Caitriona Balfe (‘Outlander’) on doomed love and Jamie’s rape (exclusive)

As an actress, Caitriona Balfe gets the opportunity to give such a fireworks performance on “Outlander” because the TV series is packed with intensity. “The show is so theatrical that you get to play really big emotions and this heightened life,” she says in our webcam chat. (Watch below.) “It’s wonderful.”

Now as Emmy voting begins, Balfe is a serious contender for Best Drama Actress because of the richness of her screen turn as a British nurse who is torn from her loving marriage in 1945 and hurled back in time into the arms of a dashing Scottish rebel in the 18th century. “For Claire, there will always be this pull between two men who she loves in very different ways,” she adds.

Her love for the rebel Jamie (Sam Heughan) was strongly tested in the final episode of the first TV season when he was tortured and raped by Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), an ancestor of her future husband Frank, who looks identical to him. What does Balfe think of the controversial plot turn?

“It was very heavy stuff, but as actors we all relished the challenges,” she says. “Tobias and Sam had about a week’s rehearsal with a lot of their more intense stuff and while that was going on I was shooting the ends of eps 13 and 14. They had some time to get into that mindset. It was a great place to bring the characters – so many changes for Claire and Jamie’s relationship. So many changes for Claire. It was really challenging material, but it was a nice place to go.”


In our webcam chat, Balfe reveals:

— How her own grandmother inspired the wardrobe of Claire’s 1945 wedding

— How far she’s read in the “Outlander” book series

— “I had an ex-boyfriend named Jamie and I gave him a cat that was called Frank. That was before I got this job. I had a Jamie and Frank in my life! That’s quite funny.”

— What she did on the audition video that got her this job as an actress. And more.

Do you think Balfe will be nominated for Best Drama Actress? Make your Emmy predictions here and earn changes to win prizes ($500, $300, $200).



14 thoughts on “Caitriona Balfe (‘Outlander’) on doomed love and Jamie’s rape (exclusive)

  1. Great interview with an amazing actress. Caitriona Balfe is such a strong force in her role as Claire Fraser. She definitely deserves an Emmy for her performance.

  2. Love your interviews. You always seem to be able to get more stories from our actors and creators and for a fan like me that’s is such a treat!!!!

  3. Lovely interview! Interesting questions. Really appreciate your fresh approach to Outlander, The Series – being able to appreciate it on its own merits. It is an incredible companion to The Books, and your perspective as an unclouded, new-to-the-story viewer who is able to pick up on the essence of what Diana created is due to the phenomenal acting and production work. Really appreciate your enthusiasm for our Wee show!

  4. Really hate this interviewer. Okay, you don’t know the books – then don’t make assumptions about what was in them versus what’s in the show!

  5. Great interview, there are many fans of the show who haven’t read the books and the interviews with both Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe gave them a chance to give some background for some of the scenes. I am a book fan of over 20 years and now have fallen in love with the show. I thank the interviewer for his enthusiasm for the series and the great questions.

  6. Good interview, I enjoy your enthusiasm. Just because you haven’t read the books doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the show! Even those of us who have read them or are reading them, enjoy the surprises and twists they are putting on the books. I too love how the actors get a chance to “act” without speaking. Emotions say so much, and let’s face it, the primary theme of these books is the relationship of Claire and Jamie, and the way they relate to each other, their “chemistry”, the “meeting of their souls” is magical on the screen. These actors have all done a brilliant job bringing these characters to life, and I’m enjoying every minute. Thank you for asking great questions about our show, and thank you Caitriona, Sam, Tobias, and the rest of the Outlander group for an outstanding first season! I hope you get the awards you all deserve, and I can hardly wait the see the rest of the books unfold! 💜

  7. I like your interviewing. I am not bothered (like other reading fans like myself) that you have not read the books because you represent the throngs of viewing only fans. I find it interesting to hear how you view the show without having the benefit of reading the books. I can only add that you are missing so much. Nuff said on that. Two points for you; one: it was a small pox vaccine, not polio (common mis-remembrance). And two….You said something that really bothers me and you are not the only one who has said it. You mentioned how badly Jamie felt that he “enjoyed the rape”. I realize your intent and that it might just seem like semantics but there is a VERY important distinction between that and the reality of what he was feeling (as represented by what can happen to rape victims, obviously not to the fictionalized character). What happened to him (from what I understand from rape victim advocates) is that he identified with (or at least found some calm between the abuses) the abuser as a survival mechanism.

  8. She is so lovely and intelligent! So appreciate she and Sam’s willingness to do these face to face chats. Thank you, Caitriona! I keep hearing how Season 2 is going to be a whole different show- makes me feel mixed feelings because I love Season 1 so much (except for episodes 14 & 15 not so much). Very excited to see what’s ahead!

  9. Oh my gosh. He absolutely never enjoyed the rape. You are a male. You know if your genitals are handled your body sometimes responds even when your mind and heart do not. You just keep misunderstanding what happened. Jamie is broken. His mind is no longer in this world. He though BJR was Claire. Randall played with his mind. I really hope you stop insisting that Jamie enjoyed being raped. That was never, ever the case. And you have mixed up too events with Claire and the stones. When she runs away she is angry with Jamie and wanted to return. Then the British captured her. When Jamie brings her back to the stones she can’t leave him, Jamie. By the time he unselfishly took her back to the stones, she is in love with him.

  10. Tom, thanks for your Outlander interviews. Appreciate that you have taken the time to watch the show & that you enjoy the series. It’s nice to hear a non-book reader’s perspective. You ask thought provoking questions & give your subject time to fully answer without rushing on to the next one on your checklist.

  11. Caitriona Balfe totally deserves an Emmy for her performance of Claire in Outlander! She was simply amazing in it! Will be highway robbery if she doesn’t win it! Sam absolutely deserves the Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series for his protrayal of Jaime! He was just incredible! And Tobias deserves Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role of Frank/Black Jack Randall! Outlander is the breakaway new hit and should win for Best Drama Series! Hands down this show and its actors were just the best on screen! The writers, directors, producers, costume’s, crew and ALL the actors were top notch! None better this year!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News from GoldDerby