Last season on Starz’s Outlander, Highland warrior Jamie Fraser, portrayed by Sam Heughan, met the love of his life, a mysterious time traveler from 1945 named Claire (Caitriona Balfe). After trying and failing to get home to her husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), in 1945, she realizes that she is in love with Jamie and decides to stay in Scotland in 1743, where she and Jamie marry.
The finale of last season was Jamie’s capture by Redcoat Jonathan ‘Black Jack’ Randall, an ancestor of Frank’s (also played by Menzies) who rapes and tortures him. Jamie is able to escape and he and Claire, who is now pregnant with his child, set sail for France where she and Jamie hope to prevent the battle of Culloden, by infiltrating the Jacobite rebellion led by Prince Charles Stuart.
Sam came to the TV Critics tour to talk about the new season, and reflect on Jamie’s harrowing journey.
Jamie went through so much last season. How much that he went through with Randall is still with him and how much is it still with you, since I know those scenes were not easy to shoot?
It’s not the primary focus of the (second) season. Obviously we go to Paris on this mission, and we’re there for a reason. But Jamie’s definitely still affected by the trauma.
I think time is a great healer, but ultimately, he puts his whole body and soul into this mission about changing history, and then there is a great revelation that kind of cures him or brings him out of himself, which I can’t really tell you what that is, but it certainly brings back the old Jamie. Whether or not that still lives with me, I thoroughly enjoyed that.
I think myself and Caitriona both love any scenes that are quite dramatic that we can really get our teeth into, that we can really stretch ourselves, our acting ability.
I thoroughly enjoyed those episodes and look forward to more challenges.
Because you’ve moved from the Highlands to France, has the style of fighting changed at all?
Wow. I would say that the danger in Paris and Versailles is less physical with the swords and weaponry. It’s more politics, backstabbing and poison. It’s more hidden. There’s a lot more politics at work and a lot more danger, so it’s a different kind of world.
But we certainly do go back to Scotland where we go back to the mud, blood and gore. So there’s something for everyone.
Are there any new characters you can tell us about?
We have this young boy that Romann Berrux plays named Fergus. He brings this great dimension to Claire and Jamie.
He sort of becomes their surrogate son, and it’s really nice to see Jaime and Claire play father and mother and play this family. It brings another entity and dynamic to the whole relationship.
What you admire about Jamie?
I’ve been very surprised by Season 2. Season 1 was about discovery and about a young man growing up and finding his place in the world and in a relationship.
Season 2 has been about discovering a side of the character that I didn’t know was there, that he’s playing someone else. He’s being quite deceptive.
He’s learning to be deceitful, and he does it very well.
Jamie is very capable and good at most things. But there’s a side to him that I didn’t know, and also, he’s still obviously traumatized or struggling with what happened to him.
So there’s not a darkness, but there’s a side to him that I didn’t know existed.
I guess I admire his humor and his buoyancy. His natural ability to keep going no matter what’s wrong. And I guess, also, his absolute dedication to Claire is admirable and inspiring.
What would you like to ask him?
Is he a natural ginger, or does he dye his hair once a month?
Outlander Sam & Caitriona Time Travel Soundbyte
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe were asked if they could time travel, what era would they like to visit? Click play below to listen to them discuss their options…