Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan opened up about Season 5 and the emotional finale in a virtual screening and Q & A with Executive Producer Matthew Roberts and Deadline June 18. Following the screening of the finale, Balfe and Heughan answered questions from viewers. One asked what they would do if they could throw the Outlander book out? Don’t worry Diana Gabaldon and book fans! They really just want to go to Hawaii and Scotland – which let’s face it, is what we all want to do.
Roberts joked he would send Jamie and Claire to a Hawaiian beach, and Heughan quickly jumped in and suggested Jamie could invent surfing. Balfe added, “And Claire goes into medicinal cocktails.” (Claire does love her cocktails). Penicillintini, anyone? Jamie and Claire’s Copacabana has a nice ring to it.
Roberts said in all seriousness, he’d love for the characters to go back to Scotland. Heughan was nervous though, “Throwing out the book? I wouldn’t want to incur the wrath of Diana Gabaldon and her amazing fans.” So you heard it from the man himself, he’s not throwing out any Outlander books. And Balfe has a book club, so pretty sure she’s not into tossing books either. Balfe and Heughan agreed that they miss the character of Scotland in their show and are dying to get back to work. Speaking of, book fans, Gabaldon revealed on Twitter recently that she’s in the middle of writing an Outlander prequel about Jamie’s parents. Yes, please.
Caitriona Balfe Might Try to Perform Surgery on You
Claire’s medical milestones were so impactful this season, that the moderator, Antonia Blyth asked Balfe if she can now do surgery? Roberts said Balfe loves surgery so much that on set one day, he had a stomach ache and she wanted to take out his appendix. Balfe lamented, “I don’t know why you didn’t let me.” She went on to say she loves the research she gets to do for her job. In Season 1, for Jenny’s breech birth, she said she fell down a YouTube hole for hours watching breech birth videos. Son of a breech that’s a lot of birthing videos. Who needs Netflix? Or Starz? (We do).
Do Jamie and Claire Spill Over Into Their Real Lives?
Asked if they are attached to their roles and if they ever find themselves talking like their characters in their real lives, Balfe laughed, “We definitely are attached, but no I don’t run around saying, “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ.” Heughan quickly added, “You should.”
Balfe then added, “I’m sure everyone else will disagree,” looking at Heughan and Roberts, “but I don’t think I’m quite as hot-headed and big-mouthed as Claire.” Heughan laughed, nodded very quickly in agreement, and then said, “With everything that’s going on in the world, we love our job and our family on Outlander.”
As Actors, What Have They Learned Since Outlander Began in 2014?
When asked what they have learned since season 1? Balfe answered, “Everything,” while Heughan simultaneously answered, “Nothing.” They agreed that they’ve learned everything but also nothing. Balfe, personally, had never worked in television before Outlander, so she learned the basics, including what a mark is. She said the best thing she’s learned is to trust herself and allow herself to constantly be surprised by her character. Heughan agreed that it’s impossible to be complacent on a show like theirs and that it’s “a great show to learn on.” But, “I just wish we were 20 years younger.” Maybe Heughan should try and touch a stone and see what happens. If it works, he’ll be Samssenach. (That was a reach, I tried). They are producers now, so maybe they could convince the writers to un-write Jamie and Claire’s 20-year separation. Just a thought, use your producer power wisely.
Balfe on Working With Sophie Skelton and Their Peanut Butter and Jelly Problem
One viewer asked Balfe what her most challenging scene with Sophie Skelton was this past season. Perplexed, Balfe said she loves working with Skelton in all scenes, and didn’t find them challenging, but enjoyable. She likes how Brianna and Claire’s relationship has evolved since season 2. Heughan said he thought she’d mention the peanut butter and jelly sandwich scene. Balfe laughed, “Which also was not challenging because we enjoyed eating them so much.”
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan as New Producers
When asked how things had changed since they became producers, Heughan joked, “We have a new bar backstage.” He went on to say they like being involved in production meetings and that episode 12 is where their influence was felt the most. They were very involved with the writers and directors. Balfe went on to echo that sentiment and noted she and Heughan have been the main constant on the show, along with Roberts and co-executive producer Maril Davis. She personally likes being able to grow and learn on the show, and hopes the show has found them to be a benefit and “not pains in the a**es.” Balfe and Heughan both want to “keep the essence and core of the show at the forefront.”
Deadline moderator, Antonia Blyth ended the Q&A with, “Hope the show goes on forever.” And to that we say, Antonia for President. Make it happen.
Before you go, click here for the all-time best Outlander episodes you need to re-watch.