Sam Heughan took a break from filming season five of Outlander,which will be based on author Diana Gabaldon’s The Fiery Crossnovel, in Scotland to attend Starz’s FYC event in Century City, Calif. on Sunday.
Before the panel, which was comprised of Heughan (Jamie), Caitriona Balfe (Claire), Sophie Skelton (Brianna), Richard Rankin (Roger), executive producer Maril Davis, executive producer/writer Toni Graphia and production designer Jon Gary Steele, Parade.com spoke to Heughan about season five, love, and his upcoming film opposite Vin Diesel.
What one thing can you tease about Jamie in season five? When we left him at the end of season four, he had been tasked to form a militia and go after Murtagh (Duncan Lacroix).
I can’t give away too much, obviously, but as we saw in season four, Jamie’s on the side of the Redcoats. He’s made this deal with the Redcoats, the British Army, so he’s actually on the opposite side of the side where his allegiance really is and his loyalty lies, but he knows he needs to do it. He needs to do it for his family and for his tenants. He has to secure this land and make it a safe place for them, so he goes in league with the British. For Jamie, that’s a pretty hard thing to do.
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for STARZ Entertainment LLC)
He also has foreknowledge of what’s to come because Claire is from the future. So, don’t you think he can make better plans than he could before?
In Outlander, Jamie and Claire are always trying to fight: fight time and fight fate. Certainly, we saw that in regards to Culloden and we know that the battle they’re facing now is really a huge one, the War of Independence. He knows which side he needs to be on and, unfortunately, at the moment, he’s on the wrong side, but he knows that. Claire knows that. They’re just trying to turn the situation to their advantage, but playing with fate is never that successful.
The biggest challenge for season five so far?
We’ve only shot two and a half episodes, but so far, the challenge is that we have this whole new settlement. Fraser’s Ridge has really flourished. There’s a lot of towns nearby and you can feel the buildup of it. There are the clouds in the distance gathering for the great war. Jamie and Claire are really fighting to make sure that they’re on the right side. I think the sheer size of what we’re dealing with now and the sheer numbers of cast and of locations, as well, is a challenge. We’re still shooting in Scotland for America, so that’s a challenge, too.
This coming season Jamie’s not just a father but he’s a grandfather. What’s it like having the baby around?
It’s been remarkable. I’ve never played a grandad before. Our family has grown and the ensemble has grown, and it’s nice to see Jamie being this paternal figure, this father figure. He’s also now sort of honorary clan chief. He’s really looking after everyone in the whole of Fraser’s Ridge, so he has a lot of responsibility.
He actually is older than you are. Is that easy to play?
Unfortunately, he’s not a hell of a lot older than I am. We’ve aged him. Redheads notoriously don’t really go grey. They go blonder, so we’ve done very modest aging, but people are really going to see a difference from this season to the first season. We have to, hopefully, span another three or four seasons, so we don’t want to start giving Jamie a walking stick just yet, but, yeah, he’s getting older and maybe not as tempestuous or quick to fly off the handle. He’s more of a thinking man this season and that’s nice to see him grow up.
Jamie and Claire are two of the most romantic characters in literature with a love that spans time. Do you believe that there is that kind of love?
I think there is, and I think we all aspire to it. I think that’s maybe why Diana Gabaldon’s books have done so well and why we have a great family of people that buy into that. I think it’s something that we all aspire to and aim for so, yeah, I would like to think it’s real and I’d like to think that one day I could have that myself.
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