Sam Heughan Q&A: ‘Outlander’
“We pretty much pick up where we left off” reveals “Outlander,” leading man Sam Heughan as we chat about season two of the epic Starz romance/fantasy series, which premieres on April 9. As he explains, “Jamie and Clare have arrived in Paris, and the reason they are there is to change history, to infiltrate this high society, this Parisian society in Versailles. They soon learn to manipulate and deceive and they take on different characters, so they’re not really themselves.”
“Outlander” is based on a celebrated series of fantasy books by Diana Gabaldon and brought to the small screen by Emmy-nominated writer/producer Ronald D. Moore (“Battlestar Galactica”). Claire Randall (Golden Globe nominee Caitriona Balfe), a married nurse in 1945, is mysteriously transported back in time to the highlands of 1743 Scotland. Torn from her husband Jack (Globe nominee Tobias Menzies), she encounters rugged Scotsman Jamie Fraser (Heughan) and eventually falls in love with him. At the end of the tumultuous first season, Claire and Jamie fled Scotland and set sail for France.
“When we went into season two, it was actually slightly unsettling,” says the actor, “and I think that’s exactly right for the characters. You know, it felt familiar, we know these characters, however some of the things they were doing felt wrong. Jamie for instance is a man of honor and a man that speaks his mind and yet here he is having to pretend to be someone else.”
And, he says, Jamie is still haunted by being brutally raped. “He suffered a lot of trauma at the end of season one and therefore he’s half the man he was and he’s still dealing with the mental and physical scarring of what happened to him. Also, Claire privately is pregnant, so there’s a lot to contend with. For us as actors, it was uneven ground that we’re in, and that is exactly Parisian society; it’s somewhere where you’re never sure who your enemy or your ally is.”
The first season of “Outlander” reaped three Golden Globe nominations: Best Drama Series (which was won by “Mr. Robot”), Balfe as Best TV Drama Actress (Viola Davis won for “How to Get Away with Murder”) and Menzies as Best TV Supporting Actor (which went to Christian Slater for “Mr. Robot”).
Heughan says it felt like the show had taken over the Globes that night. “The most important thing that happened that night was that we proved that we had the best fans. We arrived at the red carpet and there was a group of “Outlander” fans that had somehow taken over the bleacher seats and they started chanting ‘Outlander.’ As we got on to the red carpet and there were these great stars, people I’ve looked up to for years; Fassbender, DiCaprio and all of these people, and yet the fans were all chanting “Outlander,” and so all of the reporters and all of the people on the carpet were wondering what’s going on.”
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