At Starz’s recent “Outlander” Emmy FYC event moderated by Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan opened up about the “initial attraction” of their lovelorn characters, Claire and Jamie, to a crowd of TV academy members. “Outlander” creator/executive producer Ronald D. Moore, executive producer Maril Davis, executive producer/writer/director Matthew B. Roberts, executive producer Toni Graphia and production designer Jon Gary Steele also joined in the discussion about Season 3 of the Emmy-nominated drama series. Watch O’Neil’s exclusive panel interviews with the cast and crew above.
Claire and Jamie “spend so much time apart and when they do get back together of course there’s that initial attraction,” Heughan reflects about their dynamic in the third season. “They’re still the same people they were, but they’ve changed and I think they both question, is this relationship gonna work? They have to rediscover who they are as a couple again.”
Balfe adds that the version of Claire we meet in Season 3 is “so different,” explaining that “she’s just returned to Frank, she’s just lost the love of her life, she’s just been through this insane experience and she somehow has to shelve all of that and go on living. She’s about to give birth to a baby, so a lot of that drive to survive and keep her life going is for her unborn child.”
Claire is a woman “without intimacy,” Balfe reveals. “The whole passionate side of her personality she’s had to completely put to one side. She sort of lives with the ghost of this man who changed her entire being. And so it’s almost like Claire’s two different people in this season.” When Claire and Jamie finally reunite, “It’s almost like the layers come off. As soon as she sees him, she begins to open up.”
“Overall Season 3 is a transitional season,” says Moore about the world-traveling episodes. “Literally and metaphorical it’s moving the characters from one chapter in their lives to another. So we start in Scotland, we cross the ocean, end up in Jamaica and then the new world. The characters too are transitioning between the past and the present and then onto the future.”
The cast and crew also talk about the famous “kiss of life” when Jamie dives down to save Claire from drowning in the hurricane. He gives her air by way of a passionate kiss, which O’Neil confesses is his “favorite moment” of Season 3 due to its heightened romanticism. Heughan jokes about Jamie, “He’s got a big set of lungs!”
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