August 10, 2022

Tailored from the best-selling books by Diana Gabaldon, the Starz drama sequence Outlander, now in its sixth season and drawing from the sixth e book A Breath of Snow and Ashes, sees Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) navigating colonial America within the residence they’ve constructed collectively at Fraser’s Ridge. As occurs in any group, the bigger it grows, the extra battle that arises and the extra division that it creates, and you end up left to resolve whether or not you may proceed to take care of peace or you must battle to defend your land and household.

Throughout this interview with Collider, co-stars Balfe and Heughan talked about what followers can count on from Season 6, telling their story in simply eight episodes, navigating filming throughout COVID and the required security protocols, how concerned they get as producers, the response followers can have by the tip of the season, whether or not they ever get nervous concerning the work, and the way grateful they’re for all of the doorways that Outlander has opened for them of their careers.


Collider: There’s at all times the anticipation earlier than the brand new season of any present begins, but it surely’s much more so with this present as a result of followers have to attend so lengthy and it feels prefer it’s been a lifetime because the final season. What are you guys most enthusiastic about followers attending to see with what’s in retailer for Season 6?

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CAITRIONA BALFE: It’s actually beautiful to have the ability to give them one thing. They’ve been ready for therefore lengthy. What the writers have carried out, by way of wanting on the trauma on the finish of final season and the way it impacts, not simply Claire, however the entire household, and the way all of them need to discover ways to, I suppose, heal from it and collectively, as a household, develop and be taught, is de facto thrilling. It’s an excellent dialog that we’re placing on the market as nicely.

SAM HEUGHAN: Yeah, as Caitriona mentioned, it’s a continuation to the story. Everybody needs to know what occurred and so they’ve been ready for therefore lengthy, so we’re lastly again.

Picture by way of Starz

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How completely different did these episodes really feel? In doing simply eight episodes, did you are feeling extra stress from the whole lot that you simply had been packing into them, or did it really feel such as you nonetheless had some moments to breathe with the characters?

BALFE: I don’t assume we had been conscious, once we began the season, that we might solely be doing eight episodes, so I don’t assume we felt the time crunch stress. Every of our episodes at all times really feel very standalone. It’s virtually like we have now these nice worlds inside a world. Outlander has at all times taken its time. Our first episode, particularly, was a protracted one, so we obtained to cowl a number of floor with the gorgeous work that Sam did, with all the flashbacks. I feel that’s a very essential factor, that we’re capable of look at that backstory with Jamie and Mr. Christie.

HEUGHAN: Yeah, she’s proper. We spend much more time with the characters, in a manner. With that prolonged episode, actually, we get to sit down with them, and likewise construct a basis and the backstory behind the Christies and who they’re and what they characterize. Simply fascinated with it, for me, it was a fairly intense shoot, compounded by the COVID protocols, but in addition simply the subject material. As Caitriona mentioned, each episode is completely different. It felt like each episode was simply getting an increasing number of tense. That’s additionally mirrored within the build-up to the Revolutionary Warfare as nicely. It’s Outlander. We simply don’t let up.

You had this shorter season, you had been taking pictures throughout COVID, and also you had all these new security precautions, however what did that make you recognize much more? What did you recognize about simply attending to make the present and play these characters, whereas the whole lot else round you is insane?

HEUGHAN: I keep in mind the primary day going to work, and it did really feel just like the apocalypse. It was winter in Scotland as nicely, which is fairly powerful. There have been snowy situations and the roads had been empty, and there was this combination of anticipation and pleasure, but in addition we had been the one folks going to work, so it was like, “The place is everybody?” It did really feel very fortunate, truly. We had been sorted by manufacturing. We had our personal testing heart. And clearly, when you get again on set, regardless of the protocols, you fall again into these relationships within the household, and thru that, you assist one another. It was good to be again at work.

BALFE: Yeah, it felt like an actual privilege. The primary lockdown, once we had been purported to taking pictures initially, we had been all sequestered in our flats and, like for everyone on the planet, that was fairly onerous on everybody. So, the truth that we had been capable of go to our jobs and do one thing that we love was nice. The truth that manufacturing labored so onerous to have these protocols to maintain us all secure was actually good. However it was unusual. Initially, that factor of carrying masks and being in these separate teams, might be fairly isolating and it takes a few of the enjoyable out of our day-to-day as a result of we’re all such a tight-knit group. However it was superb how adaptable all of us are. In a short time, all of us fell into the rhythm of our friendships and all these issues, even with all of that.

HEUGHAN: We did have to actually navigate it although. There’s something that’s misplaced, particularly in carrying a masks. I’m not saying something about that, however I’m simply saying, as an example, studying somebody’s feelings or emotions, there’s a lot underlying language that we choose up on, that was misplaced. I keep in mind we tried the primary week to rehearse in our masks, and it’s actually troublesome to choose up on the subtext. Additionally, it’s troublesome to even simply hear what somebody mentioned. So, it was about navigating all of it.

Picture by way of Starz

As producers, how concerned have you ever guys gotten with what’s happening with the present? Are there features of manufacturing that you simply’re discovering yourselves inquisitive about, that you simply had by no means even thought of earlier than?

BALFE: Yeah. As a result of our writers’ room is within the U.S., journey was very troublesome between the U.S. and Scotland. We had one in every of our writer-producers on set for your complete season, however aside from that, everybody else was caught in America, in order that they didn’t actually come. So, Sam and I had been actually on the bottom, daily. The place we might be of most profit is that we might be the eyes and ears, and likewise go searching and see what the crew wants, and if there are issues that may be carried out to enhance life for everyone. One thing that we really feel actually strongly about is making it the very best expertise for the whole thing of the forged and crew. We each get pleasure from that half.

HEUGHAN: Yeah, I feel so. We’ve been on the present for nearly eight years now, so we do understand it, inside and outside. Being concerned within the manufacturing assembly and getting that background, we get to see the work that goes on in preparation and selections which might be made about scenes. We’re each keen, and we’ve mentioned it many instances, to be concerned extra. I feel we’ve confirmed that we’re essential to be there as nicely, particularly when COVID stops us having different producers or writers on set.

Was there something that you simply’d been speaking about doing within the season, that you simply in the end couldn’t do as a result of the season obtained shortened, or did it really feel such as you had been capable of accomplish the whole lot that everybody wished to perform with the season?

BALFE: We obtained to complete the season.

HEUGHAN: I do know that there have been plans to journey to shoot elsewhere, however a considerable amount of the funds went to the COVID protocols. However I feel we nonetheless managed to make one thing actually tense and, actually in direction of the tip of the season, very dramatic. And in addition, it’s shifting. The time of the present is shifting as nicely. We’re shifting nearer and nearer in direction of the tip of the 1700s and the Revolutionary Warfare. It’s been such a journey to get the Frasers to Fraser’s Ridge, and now we’ve seen the realm and the settlement develop. I feel we’d go away it on an excellent cliffhanger, although.

BALFE: Yeah, I really feel like there was a pure break within the storyline, the place we ended up breaking. What we might’ve carried out, we’re gonna proceed that once we return to shoot. So, I don’t assume we’ve misplaced something. If something, it was simply lacking these beautiful summer season days once we would’ve been taking pictures, as we’re going again when it’s nonetheless just a little bit chilly.

Picture by way of Starz

How would you say followers will really feel, by the tip of season six? Understanding that they’ll finally get a Season 7, what emotions do you assume they’ll be left with, in the course of the subsequent break?

BALFE: As Sam mentioned, we go away on fairly a cliffhanger. It’s an excellent dose of pressure.

HEUGHAN: Yeah, they’ll want the break.

That is an business the place you may make an amazing product that isn’t essentially assured to achieve success, and you may achieve success with one thing that isn’t essentially an amazing product. How do does it really feel to not solely have each of these issues come collectively and to have the ability to proceed to experience that wave with one thing like Outlander, however then even have success with Males in Kilts and Belfast, and do such completely different sorts of tasks and nonetheless have these embraced?

BALFE: It’s nice. I feel you may solely simply really feel grateful. Outlander has been such a present to us. I’ll converse for myself, however I wasn’t doing an enormous quantity, earlier than I obtained Outlander. It has opened so many doorways for us, but it surely has given us such a present, by way of the wealthy characters that we’ve been capable of play. It’s continued to problem us and encourage us. With the ability to have that unbelievable day job that you’ve, permits you the liberty to decide on extra fascinating roles in movies and issues once you possibly may not have the luxurious of ready for one thing good to come back, in the event you didn’t have this nice present that you simply knew that you possibly can return to on a regular basis.

HEUGHAN: Yeah, it’s given us expertise and confidence as nicely, realizing that I can exit and do different tasks and hopefully succeed at them. It’s been the springboard, actually, to our careers. Caitriona has confirmed that she’s flying excessive, and it’s improbable. She clearly has her expertise to thank for that, however I additionally assume Outlander has helped open some doorways.

BALFE: what Sam’s doing, for the time being, producing his personal present and all of the movie roles he’s gotten, I don’t assume that we might’ve possibly had the boldness, as he mentioned, to go do issues like that. We’ve discovered a lot on Outlander. It’s given us such an training. Being on set, day after day, for years, you find out about so many alternative features of the enterprise, and we’ve each taken that out into the world and into our different tasks.

Picture by way of Starz

Are you guys the kind of performers who at all times get nervous? Do the nerves go away on one thing like Outlander, the place you’ve performed the identical characters for some time? Do you at all times get nervous initially of each season? How do you cope with that?

HEUGHAN: It’s that anticipation of, “Do I keep in mind how to do that? Do I keep in mind this character?” There’s this coming again to a personality that feels acquainted when you’ve a lot historical past with them. It’s completely different once you strategy a brand new function and also you’re having to find out about them and uncover the character throughout that course of. Outlander actually is like coming residence. So, I don’t assume I get nervous about it now, however there’s an anticipation.

BALFE: What I feel is so nice about Outlander is that there are nonetheless days the place there are actually massive scenes, and it’s not essentially nerves, however you continue to have that want to actually make a scene work, or there’s a scene that’s gonna ask one thing of you and also you’re by no means certain if it’s gonna present up or not. That’s the loopy factor about appearing, the place you’re hoping that the issues that you simply’re gonna want to attract upon, that they’re gonna be accessible to you, on any given day. The significance of that by no means goes away, however as Sam mentioned, there’s a actual comfortability with having performed one thing for therefore lengthy. You undoubtedly ease into it extra, fairly than going onto a brand new job the place it’s actual first day of faculty nerves.

HEUGHAN: There are such iconic scenes that the followers are anticipating. We at all times have been conscious of them and we all know that these pressures are there, however when you truly simply strategy every scene or every day, as we do in breaking it down, you are taking away that concern or that anticipation, you simply get your head down, and also you attempt to do the very best job you may.

Outlander airs on Sunday nights on Starz.

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