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Annette Badland Reveals What It Was Like Working on Outlander with Caitríona Balfe & Sam Heughan

From Ted Lasso to Doctor Who to Outlander, Annette Badland has been a low key legend in many a hit show. She sat down with SheKnows to chat all about her time on Outlander and told us what it was like working with Caitríona Balfe and Sam Heughan from the very beginning. She also looked back on and re-watched iconic scenes from season 1 of Outlander, where her character interacted with Jamie and Claire Fraser. Remembering some of her first scenes with Heughan and Balfe, she gives insight to what she saw in their dynamic on set that makes the show so strong, and reacts to Outlander’s most controversial and endearing scenes. As the no nonsense bar keep in Ted Lasso and the no nonsense Mrs. Fitz on Outlander, Badland has been silently ruling many shows from the sidelines as characters we just can’t forget. Badland also tells us what Outlander and Ted Lasso have in common, besides her, of course. Watch the exclusive video to take a walk back in time with Badland, as she recalls her time in Scotland on Outlander.

Caitríona Balfe and Annette Badland
Caitríona Balfe and Annette Badland Starz

Badland fondly looks back on her time with Outlander and recalls her first impressions of Balfe and Heughan. “I adore both of them,” she tells SheKnows and GoldDerby’s Robert Licuria. “Sam was the first person I met. I was cast way before other people. Sam, myself, and Tobias (Menzies) were the only three cast. I went for a costume fitting and Sam walked in the door. Apart from going, ‘Ohhh! I’ll just lean on this desk for a moment,’” she laughs. “He just blew me away, because he was honest and inclusive, and very well-mannered, and that was the thing that really took me. He is a handsome man, but it was his personality and his generosity that just – I kind of went, ‘Oh. This is a good and unusual human being.’ Normally, anyone as pretty as that, they have some arrogance. It’s hard not to be seduced into thinking you’re the best thing ever, and he didn’t have that at all,” she warmly recalls.

“And Caitríona and I got on from the very beginning,” Badland says, remembering one of their first directors who didn’t seem very friendly at first (but later was great on set). “It meant that Caitríona and I really bonded and had lots of conversations. She is a tremendous person, wonderful woman, just extraordinary, and deserves all the success she’s getting.” After re-watching a scene between Mrs. Fitz and Claire, we ask Badland to talk about the mutual affection between Mrs. Fitz and Claire, Badland replies, “Or Annette and Caitríona… Yes, we got on very, very well, Caitríona is very inclusive.” She fondly recalls, “Caitríona would be there at the door of (my trailer), going, ‘Come and have lunch with me, come on in, let’s go for a drink tonight.’ She was tremendous, it made the work infinitely more interesting, and exciting.” Badland expanded even more, “It’s very easy to work with her, she’s emotionally connected and she’s intelligent, and she’s a fine actress.” Some of her favorite times on set and off set were with Balfe. And off set, that included some strong drinks.

Badland reveals since she left, she watched a few seasons of Outlander but not the most recent ones. She confesses she would love to return to the show. (Except let’s be honest, Mrs. Fitz might be 150 years old, or is it 350 years old? Time-travel math is hard, no one knows). “I’m deeply hurt, no one’s thought about her, dreamt about her, manifested her!” Badland jokes. When we reveal that Balfe did, in fact, bring up Mrs. Fitz’s character in a season 6 interview with us, Badland laughs, “But in the series!” Asked whether Mrs. Fitz perhaps died, Badland quickly says, mock-offended, “I don’t think she has!”

You can immediately see Badland’s affection for Balfe, especially when she watches and talks about one of Mrs. Fitz and Claire’s first scenes together, which required Balfe and Badland to be on a closed set. Why? Because one of them was helping the other put clothes on. Suffice it to say, Balfe and Badland bonded quickly. In fact, she says they stuck together like glue, being the only two women on set full of Highlander men. Badland breaks down the scene where Mrs. Fitz has to help Claire put on a 1700s outfit, complete with a bum roll (yes, a roll around your bum), corsets (owwie), stockings, skirts, hand warmers, etc. She said they did that scene in two 20-minute takes, while the rest of the crew wondered what was taking so long. Hello, it’s not easy being a woman being put in a fancy straight boob jacket. There are a lot of laces! Also, corsets are rude. Balfe and Badland bonded fast and furiously, like a bum roll and corset. (That analogy works well, no one can tell me otherwise).

Caitríona Balfe & Annette Badland

When asked if she saw the chemistry between Balfe and Heughan from working with them, she answers quickly, “Oh yes. I mean they searched a long time for Claire. It was cast late, because they needed that chemistry, and it wasn’t happening with other people. It was just very potent, you could see it. We had some rehearsals, we met socially, so it was very clear that their sense of humor – they could laugh together. You know, it’s a hell of a task, what they’ve been through together is enormous. You could see… I think the humor more than anything, the kind of wry—you know what I mean-” she stops, then laughs, raising an eyebrow.

Caitríona Balfe and Sam Heughan
Caitríona Balfe and Sam Heughan Starz

Badland re-watches a number of scenes from the first season, including her very scene with Balfe and Heughan’s Claire and Jamie in “Castle Leoch.” She breaks down why she thinks the chemistry between Balfe and Heughan sets this show apart from others. She re-watches scenes from the episode “The Reckoning,” where Jamie and Claire have returned from their unexpected wedding, have a huge fight and an equally as huge make up. She also tells us what she really thinks of her on-screen granddaughter, Laoghaire (Nell Hudson) when she re-watches scenes from the episode, “By the Pricking of My Thumbs,” where Claire slaps Laoghaire. Let’s just say, the phrase, “mucky, little hussy” is used. Correct. Mucky. Little. Hussy. Don’t upset Mrs. Fitz, or Annette Badland, people. It will not go well for you. (And by you, I mean Laoghaire, your granny ain’t so happy with you).

After watching Balfe say in an interview that they could send a boat to get Mrs. Fitz, Badland suggests the Outlander prequel no one would object to, “Bum Rolls and Corsets: The Untold Mrs. Fitz Years,” where Mrs. Fitz arrives in America on a boat and is reunited with Claire and Jamie. And they all live happily ever after, shedding their bum rolls, and throwing back some of Jamie’s whisky. (This is 200+ years before the whisky would be named Sassenach).

Badland also answers fan questions, one of which was whether she thought Ted Lasso might be a secret Outlander fan. Is Ted Lasso meets Outlander the crossover we all deserve? If the two shows joined forces, pretty sure their theme song would probably go a little something like, “Sing me a song of a Lasso that’s gone, say could that Lasso be I?” Picture it 1776, Jamie, Ted, and Claire run into Benedict Arnold…. Ted holds up a soccer ball, everyone is confused. Mrs. Fitz arrives on a boat and screams, “That lass is I.” Indeed, she is. Slainté! Drams for everyone! End scene. Whether it’s called Outlasso or Tedlander, if Annette Badland is in it, we’re watching. And add Ted Lasso in a bum roll and corset, Jamie and Claire inexplicably playing soccer, we’re really watching now, but with many strong drinks.

To wrap, we asked Badland the most important question of them all, is she Team Jamie or Team Claire? Let’s just say she didn’t want to choose between them, but she did, and she didn’t, and it’s perfect, but you’ll have to watch to find out. So go on, check out this little Droughtlander chat while you wait for Outlander to return in Summer 2023.

Before you go, check out the all-time best ‘Outlander’ episodes you need to watch.

'Outlander' cast Caitríona Balfe, Sam Heughan,

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