Dinna Fash, There’s the Two of Them Now…

Photo: Aurora Corvillo Diez

Photo: Aurora Corvillo Diez

We waited (some of us more patiently than others) for what seemed like forever on the announcement of who would be cast as Claire.

Sam’s casting was announced July 9th, and knowing that production was supposed to begin mid-September, we expected news of our leading lady to come ‘any day now.’ After all, they had to rehearse, right?

The rest of July passed with no other casting announcements. August gave us Frank/Black Jack Randall, Angus Mhor & Mrs Fitz, but still no Claire.

August 29th, Sam taunted us with these tweets:

I know right? What a tease! It turned out to be:

September 5th produced Colum & Dougal, Sept 10th gave us Murtagh…

Then, on September 11th our patience was rewarded.

Her name is Catriona Balfe (pronounced Katreena Balf).  She’s a former Victoria Secret model, well-rounded actress probably best known for her roles in Super 8, Now You See Me, and the not yet released Escape Plan (with Arnold Scwarzzenager & Sylvester Stallone).

Here’s a brief clip of her speaking in an interview:

Don’t you think she even sounds like Claire should sound? She is irish and, get this—knows Gaelic:

I just LOVE that about her!

So- she looks like Claire, can hold her own with the boys on set, but do she & Sam have chemistry?  Here’s what Herself had to say about that:

“Hard to believe lightning can strike twice, but it surely did.  The moment Caitriona Balfe came on screen, I sat up straight and said, ‘There she is!’  She and Sam Heughan absolutely lit up the screen with fireworks.” ~ Diana Gabaldon

And, she later elaborated on Compuserve:

Hm.  Well, I can tell you that they’d never met or read together before (because Sam told me that), and I can tell you what the scenes were, I think. (Aside from anything else,… some of the audition scene scripts had apparently leaked, because a number of the self-taped auditions I saw on VIMEO were using them.)

Anything else I know was told me by the production or PR people and I can’t talk about those things unless I ask them specifically if it’s OK to mention thus-and-so.   (Not that there’s anything at all mysterious or weird; it’s just that some of the corporate entities involved are secretive by habit, and hey–it’s their show.)

There are two audition scenes, two takes of each, each about five minutes long.   The first one is the conversation between Jamie and Claire right after they’ve had sex for the first time, where she asks him, “Was it like you expected it to be?”, he tells her about horses and snakes , and it ends with “Do you want to do it again?”  “Would ye mind verra much?” and “No.  I wouldn’t mind at all.”  It starts with them fairly far apart, sitting facing each other, and they get closer and closer during the conversation, so with “I wouldn’t mind at all,” they’re kissing.

The second one is the big fight they have along the road, after Jamie, Dougal and the other men rescue Claire from Fort William.   That’s the one that ends with, “You’re tearing my guts out, Claire,” and then “Forgiven.”   That’s the one that had fireworks.  ~ Diana Gabaldon

I simply can not WAIT to see them together! For the time being, the closest we’re going to get is this selfie they took just the other day:

Love them!

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13 Comments

  1. Anonymous said,

    September 24, 2013 at 10:21 am

    This is just wonderful/ I think she will do great as Claire

  2. Betty said,

    September 24, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Can’t wait to see these two together/ I know she is the perfect Claire for Jamie

  3. outlanderpod said,

    September 24, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Great account thus far of our fan experience :)

  4. nanci712 said,

    September 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Besides being so friendly with the fans, Sam and Caitriona really enjoy each other. Their banter on Twitter is evident of that. Even the producers, writers and some cast members are following DG, Sam and Caitriona’s lead by engaging with the fans on line. It’s really wonderful to see this all coming together from the ground up! Lovely blog!

  5. Leigh said,

    September 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I’m NOT getting it. OK, I’ve made my peace with Sam, especially because of the horse thing. A sense of humour and a love of horses. IF the hair people can get the color right, and he can do the accent (Highland, NOT Glasgow that it seems every single Scots actor has!), he will make a lovely YOUNG Jamie. But Caitriona? How can someone say,”listen to this interview and doesn’t she even sound like Claire?”???? She speaking in an American accent with a distinct tinge of Irish in it (listen to the way she pronounces “Ireland”. She can’t control that. It’s like the way all Irish-American New York firefighters say fire and firefighter. Hell, you can tell what they are just by listening to them). But isn’t a little important fact being missed here? Like the reason why Claire earned the nickname in medical school of “Lady Jane”? CLAIRE IS ENGLISH! Sheesh, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have to remind anyone, given that Jamie nearly always calls her Sassenach. So when are we going to hear her speak in Claire’s accent? I seriously think I’m going to have a stroke or heart attack before I ever get to see this on TV!

    • Outlander said,

      October 8, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      Maybe you should just stick to the books if just thinking about the casting (which the author herself approves, no less) gets your blood pressure up that much? Dinna fash. It will work.

      • Leigh said,

        October 10, 2013 at 12:59 am

        Yes, you’re probably right. I guess it’s just easier to think about this than about what actually going on in my life. Good tip, Thanks.

  6. Anonymous said,

    October 12, 2013 at 9:38 am

    ah, I agree, Claire is English, and we have an Irish gel playing her. Fact is, if you cant get enough people to audition for the part, they take whom they can get. Casting works that way. And its also about salary.. Who knows, after the mini series, they might turn it into a seasonal series.

    • Leigh said,

      October 12, 2013 at 11:24 am

      I really hope so. It’s been something like 21 years since Interview With The Vampire was filmed, and I knew even before seeing it that Tom Cruise was the wrong choice to play Lestat. I’ve always preferred Lestat to the first novel, but I knew the second I saw the movie that my favorite, as well as all the others, were not going to be filmed. Of course many years later they filmed the third book with a totally different cast, but it wasn’t the same.

      As much as I loved Anne Rice’s novels, they can’t compare to the Outlander series for so many reasons. I don’t believe I’d be the only heartbroken fan if all we get is the beginning of the story, knowing how much more there is to see. I’m a confirmed reader; I nearly have a panic attack if I leave the house without a book. But there are some books, when done properly on either big or little screen (e.g. Gone With The Wind, and even The Mists of Avalon, which I had just a few problems with), that I was thrilled to see come alive. Really, does anyone think that when Margaret Mitchell was describing Scarlett O’Hara in the first pages of GWTW, and every single Hollywood star was auditioning, some for the first time in years, ready to dye their hair and learn a southern accent, that a relatively unknown Englishwoman was the spitting image of the character? Can anyone imagine that iconic movie starring Bette Davis (as much as I love her)? Of course not! That’s why it’s sooo important they cast the Outlander mini-series correctly, and DG has input at least into the screenplay. Because I really can’t decide which is worse; to watch a badly cast, poorly acted and/or directed miniseries, or a great one that isn’t continued. I know – BREATHE!

  7. Anonymous said,

    October 23, 2013 at 5:26 am

    It is of course only my opinion but I don’t see Sam as Jamie Fraser . Sam is too young and sweet boy. He seems too delicate flower for this role, for these hard times, full of battles, blood, challenges, survival, when only the strongest had a chance to survive and expecially to lead. After I read a book I imagine Jamie should be a giant husky man with rough face not a sleek one, with shining red hair, imposing blue eyes in other words – impressive man both physically and as a person. I would never feel in love with Sam in Clairie place. He looks like a boy that didn’t grow yet :) .


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