Apr
24
Posted by admin under Interviews with No Comments

Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) are very much ensconced in their new life in Paris when the third episode of Outlander airs Saturday night on STARZ. But their relationship has yet to recover from the horrible beating and rape that Jamie endured at the hands of Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) because Jamie is not quite ready to be touched.

“It was the toughest stuff I’ve probably ever had to film,” Heughan told Parade.com in a one-on-one interview. “It was a great challenge and something I really relished in a dark way. I think all three of us, we love anything where we get to really go to some interesting places or push ourselves as actors, so I was ready for that challenge. I think, Jamie, in the start of the season, he doesn’t do an awful lot. He’s kind of on the periphery, on the fringes, and slowly through Season 1, he reveals more about his character, and to go there at the end of Season 1 was really important, because it then feeds into everything in Season 2, into who he is as a man.”

In the third episode, Jamie’s days and nights are spent ingratiating himself with Prince Charles Stuart (Andrew Gower), while Claire finds solace from their estrangement in her healing skills. The one thing that seems to be going right is their plan to stop the battle at Culloden, in which they are aided by a young pickpocket.

Heughan also spoke to Parade.com about making the transition from Scotland to Paris, working with Outlander creator Diana Gabaldon, his My Peak Challenge charity event and more.

So moving from Scotland to France, there had to be some challenges for you as an actor because you have to carry yourself different, and there are different mores of the court, and different attire. Talk a little bit about Jamie’s transition. 

Jamie and Claire are in this new world, and Jamie is not being himself. I think when we first started shooting all that, it’s uneven ground, and very unsettling. I was very aware that I still wanted to keep the sense of who Jamie is, even though he looks different and he’s having to be someone else.

He’s being deceptive, he’s being disloyal to some people, he’s lying and manipulative, and that’s not who Jamie is. Jamie is forthright and loyal and speaks his mind, so it was interesting to play that, and it’s poisonous. It really affects his relationships and his psyche.

One of the things you mentioned is he has to look different.  Did you miss the freedom of the kilt, or were you comfortable with the French attire?

I very much wanted to keep the kilt in France. I think it’s important that Jamie wears that, and he does wear it in various places in Season 2, so it’s not gone. It wouldn’t have been unusual to see a kilt in the French court. However, there was definitely a style and a class, and he’s trying to ingratiate himself into the upper echelons of high society, so he’s having to be someone else, but the kilt is still there.

Initially I was terrified. I didn’t want this to be a costume drama, I didn’t want to have frills and things. [Costume designer] Terry [Dresbach] has just done an amazing job. Jamie wears a lot of black in this season, and, I think, it’s really important, because he’s a shadow of himself for a long time, and I think that somehow that’s reflected in the way that he dresses.

Diana’s a consultant on this, and she actually wrote a script for this season. Do you still turn to her for advice about the character, or are you strictly staying on the script now? 

Diana very much is a great guide, personally, for me. I think she’s a friend; we talk about a lot of things via email if she’s not around. Sometimes it’s just a line or phrase, but I touch base with her a lot, and it was amazing to have her on set for that episode she wrote. She would be watching us shooting, but also she’d be writing her current book, so you would see her watching you play Jamie, but yet she’s writing Jamie in the future. It was quite a special moment.

What kind of fan encounters do you have? 

There are groups of fans that get together and they’re very organized and very supportive, so whenever we meet the fans, it’s always a great occasion. I started My Peak Challenge this year, my charity event, and the support and enthusiasm that people have got on board is just terrific.

Tell me about your charity? 

Basically, I wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle, getting outdoors and my love for doing new things, so we created a workout program that’s online just to get people to challenge themselves, and it’s scalable; all the profits go to charity, to leukemia research. We’ve raised over $170,000 so far. We’ve got over 3,000 people in this private community on Facebook that support each other each day. It’s so inspiring.

We’ve got people with disabilities, we’ve got an Olympic athlete, we’ve got groups of people from all over the world, and they’re forming their own communities. Each day you get sent a workout video, and an explanation of exercises, meal plans and food guides.  It’s just great to have people supporting that, and I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been something nice to do along with Outlander.

Are you able to still lead your normal life, or has Outlander changed it so much that you can’t do everything that you used to do?

Nothing’s changed really. I still do the same things, but it’s nice. If people recognize you, generally everyone’s very respectful, very lovely, but I wonder what it’s like for real celebrities. Real stars, I guess they must have to change their lives, but no. Apart from being flown to amazing locations and talking to lots of reporters, this is great.

One final question. Outlander SoCal Edition asked me to ask you if you sing or play a musical instrument. 

Jamie’s a terrible singer. I, too, I’m not a confident singer. I probably could if I had to. I used to play the trombone and the trumpet, which I still have, but I haven’t picked up for a long time. I bought a guitar last year; I was convinced I was going to teach myself guitar in my trailer on set, and I don’t think I’ve even taken it into set. The show is just so busy that I find so many other things I have to do.

Outlander airs Saturday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on STARZ. [Source]

 

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