Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Steven Cree Talks the End of Outlander & How The Show Changed His Life

When Outlander premiered 8 years ago, Caitríona Balfe and Sam Heughan brought author Diana Gabaldon’s iconic book couple Jamie and Claire Fraser to life across televisions everywhere. The hit Starz show, now entering its seventh season, changed the lives of the actors and fans alike. Steven Cree joined halfway through the first season as Jamie and Claire’s brother-in-law, Ian Murray. He last appeared in the show in season 4 and is now slated to return for season 7. After that, Outlander will have its eighth and final season.

Cree sat down with SheKnows for a little Droughtlander chat, to look back on his time on the show, re-watch some scenes from earlier seasons, and give Cree commentary in a way only he can. He also reveals what his proudest moment on Outlander is (it involves his on-screen sister-in-law, Balfe). He shares stories about his friendship with Heughan and Balfe, and how it felt to return to the show that changed his life. The news about the end of Outlander dropped the day before Cree spoke with us, so he let us in on how he felt about the show ending, and of course, how he would write Jamie and Claire’s happy ending.

Cree reveals when he returned to set, the call sheet said “Old Ian Murray.” John Bell plays his son, Young Ian Murray, but ouch. AARP got Ian Murray. Cree has a suggestion for what his character should be called. But you’ll have to hear him say it in the video to truly enjoy it.

As for the end of Outlander, Cree says because of the cast and fans, they are all part of one big family, “I don’t think it will ever end, the community will always be there.” An Outlander that never ends, sign us up. Cree says though he’s only been in about 12-13 episodes over the entirety of the show, because of the fans, it’s like he never left.

We find out he has two versions of how he thinks Outlander should end. One is off the rails, and the other is more on the rails. His on the rails answer is more authentic –– he wants to know the why Jamie’s ghost appears in the Outlander pilot and is watching Claire. Gabaldon has said the mystery of Jamie’s ghost answer would be coming in her final Outlander book, which she has only just started writing. But she knows the ending, and so does Ron Moore and Sam Heughan. Balfe told us that although she doesn’t know, she’s happy to live with the mystery. But will the show include the book ending, if the book isn’t even done when it ends? That is the real question.

Laura Donnelly and Caitríona Balfe

Cree took a walk down memory lane to seasons 1 through 4 and gave some classic Cree commentary. From his very first scene with Heughan, Balfe and Laura Donnelly (who played his on-screen wife). Cree’s first take away is that he finally gets all the fuss about Sam Heughan, “He looks so pretty!” Watching the scene, Cree laughs, “I finally get why he’s the king of men!”

Cree confesses he hadn’t watched Outlander since season 1, because once you’re in something, it’s hard to enjoy it as a viewer. He did drop a few nuggets while watching. In a scene from season 1, he revealed the show thought his teeth were too white for the 1700s! Turns out Ian Murray would probably not have the dental access that Steven Cree does. He also shared that in season 5, he was supposed to return for a flashback scene with Heughan where they would play younger Jamie and Ian, unfortunately Cree’s schedule on Discovery of Witches prevented the already written storyline to happen. Discovery of Witches, let’s have a chat.

Sam Heughan and Steven Cree

Cree breaks down one of his first scenes with Balfe, where he ad-libbed a line, and in turn so did she. It’s a fan favorite line, and it involves “stuffed cabbage.” If you look closely enough, you probably can see Balfe trying not to laugh. 

In fact, Cree loved watching this scene from season 1, episode 12, “Lallybroch” so much that he said, “This is such a great scene. This is actually making me think that I need to start watching, Outlander.” Though he did once tweet about a season 5 scene where Claire “healed” Jamie. You’ll have to watch the video to hear Cree’s recap of the scene. But all we can say about Claire, is the girl is committed and a healer. And she did what she did.

Re-watching and reacting to a fight-love scene between Jamie and Claire at Lallybroch in season 3, episode 8, “First Wife,” Cree says he’s thankful he hasn’t had to film love scenes like Balfe and Heughan, but praises his two friends and co-stars for carrying off a tough scene. He confesses that if he had to do that scene, he’d probably hurt himself, as Balfe and Heughan fall off a bed and hit the ground. Donnelly also appears at the end of the scene to cool things down if you will. She hits the two with a jug of water as Jamie and Claire’s fight gets more “horizontal.” Cree declares he was Team Jamie and Claire in this scene, and says that Jenny clearly “Lallyblocked” them, coining one of the best Outlander terms in history. That’s right, history.

When Ian and Jenny return in season 7, Jenny might look a little different, as Laura Donnelly couldn’t return to reprise her role. Actress Kristin Atherton takes on the role of Jamie’s sister and Ian’s wife. Cree says since he and Laura hadn’t worked together for years, having Kristin step into the role didn’t feel that strange at all. He thinks fans will love her.

It’s when Cree speaks of working with Balfe and Heughan that it’s clear their show is more like a family than a job. “The show for me, has always been being with Jamie and Claire.” When he returned to film season 7, he says, “It didn’t feel like going back to work, it felt like going back and hanging with some friends.” Cree expands on what he enjoys most about working with both Balfe and Heughan. “Caitríona, she is just so up for a laugh, she can absolutely be having a laugh, and then when she gets into the scene, she can turn on the emotion, or bring the tears, or bring whatever’s needed. (She is) always up for having fun and playing.”

As for Heughan, he says their off-screen friendship has grown over the years. Asked by fans whether his video series #HeughanTalks, where he pretends to be Heughan behind the camera, will ever return, he laughs and says that he actually had people tell him his impression of Heughan is spot on. He disagrees and says he sounds like a “bizarre squawking Irish pirate.” Going to have to vote with the Irish pirate on this one.

As for his favorite scene with Heughan, he remembers it fondly. It was in season 1, and Jamie and Ian are fixing a cart. He said they had to do more than 14 takes, and it was like being in school when the teacher tells you to be quiet and you can’t even look at each other without laughing.

He reveals one of his favorite emotional scenes in Outlander with Balfe and Heughan took place in a brothel in season 3, and lets us in on who he thought of in his life to generate the emotion the scene needed. Cree opens up about bloopers involving Balfe, and says that in many scenes they just couldn’t even look at each other. In fact, the cabbage scene he says was mainly inspired by him wanting to make her laugh.

“She’s (got a) great energy on set. She’s really intelligent, really cares about the material, about the show, her and Sam both do, and they’ve been on it for a long time, and it’s important. Because it can be hard as well, you know they film long hours for 8 or 9 months. Obviously, it’s a great privilege to be on the show, but it’s hard work as well. I never had a day on set with Caitríona where we didn’t have a lot of fun. But then when the camera’s roll, she’s always completely and utterly on it,” Cree says.

Before Cree starts returns to the screen as the original Ian Murray on Outlander again, he will be starring in a UK show called, The Diplomat. Set in Barcelona and starring Sophie Rundle, Cree plays Sam Henderson, the new consul of the British consulate. He teases, “There is much more to my character than meets the eye, and by the end of episode 1 you should be hooked and intrigued into what is going on because all is not what it seems.” Cree says the show is being described as The Good Wife meets MI5 – humor and intrigue, darkness, and light. Cree thinks it will come to the US soon and believes like Scotland in Outlander, people will fall in love with Barcelona.

To fully enjoy the Cree commentary, we recommend you re-watch the Outlander episodes he watched and here’s a guide to the best episodes. And as for Outlander ending, there’s still time. Like, a lot of time. Watch the exclusive video to learn how Cree wants to end the show. Let’s just say Cree’s idea for an ending puts the happy in ending, if you know what I mean.

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

'Outlander' cast Caitríona Balfe, Sam Heughan,

Leave a Comment


View More Videos Sign Up
More Entertainment