[WATCH] ‘Outlander’ production designer Jon Gary Steele on Emmy nomination: ‘We build a lot of fun, fun sets’

During our recent webcam chat (watch above), “Outlander” production designer Jon Gary Steele boils down the essence of what he does to just eight simple words: “We build a lot of fun, fun sets.” Based on the popular book series by Diana Gabaldon, this Starz period drama features Caitriona Balfe as a WWII combat nurse who is suddenly transported back in time to 1740s Scotland, where she is forced to choose between the love of her stuffy husband (Tobias Menzies) and a rugged, good-looking highlander (Sam Heughan). Steele snagged his first Emmy nomination for his work on the hit series, which he describes as, “a production designer’s dream.”

Sign up to get Gold Derby’s free newsletter with experts’ latest predictions and breaking news

Steele, whose film credits include “American History X” (1998), “Burlesque” (2010), and “About Last Night” (2014), landed the gig through his best friend, costume designer Terry Dresbach (herself an Emmy contender), who is also the wife of show creator Ronald D. Moore. “When I was younger, Terry and I used to talk about doing period pieces all the time,” he recalls, “and in America, it’s really hard to get period pieces because they only make two or three a year, it seems like.” So when Moore asked him to design the pilot, he jumped at the opportunity.

Find out what will win at the Emmys this year — Click Here

This season saw the action shift from 18th century Scotland to France. “The concept was to make it as decadent as we could afford,” reveals Steele, since at the time, Paris was, “the height of decadence in every aspect.” To recreate it for television, he explains, “you take what money you have, and you try to put it in the right place, and sort of try to get the audience excited about each next thing that’s going to happen.”

Join the live Emmy Awards debate going on right now in our world-famous forums

The dedicated “Outlander” fan base inspires everyone who works on the show to do better. “We get excited that people are excited,” Steele admits. “Who doesn’t want someone to love your art?” He adds, “I think people are responding to the love that’s put into every little thing because it shows through all the work.”

Make your Emmy predictions — CLICK HERE
Win $500, top spot on our leaderboard & a place in next year’s Top 24

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions right here. You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys). Be sure to read our contest rules.

More News from GoldDerby

Loading