The Making Of Outlander: Little-known Facts
Outlander, the beloved Starz series, engaged thousands of fans worldwide. Despite the intensity of the series, the set of the show is filled with good vibes and laughter. Let’s find out the most thrilling details about Outlander's filming and look at what the cast is doing on set!
35. The first actor cast on Outlander
According to the executive producer of the show Ronald D. Moore, producers didn't expect to find anyone handsome and charming enough to fill the shoes of Jamie as quickly as they did. Sam Heughan was the first actor cast on the show because producers felt he was the one as soon as they watched his audition tape.
34. Photographer among the cast
In 2019, Richard Rankin (Roger) hosted a one-night exhibition of his work called "His Mind's Eye". The actor has even lent his talent to Outlander by taking pictures of the cast on set. Richard fell in love with photography 9 years ago and has gradually improved. The actor told Brieftake:
“Whenever I do have any downtime, I’m usually off shooting photos, so I’m hanging out with the camera team or basically making a nuisance of myself, trying to learn something from the day before.”
33. Was it difficult to play Aunt Jocasta?
Maria Doyle Kennedy gives a stunning performance as Aunt Jocasta, however, she does admit that it hasn't come easy. She revealed that the most difficult aspect of playing a blind character is not being able to make eye contact during the scenes.
"In life as well as acting, we give and receive so many of our cues through eye contact."
32. Why they do not age?
Did you notice that Claire and Jamie do not age? Caitriona Balfe, who played Claire, revealed that when her character reunites with Jamie in the past, they share a connection so deep that it transcends time and is ageless. However, there is a more technical explanation.
The head of hair and makeup Annie McEwan says they had to soften the special effects of aging on the lead characters to avoid losing their true features. So, they used a lot of shading to Jamie's face and greying on both him and Claire.
31. The new cast member
In 2019, the series team teased fans with information about a new addition to the cast. Lo and behold, it was the cute furry friend called Bear. Outlander is based on Diana Gabaldon's novels - in the story, Jamie gifts Claire with a cat after finding him on the road; he also names him Adso.
30. Outlander's red color
The costumes on Outlander is one more reason to keep watching the show. From the beautiful gowns to the traditional British soldiers' attire, the costume department truly captures the essence of each time period explored on the show and pays attention to the smallest details.
Both these wonderful gentlemen have played my butler! Obviously there’s a position to be filled.... anyone else want to play Jeeves?@TimDownie1 #milesRichardson@Outlander_STARZ pic.twitter.com/i5C2HnhRmn— Sam Heughan (@SamHeughan) March 30, 2020
Former Outlander costume designer Terry Dresbach who is also the executive producer Ronald D. Moore's wife told The Herald Scotland:
"The one costume we could have rented lots of was Redcoats, but we couldn’t because Ron (Ronald D. Moore) didn’t like the color of red," she said "Instead, we had to dye fabric to his color specifications and make our own Redcoats. He wanted a deeper, richer red rather than a bright cherry/candy apple red.”
29. Famous guests
Before season 5's release, Aisha Tyler visited the Outlander cast on set. The actress stars on Criminal Minds and she's a former co-host on the CBS talk show The Talk. You can truly find Outlander fans everywhere.
“ I’m such a huge fan of #Outlander — can’t wait for Season 5 to air “
28. Celebrity dynasties on set
Acting seems to run in the family for David Berry (Lord John Grey). His sister Caitlin Berry is also an actress and appeared on Outlander. Her appearance on the show was short-lived and David will not be returning for season 6.
The siblings are very close and their careers make their bond even stronger. In an interview with Arts Review, Caitlin shared:
"My brother David is pretty inspiring. He works in the same industry and is very dedicated to his work. We help each other with scenes, and are each other’s best critic and worse, which is the healthiest way to do it. I started acting and singing because I wanted to be like him when I was little."
27. Twins on set
These two little boys take turns playing Brianna and Roger's son Jemmy. It's quite surprising that Andrew and Matthew aren't the only twins in their family, they also have twin sisters. The boys were just three years old when they joined the show, making them a part of the youngest cast members of the series.
26. The horrible weather
Being on a fabulous TV show also has its disadvantages. In an interview with Hotpress, Catriona revealed a dreary Outlander shooting experience. “I didn’t think anywhere could have worse weather than Ireland until I went to Scotland,” she laughs.
“We filmed in a disused quarry outside Bathgate and it rained non-stop for four days. We had to move our base camp because they were worried it was going to sink."
25. The cast in the mountains
Cast and crew members have the amazing opportunity to travel and visit beautiful places. In April 2019, the team went on a hike in the mountains of Ben Lui during a filming break. The show has many fans all over the world so when they're on location, locals often visit the set and bring the cast home-baked goods and snacks.
In their explorations of the world, South Africa was among Outlander's production locations where the Starz show Black Sails also filmed. Lauren and César snapped a photo while they were enjoying an adventure in the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Working on Outlander certainly has its perks.
24. Funny Marsali
Before being cast on Outlander, Lauren Lyle (Marsali) had never watched the show even though she'd heard a lot about it. The casting process went over a month; she impressed the team and soon after, the actress received an offer to join the show. Lauren revealed to Elle that she felt she could relate to Marsali:
When the casting notice came through and my agent described the part to me, it was like, “She’s this young girl, she’s feisty, she doesn’t give a damn about propriety," and I was like, “Alright, so she’s basically me.”
While the show can get intense and drama-filled, the cast members know how to have fun and laugh things off. So, who's the biggest joker of them all? Well, Lauren seems to have a bit of a reputation. Caitriona told Stylist:
"Maybe Lauren Lyle. We’re all stupid and keep ourselves entertained. I think casting director Suzanne Smith has a really canny knack for finding likeminded people and casting them together because we all have a very childish sense of humour that works well together."
23. Not 'that' Claire
According to the author of the series Diana Gabaldon, Caitriona doesn’t look anything like her fictional Claire. Caitriona is taller, she is model-thin, and doesn’t have curly hair. Some fans even complained that the Irish actress seems sort of sullen and humorless. Anyways, Gabaldon is sure that Balfe does a beautiful job with Claire.
'She is different than the book, and that’s because most of what you find funny about Claire is the things she’s thinking, and you can’t do that on a show without constant voiceover’, - said Gabaldon in the interview with Entertainment Weekly.
Caitriona, on the other hand, feels as though she doesn't have much in common with Claire. However, her castmates see things differently: “I would like to think I’m not quite as stubborn and strong-willed as Claire, although Sam and other people who know me very well would maybe agree to differ with me on that!”
22. Fake accents
Outlander is a Scottish show but the actors come from all over the world. The stars don't use their real accents so to be as accurate as possible, the show hired a Gaelic dialect coach to train the actors on the tricky accent. Some of the real Scots on the show include Sam Heughan and Richard Rankin.
21. What common do Black Sails and Outlander have?
During season 3, filming took place in South Africa. The Cape Town Filming Studio supplied the crew with ships and setting for the Caribbean storyline. The studio has also been used for other productions such as Black Sails and Mad Max: Fury Road.
20. New locations
Season 3 had the Outlander team moving locations from Scotland to France, then the Caribbean and America, with part of Season 3 in South Africa. Sam says it gave the show a fresh perspective:
“It feels like a completely different show,” he said. “We’re talking about America now in its infancy, and there’s so many parallels going on right now, but it’s been a great show to learn on. I think Caitriona and I coming in very green, we’ve experienced a lot, and, I think, it’s also given us great opportunity as well, and great people to work with."