Where is Badass-Jamie?

Jamie looking at Claire

Gif Credit: fuckyeahjamieandclaire.tumblr.com

Let me be clear: I love the tv series!

While I do still prefer the books, I thoroughly enjoy the show—including the liberties taken with characters & story lines (Angus, Rupert, need I say more?)

But it saddens me, as an Outlander fan, that the non-book readers have not experienced the painful yet satisfying sexual-healing of the ‘Stinging Nettle’ scene (which has a correlating recipe from Outlander Kitchen w/an excerpt of that scene by the way), or the more pronounced (yet subtle) badass-ness of Jamie in general.

Take this scene for example. A no-nonsense display of chivalry by Jamie in defending Claire’s honor to Simon Jr (who is hardly spineless, as he was portrayed in the show):

Dragonfly in Amber, chapter 40:

(Young Simon Fraser, to Claire) “I’d heard of ye, you know,” he said. “You’ve a bit of fame through the Highlands, Mistress.”

“Oh really? How nice.” I tugged inconspicuously; in response, his hand tightened around mine in a grip that was nearly painful.”

“Oh aye. I’ve heard you’re verra popular with the men of your husband’s command,” he said, smiling so hard his eyes narrowed to dark-brown slits. “They call ye neo-geimnidh meala, I hear. That means ‘Mistress honeylips,’ ” he translated, seeing my look of bewilderment at the unfamiliar Gaelic.

“Why, thank you…” I began, but got no more than the first words out before Jamie’s fist crashed into Simon Junior’s jaw and sent his half-uncle reeling into a piecrust table, scattering sweetmeats and serving spoons across the polished slates with a terrific clatter.

He dressed like a gentleman, but he had a brawler’s instincts. Young simon rolled up onto his knees, fists clenched, and froze there. Jamie stood over him, fists doubled but loose, his stillness more menacing than open threat.

“No,” he said evenly, “she doesna have much Gaelic. And now that ye’ve proved it to everyone’s satisfaction, ye’ll kindly apologize to my wife, before I kick your teeth down your throat.”

I know that they changed Simon Jr’s & Laoghaire’s storyline to make a different upcoming storyline more palatable, and that the rest of this season and the beginning of next are what ultimately shape Jamie’s ‘King of Men’ reputation, but I miss his subtle humor, his understated confidence.

They nailed that in the very first episode, 101, when Jamie is preventing Claire from escaping by threatening to throw her over his injured shoulder, lol …

It can’t be easy to translate Diana Gabaldon’s work into another medium; that’s akin to messing with perfection.

In the books, I feel like Jamie’s tougher, a little more rough around the edges. That’s no criticism of Sam Heughan or Production, mind you, they absolutely are doing JAMMF & Outlander justice. Perhaps it’s just the way it translates to script…

(But seriously, isn’t Jamie defending Claire’s honor in such an ‘alpha male’ way a turn-on, lol?)

Why Outlander Really ‘Scored’ with Bear McCreary.

Bear McCreary performing score of Outlander at its World Premiere SDCC.

Bear McCreary performing score of Outlander at its World Premiere SDCC.

“Last summer, Ron Moore called me to score his exciting new series, Outlander. I was familiar with Gabaldon’s famous book series, and knew that it took place right in the sweet spot of my historical passion…” ~ Bear McCreary

I was lucky enough to be invited to and attend the World Premiere of Outlander at San Diego ComicCon this past weekend (fourth row center —gah!). Before the screening, the audience was treated to a performance by Composer Bear McCreary on the accordion, Musician Paul Cartright on the fiddle, and Singer Raya Yarbrough.

It was beautiful, spirited and at times ethereal. Along with composing the main title theme & Jamie & Claire’s love theme, he has incorporated Scottish folk tunes into the score—an Outlander fan’s dream come true! Turns out, Bear has been obsessed with Scotland/Scottish music since he was a young child:

“…Scottish music and culture has been an obsession of mine for nearly my entire life. Growing up in Bellingham, WA, my friends and I attended the Highland Games every summer for over a decade…First hearing the rolling and relentless Bb drone of the bagpipe bands get louder as we parked the car and headed towards the grounds gave me the euphoria that most little kids probably feel going to Disneyland…that drone would burrow into my brain, so deep that I could recall it for days, like a residual echo. When Rob Roy and Braveheart came out in the same year, I saw them each in the theaters ten times. When I learned to drive, I cruised my hometown blasting bagpipes from my car speakers.

…I began researching songs of the Jacobite Uprising and the century that followed. I was awestruck by the ability of these songs to communicate hidden meaning, tales of tragedy and triumph, with deceptively simple melodic lines and evocative harmonic progressions. At the later end of that spectrum, the texts of Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson in particular struck me. I realized how the evolutionary threads of American folk music, Appalachian and bluegrass in particular, traced back to Scottish heritage. Shortly after high school, I picked up an accordion and began playing folk tunes, transcribing my own arrangements and composing new harmonic progressions for classic melodies…” ~ Bear McCreary, Outlander Fans’ Guide to My Music

Bear is the real deal; passionate and dedicated with complex tastes—a perfect match for Outlander. I for one absolutely cannot WAIT to buy a copy of the soundtrack as soon as it (God-willing!) becomes available!

Incidentally, the Outlander Main Title Theme will be available for pre-order on iTunes 8/2/14, here is the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/outlander-main-title-theme/id903585323?i=903585389

Bear wants to hear from Outlander fans, intends to blog about his experiences working on the show:

“Throughout the season, I will blog about my experiences working on this show as often as I can. With a new little baby in the house, my time for blogging is proving to be elusive, so I may not be able to do a full entry for each episode. Nevertheless, I look forward to hearing from all you, via Twitter, Facebook or comments right here on my blog. I want to know what themes you notice, which cues are your favorite, and what music you’d like to experience on a soundtrack album, should that one day come to fruition.” ~ Bear McCreary

I LOVE that he wants to hear from us! That just shows how committed he is to the integrity of the music and, by default, the show. How lucky are we?

Here is the link to Bear’s official site/blog, with links to his Facebook & Twitter accounts: http://www.bearmccreary.com/#blog/blog/outlander-fans-guide-to-my-music/

And here, courtesy of Outlander Kitchen, is a video of the musical performance enjoyed by the audience at the World Premiere—enjoy!:

New (verra affordable) Outlander-Themed Charms Added to Collection.

Outlander-themed charms

Outlander-themed charms

Book Beads, my most favorite Outlander artist, has added many new charms to her collection.

They are for sale and she ships internationally. The more you buy, the cheaper the cost:

Re-tell Jamie and Claire Fraser’s story from Diana Gabaldon’s popular Outlander series with one or more lead-free [pewter] charms! Painstakingly sourced from all over, this charm collection boasts 85 extremely well-detailed expressions of Outlander-themed iconography.

BUY IN BULK!! You can save money if you buy multiple charms (prices shown are USD):

  • 5 charms for $13 (the MINIMUM ORDER)
  • 10 charms for $20
  • 15 charms for $30
  • all 85 charms for $102
  • if you are interested in purchasing a different number of charms a custom listing can be set up for you.

Here’s a video of “The Outlander Celtic Link Chain Mail Charm Bracelet,” which shows the charms in great detail. I want one!

 

She also makes my personal favorite, Outlander-themed book beads; US covers on the front, UK covers on the back. They are absolute quality and worth every penny:

They can be strung together on a necklace or bracelet, wired on to earrings, hung on loops as wine charms, snapped on to key chains or looped into stitch markers! You get the idea: there is no limit to what you can do with these!

Outlander-themed book beads.

Outlander-themed book beads.

I have the wine charms, they are hands-down my single-most favorite Outlander-related items that I own:

Outlander-themed wine charms

Outlander-themed wine charms

All of the aforementioned items are available for purchase on her website and in her Etsy store. She also does other literary-themed collections, a la Harry Potter, Jane Austen, Game of Thrones etc…

Please give her Facebook Page a Like, show her some Outlander love ❤

#PocketJamie Could Win Starz a Shorty Award for ‘Best Use of a Hashtag on Twitter.’

PocketJamie Template, from starzoutlander.tumblr.com

“#PocketJamie,” from starzoutlander.tumblr.com

“The Shorty Awards (also known as the Shorties) are the equivalent of the Oscar in the Social Media world.”  ~ shortyawards.com

Did you know that Outlander has the most engaged fan base in advance of a premiere in Starz history?

As you can imagine, that’s marketing gold to the powers that be. In fact, Starz’ Digital Marketing team has been working very hard to make us, the fans, feel like we’re ‘part of the ride,’ hoping it will motivate us to spread the news that the books are coming to life (as if we needed any coercion lol).

They hosted the fan event in NYC in October 2013, and LA in January 2014.  We had behind the scenes glimpses of video/sketches & artist renderings/Q&A with Ron Moore, Diana Gabaldon, AND the lucky attendees in LA also got to interact with Sam Heughan & Caitriona Balfe!

LA is where the #PocketJamie campaign was born:

The #PocketJamie campaign was designed as a digital extension of a fan event we held in Los Angeles. Attendees were given their very own #PocketJamie and challenged to take photos of him and upload them to Twitter. This activation will last over 2 months and will culminate in the #PocketJamie awards to be “held” in March.

Campaign Objectives 

• Support our Outlander super fans and give them exciting, compelling content
• Encourage fans to participate in the #PocketJamie experience and activate others to do the same
• Bring a piece of the Outlander fan event to those who could not attend by giving #PocketJamie away on Twitter and encouraging everyone to participate.

The fun isn’t over yet.

Later this month, we will announce the #PocketJamie awards. Categories like “Most Creative #PocketJamie photo” “Farthest Traveled #PocketJamie” and “Best Supporting Appearance with #PocketJamie” will be announced. Fans will submit their photos for each category by tweeting them to @Outlander_Starz and including the #PocketJamie hashtag. Winners will be selected and announced at the #PocketJamie Awards, a live Twitter chat with the @Outlander_Starz handle. Each winner will receive a prize autographed by Outlander’s stars, Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan. ~ Starz Digital Team, as seen on industry.shortyawards.com

So, do you feel like Starz has made you feel as though you’ve been ‘part of the ride?’ I can honestly say that I do…

And for those participating in the #PocketJamie contest, good luck & have fun! I can’t wait to see the entries, lol. 
A Pocket Jamie a day keeps the redcoats away, ken?

A Pocket Jamie a day keeps the redcoats away, ken?

Outlander Fandom 12 Step Program (It’s Not What You Think)

I didna write the following—“Jennifer McDonald” did. It’s verra clever and has been making the rounds on Facebook. I’m sharing it with permission from “Shelley Pilette.”

This is not a 12 step to recovery. I’m sorry to say that there is no turning back from the fandom. You read the books, fell in love, and now you are hooked. There is only one thing left to do…Embrace it.

Here is a list of twelve self-affirming steps. When it gets to be too much, then repeat this mantra: “I am not alone,” for you truly aren’t. Just look around. Any one of your girlfriends will be there to nod in agreement and support your fan-girl tendencies.

Step One: Honesty.

Let’s be honest. You read Outlander and fell in love with James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser. Yes you did. Don’t deny it. It’s okay. Remember you are not alone. As you kept reading the books you fantasized. It’s okay we all did. It’s all about honesty here. Then Starz decided to give you a face and name for your Jamie. Now you honestly can’t get enough. It’s obsessing, but it’s okay. Honesty , remember? You honestly aren’t alone.

Step Two: Hope.

For years many who came before you hoped that these books would be recognized for the brilliant piece of literature that they are. They hoped that one day the stories would turn into a reality. In a sense they have. Now we hope that we are not disappointed. We wake up daily with hope that another image or another tidbit will be available. Maintain your hope. It will see you through even in the darkest of days.

Step Three: Faith.

We have faith in Diana Gabaldon as an author. We know she will give the reader what they want. Now transfer that faith to the screenwriters, producers, and actors. Have faith that all will be done and our beloved Outlander will be as beautiful on screen as it is in words.

Step Four: Courage.

Have courage to speak out. Speak your love of Outlander. Say it loud and proud for all to hear. Think of Claire and her courage. As women we have that within all of us. A little bit of Claire Randall Fraser is within us.

Step Five: Integrity.

Pray for the screenwriters and producers to maintain the integrity of the story. Never say a mean word about any fellow Outlander. Maintain your integrity even when you want to contradict or argue a point. Do it with integrity. For all have fallen in love and passion sometimes rules the heart. Maintain your integrity, even when you have “Flat Jamie” and you want to re-enact scenes from the novels. Remember he is a proud Scotsman and you are a lady (mhmph).

Step Six: Willingness.

We must be willing to share. There is only one Jamie and millions of fans. We will all be willing to share images, share articles, and share Flat Jamie (when he is created).

Step Seven: Humility.

We will present ourselves with humility. Some of us are new to the Outlander fandom while others have been dedicated loyalists since its inception over 20 years ago. It does not matter. Once you have had your “Come to Jamie” moment then time doesn’t matter. One cannot measure the depth of another’s love and loyalty; although I give Shelly Pilette all the credit for being the first person I ever met that truly sold this book to others. She does it with such humility that we should all aspire to do the same.

Step Eight: Self-discipline.

Who are you kidding? You have no self-discipline or else you wouldn’t need this intervention. There is no self-discipline when a certain Scottish Ginger is in the picture. If you can maintain some semblance of self-discipline then you truly should be sainted. We will crown you St. Claire of the Order of JAMMF.

Step Nine: Love for others.

Yes, love all members of the Outlander fandom. They love what you love so there must be an ounce of symbiosis amongst us all. Love for Jamie, Love for Claire, Love for Ian, Love for Fergus, Love for all the characters that we cherish. And above all Love for Diana Gabaldon who had that story in her mind that she put on paper to share with world. God bless her.

Step Ten: Perseverance.

Yes, June seems such a long way away, but never fear. If you keep the faith and maintain the path, your prize will be waiting for you. Persevere.

Step Eleven: Spiritual Awareness.

Repeat after me “I believe in Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall Fraser. I believe in Diana Gabaldon. I believe that the story transcends all others and leaves me with all these Feels.”

Step Twelve: Service.

We will serve in the pinning, face booking and tweeting of all things Outlander. We will serve our fellow man or woman in equipping them with what they need to be involved in the fandom.

Now Raise you right hand and repeat after me: “I (state your name) am an active follower of the Outlander fandom. Although some may look at me as if I have lost my mind, I will stand by my devotion to all things Outlander. Jamie Fraser, although not real (but close enough through Sam) has my undying love. I will embrace the fandom and accept all who wish to enter. I am not alone, I am normal, and I embrace it.” ~ Jennifer McDonald (1/11/14)

Outlanderfan.com’s Interview with Himself (the First One), Allan Scott Douglas.

Allan Scott Douglas & Diana Gabaldon at the Lord Provost of Aberdeen's Civic Reception to conclude Tartan Day, 2011.

Allan Scott Douglas & Diana Gabaldon at the Lord Provost of Aberdeen’s Civic Reception to conclude Tartan Day, 2011.

By now we have all accepted Sam Heughan as our beloved JAMMF, but did you ken that he wasna the first?

It’s true—there was another ‘official’  Jamie Fraser, years before Sam:

When I was in Edinburgh in 2009, I made the acquaintance of a lovely man named Mike Gibb. Mike’s a lyricist and playwright, and having fallen in love with OUTLANDER, asked me whether I might approve his writing a song-cycle of the story: a series of 14-15 songs, telling the high points of the story, which might later form the libretto for a stage production.

Mike and his friends, composer Kevin Walsh, did a couple of demo songs for me, which I found entirely charming, and they went ahead with the project. I’m enchanted with the results. ~ Diana Gabaldon, 2010/Outlanderthemusical.com

And so a musical was born:

(Listen to Outlander the Musical song samples or purchase the CD here – it’s also available on iTunes)

Well, being obsessed with all things Outlander, naturally I ordered the CD as soon as soon as I found out about it, let alone as fast as my fingers could type! And it was then that I learned that the role of Jamie Fraser was sung by Allan Scott Douglas, an actor/singer and native Scot.

From his bio on Outlander the Musical’s website:

…Allan is absolutely delighted to have joined the Outlander universe and hopes he can live up to the expectations and fluttering hearts that Jamie’s words have set over the years – if all else fails, he is at least a 6’4″ redhead who regularly wears a kilt and whose nose is slightly too long…so at least he’s got that part of Jamie covered!

I thought it would be nice to get Allan’s perspective on his experience with Outlander/JAMMF,  as well as get to know the non-Outlander side of him (he’s been keeping busy, whether working on projects in Egypt, Turkey, or home in bonny Scotland…

jenny new haircutThanks to Outlander the Musical, you have the distinct honor of being the original “Jamie Fraser” in a production setting; knowing what you know now about the popularity/success of the series, would you have portrayed him any differently if you had the chance?

ASD preferred picWhen I first got the part of Jamie in Outlander The Musical, everything happened very quickly.

We were in the studio recording barely a couple of weeks after my audition. I am incredibly proud of the finished product and I truly believe we did the story and characters justice. However, if there was anything I would’ve done differently I guess it would’ve been to have had a bit more time to research the whole Outlander universe.

I felt I had a good understanding of Jamie and where he was in his journey in each of the songs in the musical—what I didn’t know though was just how massive the Outlander series really was and how incredibly fanatical it’s readers are.

It’s been an amazing journey for me but, for the first few months, I was genuinely shocked at just how many people suddenly knew who I was and had such strong opinions (both good and bad) on me as Jamie.

(He’s not kidding about Outlander readers being fanatical, and having strong opinions regarding him as Jamie; by and large he has been well received by Outlander fans, though he has had his (un)fair share of criticism.

I recall a specific instance last year when, on Herself’s Facebook wall, some incredibly rude and insensitive comments were made about his physical appearance, respective to his resemblance to Jamie. Mass bickering ensued and the whole debacle left many of us in the Outlander community with a bad taste in our mouths.

But Allan took it all in stride. Check out his classy response:

“It’s just as well I’m a polite and even-tempered chap really, isn’t it? I COULD go through the images of each person who has posted mindless negativity and dissect everything that is wrong with their appearance and throw out random character assassinations purely on that basis—but thankfully, my mother raised me better than that.”)

ASD preferred picOther than that, I kinda wish I known I was going to be portraying Jamie far enough in advance not to dye my hair purple a few weeks before my audition and therefore having to sport what was basically a crew cut for the concert performances and photo shoots…

Here is Allan as Jamie with ‘The Crew Cut:’

(Photo credit: Outlanderthemusical.com) Here is Allan as Jamie with the 'crew cut'

(Photo credit: Outlanderthemusical.com)

Here is what Allan’s hair is capable of, lol:

ASD singing in kilt

Photo credit: Allan Scott Douglas/fan page on Facebook

His answer to this next question really took me by surprise—not what I was expecting him to say at all.

jenny new haircutWho is your favorite character in the Outlander series? What do you think are their best and worst personality traits?

ASD preferred picThis might be highly controversial but the character I find the most fascinating is actually none other than “Black Jack” Jonathan Randall. I’m not sure how easy it would be to pick a “best personality trait” but he is definitely a character that intrigues me every time he appears.

As a reader, I find everything about him incredibly uncomfortable but I’ve always been the sort of person who is deeply fascinated by slightly deranged/damaged individuals. Without such an incredibly well written anti-hero, Jamie probably wouldn’t have captured everyone’s heart quite so readily.

I guess, at heart, I’m just the nerdy kid who roots for the bad guy…

jenny new haircutHave you ever portrayed a deranged/damaged character?  (Gene Simmons doesn’t count lol)

ASD preferred picWow, that’s an awesome question!

I once did a short film in which I played a Hitman who was sent to kill someone for cheating on his girlfriend; just when the Hitman was about to pull the trigger, he suddenly broke down in floods of tears…and it transpired that, just that very evening, his own girlfriend had thrown him a ‘surprise’ birthday party, but as soon as she had jumped out from the dark to surprise him, his killer instincts had set in and he shot her in the head before realising what was going on.

That was one truly messed up mindset to try to get into to shoot a movie…

I also once played a psychotically deranged Glasgow gangster who constantly got into blazing rows with his brother…despite the fact that his brother had been dead for 10 years! Now THAT was a lot of fun…

jenny new haircutWow, those are two interesting characters! Were they both Scottish? Don’t you have something of a talent for different dialects around the UK?

ASD preferred picYeah, both of those particular characters were Scottish (perhaps Scottish characters just have a more naturally deranged disposition…) but I do love working in other accents too.

In the play Laquearia, I played the Irish playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett and really enjoyed finding what little video and audio recordings there are of him and tried to give a faithful performance of him both physically and vocally.

Challenges like that are what make this business so fascinating and (when you get it right) rewarding for me.

His dedication and humility are refreshing; it’s wonderful that he truly enjoys what he does for a living because we the audience reap the benefits. Specifically I was thrilled to learn of another, separate connection to the Outlander Universe…

July 2013 was a monumental month for Outlander fans, in more ways than one. First, when it was leaked that Sam Heughan was cast as Jamie; Allan Tweeted this:

He’s a class act, that Allan! And, he had some good news of his own to share (from his Facebook wall, July 3rd):

Well, now that all the contracts and various legal forms have come through (and since Diana herself has already mentioned it on Twitter), I think I’m safe to now officially announce that I am delighted to have been chosen to read Diana’s short story “Virgins” for Random House Audiobooks.
“Virgins” is one of 21 stories which have been selected for inclusion in an upcoming anthology called “Dangerous Women”—which is being put together by none other than Mr. George R.R. Martin, of ‘Game Of Thrones’ fame!! The anthology and it’s audiobook version are due for release in December. To say I am excited would be something of an understatement! This is an anthology featuring work by some of the world’s finest sci-fi and fantasy novelists and will feature a host of very well-known actors lending their voices to the audio versions—along with little old me!
Even more humbling was the fact that a prominent Game Of Thrones actor was offered to Diana to read “Virgins” but she felt I was better suited and Random House have bent over backwards to get me on board! Still a few logistical issue to iron out but I’m hoping to get the recording done by early September. Thank you all so much for all your support—I remain utterly bemused that so many people have taken an interest in my career but I appreciate every single one of you and hope there are many more exciting announcements to share with you all in the future…

You KNOW I couldn’t wait to ask him about THAT!

jenny new haircutWhat was your experience like working on Virgins?

ASD preferred picWorking on Virgins, for it’s inclusion in the “Dangerous Women,” anthology being compiled by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, was a truly amazing experience! Hooking up, via Skype, with the director Fred in LA was incredible and the whole process was just so much fun!

It was also very interesting for me personally having to read as Ian, as well Jamie, as Ian was a character I hadn’t had any experience of up to that point.

I really can’t wait for everyone to hear the finished product and just hope I can live up to the very high standards Davina Porter sets with the main Outlander audiobooks.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Well we can’t wait to hear it too! Diana Gabaldon said on her Facebook wall today that “Dangerous Women” anthology will be released on December 3rd, so hopefully the audio version will be available at the same time. I think I’ll have to buy both, just to hear Allan’s narration! What about you?

Follow Allan on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/AllanScottDouglasFans

Follow Allan on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/AlScottDouglas

BONUS: From Allan’s Facebook page (a snippet of his narration skills,which are verra nice I might add):

Howdy folks! Here’s a wee 90 second free preview of the radio drama adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling story “The Black Cat” which I recorded earlier this year. The full version is available for just $1.99 on iTunes. Something to tide you all over until ‘Virgins’ is realised… 🙂

 https://soundcloud.com/dmrutherford/the-black-cat-preview

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!

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!

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