Best #Outlander Trailer Yet!

Check out this brand new Outlander trailer with never-before-seen-scenes and commentary from Ron Moore, Diana Gabaldon, Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Graham McTavish, Lotte Verbeek and Tobias Menzies! It’s AMAZING!

 

 

We love these books too; we’re not here to destroy this work, we’re here to honor it. ~ Ron Moore

People who are fans of the books are really going to love this. ~ Caitriona Balfe

It’s recognizably Outlander, but at the same time there’s this wonderful sense of novelty and discovery about it. ~ Diana Gabaldon

Scotland’s rich history provides the dynamic backdrop to the story of Outlander. This country has a particular quality to it; the light has a particular quality, the grass, the trees—the landscape itself is a character in the show. ~ Ron Moore

Every time I walk onto set, there’s at least a split second where  I feel like, “this is not a set, this is actually real.” Its so rich, it’s really amazing. ~ Lotte Verbeek

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#PocketJamie Scores a Memorable Encounter (and a little inside scoop) with Howie Nicholsby for One #Outlander Fan…

 

Grand Marshal Howie Nicholsby (Founder of 21st Century Kilts in Edinburgh, Scotland) and Mary Keir, Tartan Day Parade NYC, 4-5-14

‘Grand Marshal’ Howie Nicholsby (Founder of 21st Century Kilts in Edinburgh, Scotland) and Mary Keir, Tartan Day Parade NYC, 4-5-14

“Mary Keir” attended the Tartan Day Parade in NYC, her husband and #PocketJamie in tow. The following is what transpired, in her own words:

I brought Pocket Jamie to the Tartan Day Parade in NY yesterday and told my husband my goal was to get a picture of him with Grand Marshal “Howie Nicholsby,” who is the founder of 21st Century Kilts in Edinburgh.

I’m shy to begin with, and Howie was usually surrounded by cool fashionista types so I was very intimidated. My husband gave me a much-needed push and I finally made my way over, said hello, and asked for a picture.

He was perfectly agreeable, but when I pulled out Pocket Jamie, his eyes lit up! He said, “Oh, you know, I dressed him!” To which I replied, “Lucky you!”

Sam Heughan backstage at 2013 BAFTAs

(Sam Heughan backstage at 2013 BAFTAs)

(He dressed Sam for the BAFTAs, and maybe other occasions? When he said “I dressed him,” I had a visual of him physically, literally dressing him—and maybe he did). He said Sam is “a lovely guy.”

Then he told me he will be an extra in Outlander.

He wanted to check it all out, so he went to the set one day and they asked him to appear in the show. He mentioned Terry Moore, the costume designer, and said she thought it would be funny/ironic to put him in pants for the role since he is a kilt guy. Then he took out his phone and showed us a picture of him and Sam together in character.

I confess I couldn’t really see it ’cause I didn’t have time to fumble for my reading glasses, but it was nice of him to show us. He said it was the first time he’d worn “trews” in 15 years and it felt really weird; he had to wear them for 3 1/2 days while he filmed his part, which will appear in the 4th episode.

So he cheerfully posed with me and PJ and was as kind as could be, so I was really glad I got my nerve up to approach him.

So are we, Mary. So are we ❤

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!

“Legends of Scottish Acting” to Portray Colum & Dougal, Brothers MacKenzie.

Photo: Screenshot from Billy Elliot Trailer

Gary Lewis (Photo: Screenshot from Billy Elliot Trailer)

Who remembers the movie Billy Elliot?

It’s only one of the greatest, most charming, heartwarming films ever made. I HIGHLY recommend it. “Gary Lewis” plays the small-town coal-miner father, who struggles with the stereotype of his boy being a ballet dancer. I absolutely love him in this movie.

Here’s the trailer (look for Gary at minute marker 1:00):

You probably remember Gary from Gangs of New York (starring Daniel Day Lewis), where he played McGloin, but he has been in many other quality productions, including First Light where he costarred with our own Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser)!

Gary is perfect for the role of Colum—I’m kicking myself for not thinking of it myself! He pulls off stoic very well, physically, he’s 5’6″ and will have no problem appearing ‘short’ next to Graham McTavish’s Dougal, who is 6’2″.

Speaking of Dougal…

Photo: imdb.com

Graham McTavish (Photo: imdb.com)

Yes, he recently played a dwarf in the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but guess what? He’s 6’2″ and verra muscular.

His name is Graham Mctavish, from Scotland (don’t you just love that there are two Outlander connections in his name—Mrs Graham & Jamie McTavish, lol). He can be quite explosive as an actor, a verra good quality to have if you’re going to portray Dougal MacKenzie, War Chieftain.

Watch Graham discuss his character Dwalin in this brief clip (minute marker 0:48):

“He’s an absolute kick-ass warrior. Although there’s others that have experience at fighting, he’s a professional soldier. And so he has a different approach to it…Dwalin is the strong lieutenant who would do anything, never question his leader, Thorin. We are related, but it is as if we are brothers.” ~ Graham McTavish

Hmmm, remind you of another set of brothers?

I Canna WAIT to See Annette Badland as Mrs Fitz!

Some of you may know this English actress her from her recurring role as Margaret Blaine, the alien Slitheen on Dr Who (2005).

She has an impressive list of acting credits, see for yourself on her imdb page.

Here’s a trailer clip featuring Annette on Dr Who:

Interesting- did you know that she & Sam Heughan (the actor cast as Jamie Fraser) both appeared  the UK-based tv series Doctors, though not at the same time? And, she & Stephen Walters (the actor cast as Angus Mhor) also both appeared on the UK-based tv series Skins, though again, not at the same time.

Given her experience, I have no doubt that she’ll do Mrs Fitz justice. And, come on, how freakin’ perfect is she physically for this role? I canna WAIT to see her outfitted as Mrs Fitz!

Angus Mhor Gets a Promotion (and a Reduction?).

Apparently, the role of Angus will be expanded for the series.

Walters [Stephen Martin Walters] will play Angus Mhor, whose role in the books was much smaller, but will be expanded for the series. Another member of Clan Mackenzie, Angus is a hard drinker who’s always looking for a fight. Angus hates the Brits, so as far as he’s concerned, Claire can go back to where she came from — dead or alive. Rarely seen without a bottle in his hand, Angus is nonetheless an extremely skilled fighter, and a loyal clansman, making him an asset to both Colum and Dougal. ~ Natalie Abrams, tvguide.com

This British actor’s film credits are impressive, including Layer Cake (which is the movie said to have gotten Daniel Craig his role as James Bond) Hannibal Rising and Batman Begins, to name a few.

However, concern has been expressed by some fans over Walters’ size/height; in Outlander, Angus is described by Claire as one of the largest men she has ever seen:

I stared at at this giant with some awe. Coarse black hair grew far down on his forehead, barely meeting the beetling eyebrows. Similar mats covered the immense forearms, exposed by the rolled-up sleeves of his shirt. Unlike most of the men I had seen the giant did not seem to be armed… A broad leather belt circled what must be a forty-inch waist… In spite of his size, the man had an amiable expression, and seemed to be joking with the thin-faced man, who looked like a marionette in comparison with his hige conversant… ~ Outlander, page 70

Walters is sort of known for playing a good crazy guy; I’m thinking he was chosen for his ability to project that…? In this clip from the movie Layer Cake, starring Daniel Craig, fast forward to minute marker 23:00 for a glimpse of Walters’ acting chops:

I see a little badass in there. Can you see the ‘crazy?’

And really, it all boils down to this:

Indeed.

We have a Frank AND Black Jack Randall!

screenshot from Youtube video by "raknide"

Screenshot from Youtube video by “raknide”

He’s a Game of Thrones Alum!

“Menzies will play both Frank Randall and Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall. Frank is Claire’s 20th century husband and a professional historian with a particular interest in the 18th century and his own genealogy. Frank and Claire are reunited in 1945 after being separated by the war and rekindle their relationship when Claire disappears. Jonathan, meanwhile, is Frank’s dark and violent ancestor from the 18th century and a captain in the English Army posted into Scotland during the rebellion.

Menzies plays Edmure Tully, the heir to the House of Tully of Riverrun on HBO’s Game of Thrones. The character was last seen disappearing during the brutal Red Wedding. His credits also include playing Brutus on HBO’s Rome. The theater actor’s credits also include Casino Royale and Sundance Channel’s upcoming mini The Honourable Woman. He’s repped by Paradigm and Conway Van Gelder Grant in the U.K.” ~ Hollywoodreporter.com

Here is a slideshow with Tobias narrating that I found on Youtube…

According to Diana Gabaldon’s official Facebook page, an official press release should happen soon; I’ll add it to this post when I see it…

Why Sam Heughan’s Interest in Jamie Fraser’s Cack-Handedness is a Good Thing.

Photo: Sam "Jamie Fraser Heughan" by Alex Oliver(https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alex-Oliver-dibujante/506969696007909)(

Photo: Sam “Jamie Fraser Heughan” by Alex Oliver: dibujante

While we wait with bated breath for the announcement of who will be cast as Claire, I thought I would share some things to Sam Heughan’s credit that should make you verra excited (as if you weren’t already!).

It seems our Sam is truly dedicated to portraying Jamie as accurately as possible.

Earlier last month, Diana mentioned that Sam asked her, “Why did you make Jamie left-handed?”

Her partial response (quite thorough, I might add):

For starters– left-handed-ness was seen (through most of Europe) as a sign that the demons had been at your cradle, and you were likely someone as would bear watching, at the very least. Since they thought red hair was also a sign of the devil (flames, you know), a red-headed lefty was going to be a Suspicious Character. (He’s …got red hair because I have a major weakness for red-headed men. I also had one at home to use as a body model.) That’s why his schoolmasters forced him to write with his right hand, thus doubtless screwing up his central wiring summat, but also giving him a degree of ambidextrousness (which may come in handy if you have to use a sword).

(Now, bear in mind that I wrote OUTLANDER for practice, never intending to show it to anyone, let alone try to publish it. Add to that that I don’t think linearly (it’s more like one of those nets of Christmas lights; a bulb lights up _here_ and then one _there_, and while there actually is a connection between them, an observer isn’t going to see that connection until a lot more bulbs have been lit), and therefore don’t write with an outline or in a _straight_ line. Consequently, I often have small details whose importance/linkage doesn’t show up right away, or that develop additional links later. In other words, I didn’t plan all this out in advance, I just realized it while looking back over my shoulder.)

Next thing is to do with how the clan system worked…

(For the rest of Herself’s response (and there is much more), visit Glenna Fitzgibbons’ Facebook page, the first comment in a post from July 24th, 2013.)

Don’t you love having more insight into why Jamie is the way he is? I know I do.

How fortunate are we as Outlander fans to know that Sam is taking this role so seriously? I canna tell you how happy it makes me that he is reaching out to Diana and genuinely trying to get inside Jamie’s head.

Also, he is already engaging fans. He’s such a tease:

A recent Tweet which unsurprisingly incited an Outlander fan frenzy

A recent Tweet which unsurprisingly incited an Outlander fan frenzy

DG's response to above Tweet.

DG’s response to above Tweet.

(Sam & Diana Tweet to each other often, use nicknames for one another: “Sheugs” & “Gabs,” lol)

Anyhoo, I’m guessing that Sam is right-hand dominant; I wonder how much training he will need to confidently wield a claymore, left-handed? I’m sure he’ll do fine, given his dedication to Jamie, and the fans, thus far…♥

It’s Official: Sam Heughan IS Jamie Fraser!

Photo: April Steele

Photo: April Steele

The speculation is over!

Diana confirmed it via CompuServe:

Well, now…according to the Official Language that was suggested to me yesterday when they told me to go ahead and post the news that Scottish actor Sam Heughan has been chosen to play Jamie Fraser in the new Starz cable-TV series  (it’s not a movie, it’s not a mini-series, it’s regular series television, but on a subscription channel)……

“I can’t confirm if the contracts are signed and he is officially Jamie Fraser but I can say Sam Heughan did audition. He was and is my top choice!”

This was after the Starz_channel Twitter account sent out a cheery little tweet yesterday urging people to “Follow @Heughan, who is to play Jamie Fraser on the new Outlander series!”

Which kind of caused Mass Consternation <cough>, to put it mildly, among all the PR people who had been planning press releases and controlled rollouts, etc.

Enough people saw that tweet–during the half-hour or so it was up –that the news was spreading like hair-oil on a sofa, so Ron Moore told me to go ahead and let the cat all the way out of the bag, via Facebook and Twitter.  (When I looked a moment ago, there had been 350,000 views of the original posting, and about the same (collectively) for the three followups.) ~ Diana Gabaldon

So, it shouldn’t be overlong before we find out who will play Claire to Sam’s Jamie, ken?

Sam Heughan: Jamie Fraser or What?

Yesterday Starz tweeted that “Sam Heughan” had been offered the role of Jamie Fraser, and as you can imagine, the news spread like wildfire throughout the Outlander community—then they took down the tweet and have been mum since.

What’s up with that?

Rumor has it that someone jumped the gun, and either the role had not been offered or Sam had not accepted; it was still in the negotiation-stage. Here’s what we know about Sam so far:

He’s Scottish, 6’3″, 33 yrs old and an impressive actor. Check out this clip reel:

Diana added her two cents when the news first broke:

Well, you know…_carpe diem_. <g>

I can’t confirm that the contracts are signed and Sam Heughan is officially Jamie Fraser….but I _can_ say that he auditioned–and I saw the tapes. He was and is totally MY top choice! ~ Diana Gabaldon

Then, photos of Sam started being passed around. Here are a few from a Sam Heughan fan page on facebook:

He's got Jamie's body, strong but not beefy.

He’s got Jamie’s body, strong but not beefy.

He's got Jamie's facial expression- I can just hear him saying, "You're no verra sensible Sassenach, but I like ye fine."

He’s got Jamie’s facial expression—I can just hear him saying, “You’re no verra sensible Sassenach, but I like ye fine.”

Looks like he's good with horses too, a *must* for Jamie's character.

Looks like he’s good with horses too, a *must* for Jamie’s character.

Remember, nothing is official yet, but it seems pretty likely at this point that Sam will be Jamie. Herself  had A LOT more to say about it this morning:

A few thoughts. <cough>Do you,  um, _know_ what it is that an actor does?
No, really.   Do you?  They do what I do—they make magic happen.  They do it with their faces and bodies, while I do it with words, but it’s essentially the same t…hing.   They create something that wasn’t there before.
Granted, sometimes it helps if you have the rough physical outline for a particular role.   MOST of a physical resemblance, though, is really not necessary, and for two reasons:1) Physical appearance is _very_ mutable.  Hair and eye color are so simple to change that I’m amazed _anyone_ is carrying on about what color Mr. Heughan’s hair _is_.  (For the record, he’s blond.  Like any other actor, hedyes his hair as needed.  It’s dark in these photos; it could bered within half an hour.)2) Much more importantly—beyond very basic things like height and general build, physical aspects are just not that important, provided that an actor can _act_.As one of the producers said  to me—anent the auditioning process—“We were hoping that somebody would just walk in and _be_ Jamie.”

OK. Now, I got the word about Sam Heughan (it’s pronounced HEW-en, btw, in case you were wondering.  He’s Scottish, and it may well originally have been a Gaelic name)  while I was driving to Santa Fe with my husband; they thought they’d found Jamie and were sending me the audition videos a little later.  Well, naturally, I spent the next hour Googling “Sam Heughan” on my iPhone.

Now—I think this point may just possibly have escaped a few thousand of you, so let me restate it:  Jamie is TWENTY-TWO in OUTLANDER, and a virgin.  And as the producers do understand and respect the story very much, they wanted a guy who could believably _be_ a twenty-two-year-old virgin.  (Yes, I know half of you are thinking of him as he is in the later books and thus “see” him in his 50’s.   That doesn’t mean the producers should cast someone in his late 40’s and ask him to play a 22-year-old virgin.  Am I right?  Yes, I am.  Now that _that’s_ settled…)

So I’m lookin’ at some of Sam’s photos and sayin’ to my husband, “Yeah, I buy him as a virgin…but I think Claire’s going to get done for statutory rape!”  You know, a bit apprehensive.  He’s quite big, but a very chiseled face that makes him look a good bit younger than he is, at least in stills.

(Husband approved of the stills from “First Light,” btw (where Sam is playing a Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain)—“He looks good beat up,” he said.  “A good thing for playing Jamie.”  )

So anyway…we get to Santa Fe, let the dogs out, air the house, go have dinner…  And _then_, I sit down at my computer, in a lather of trepidation and excitement, to watch the audition tapes.

First five seconds, I’m interested—he looks totally different than he did in _any_ of the stills—and five seconds later, Sam Heughan’s GONE, and so am I.  It’s Jamie Fraser, right _there_ in front of me, moving, talking.  One of the biggest thrills ever.

And that’s what actors do.  Good ones.  They can “be” someone else, totally.

Now, I saw him do two scenes:  the confrontation between Jamie and Dougal, after Dougal exposes Jamie’s back in a tavern.  Ferocious, explosive, a glimpse of the warrior.   And he…freakin’ _exploded_.

And then…the scene in which Jamie explains to Claire exactly why he intends to punish her for disobeying his orders to stay hidden, thus nearly getting them all killed.

OK. This is arguably _the_ most controversial scene in all the books.  And I’m not about to go into the scene itself—not the point here.  The point is that that’s one heck of a complex scene, emotionally, and _could_ be read/performed in a lot of different ways.  Now, I happen to _know_   exactly how Jamie acted and spoke during that scene…and that’s…exactly what Sam _did_.   Thoughtfulness, intimacy, fair-mindedness, annoyance, firmness—and quite a lot of humor.  One of Jamie’s hallmarks is the ability to be threatening and funny at the same time—and Sam pulled that off.

So, yeah.  I’ve watched those videos a couple dozen times, just to be sure I wasn’t imagining things.  I wasn’t. <g>

Now, fwiw—the necessary physical aspects are all there.  Sam’s big—my head would hit about the middle of his chest (he’s only an inch shorter than my husband)—and _very_ well-built, in terms of what Jamie actually looks like.   Tall, lean (not burly), rangy (not bulgy)*, broad-shouldered, muscular (but a _young_ muscular.  Young athletes look way different from gnarly middle-aged ones).   Face…chiseled, striking—but looks different in every single role.

And the bottom line is simply this:  He showed up and he _was_ Jamie.

*(You know something?  I don’t really _care_ if you, personally, have been imagining Chris Hemsworth as Jamie.  You’re wrong; he doesn’t look like that at all. ) ~ Diana Gabaldon

Well, if Diana Gabaldon thinks he’s perfect, that’s good enough for me.  Fingers crossed for you Sam!