore back then, so he was happy when she put him in the simple black suit.
“It’s Jamie’s work suit, so to speak,” he says. “It’s a reflection of his character. It felt like Jamie is a shadow of himself in the first half of the season. The black suit really reflected that for me.”
Dresbach and her team of 70 made more than 10,000 garments this season, which includes everything from top to toe: hats, gowns, suits, nightwear, and shoes and boots.
“The untold story of this season is the craftsmanship,” Dresbach says, indicating the the exquisite embroidery and hand-painted fabrics her staff was responsible for that are on display.
“There is so much detail that goes into the costumes, but the set as well,” Heughan said, wrapping things up. “I went to look at the exhibit today. I’ve seen these costumes, I’ve seen these sets, but to actually see them without the actors in them, they were so much more. They add so much to the story, so for the viewer watching, you get so much information from these sets and costumes that you are not even aware of.”
The Artistry of Outlander exhibit at the Paley Center for Media will run throughout the summer and will take visitors into 18th century Parisian society, where they will be able to view iconic costumes designed by Emmy® Award-winning Costume Designer Terry Dresbach as well as actual set pieces from Outlander production designer Jon Gary Steele, life-size episodic photography, and behind-the-scenes video segments.
Even as TV grows ever more sophisticated, networks still like to trot out old-school, super-size season finales in order to create an event-like experience. ABC aired two-hour finales for three of its dramas—creating absolute havoc in its May schedule—this year alone. But hugely extended run times are rarer for prestige cable dramas, which is why Outlander addicts should be especially grateful to Starz for delivering a 90-minute finale to close out Season 2. That’s essentially an Outlander movie—and, by the looks of it, the show will need all the time it can get.
The episode—titled “Dragonfly in Amber,” after Diana Gabaldon’s second Outlander novel—will introduce two major new characters. The official Starz description announces their arrival, which is especially exciting for book fans:
Flashing forward to 1968, Claire travels to Scotland with her twenty-year-old daughter, Brianna, and meets Roger Wakefield. Claire visits Lallybroch and Culloden Moor to make peace with the past, while Brianna and Roger bond over researching Randall family history. Claire finally reveals the truth to Brianna about her time travel through the stones, her life in 1700’s Scotland, and Brianna’s true parentage. The story is intercut with another one back in the 18th century, which happens on the day of the Battle of Culloden. When Jamie’s last ditch attempts to deter The Prince fail, he and Claire come up with a dangerous plan – which Dougal overhears, inciting him to a murderous rage. Jamie must do everything he can to save the ones he loves, even if it means saying goodbye to some—or all—of them.
Roger Wakefield and Claire’s daughter, Brianna, are two massive fan favorites from Gabaldon’s series. They will be played by Sophie Skelton (Ren) and Richard Rankin (Burnt), respectively. Roger and Brianna are part of the “modern day” Outlander plot—but given the show’s tendency to skip through time, don’t expect them to stay put in one decade.
If the series had followed the books more strictly, Brianna’s introduction would have come at the beginning of the season. But viewers who aren’t familiar with the source material might not have been quite so welcoming to Claire and Jamie Fraser’s grown-up daughter immediately swanning in and taking up valuable screen time. Plus, Brianna’s first scenes—where she’s shocked to learn her father is not Frank Randall—are not her warmest, so it’s a good thing the show is giving its audience plenty of added time to warm up to her. Brianna, Roger, et. al. will presumably take full advantage of those extra 30 minutes when the super-size Outlander finale airs Saturday, July 9, at nine P.M. E.T. on Starz.
I’ve added 3 gorgeous new outtakes of Sam and Caitriona from LA Times. Big thanks to my friend AliKat for these!
I’ve added a couple lovely photos of Sam and Caitriona from LA Times. Enjoy.
I’ve added a few more photos of Sam from a recent photo session as well as reuploaded larger ones of the current ones that were there. Big thanks to my friend Stephanie for these.
I’ve added several gorgeous new HQ outtakes of the Outlander cast thanks to my awesome friend AliKat for donating these to us. They are a MUST see!
I’ve added a bunch of new Sam photos to the gallery including his recent appearance and stills for this week’s Outlander. I’m slowly catching up with his old interviews so I will be adding them to the gallery without really posting here because they are old. Enjoy.
Sam has done a few interviews recently. You can check them out below as well as screencaptures.
• 2016: June 09 – LA Times Interview: Caps || Watch Video
• 2016: June 08 – ET Canada: Caps || Watch Video
• 2016: June 01 – Variety’s Actors On Actors: Caps || Video Above
• 2016: Variety ‘Actor’s on Actors’ Photo Session: Screencaps – recent additions
• 2015: April 3 – WSJ Cafe Interview: Caps – old interview
I’ve added missing screencaps and stills from Outlander and added a few new photo sessions of Sam to the gallery. Tomorrow I will be adding a bunch of magazine scans so check back for those.
• 2016: Photo Session #06 – recent additions
• 2016: Photo Session #10 – recent additions
• 2016: Photo Session #15 – recent additions
• Outlander: 02×09 – Screencaptures
• Outlander: 02×09 – Stills – recent additions
• Outlander: Unsorted Season 2 Stills – recent additions
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.”