‘Outlander’ Showrunner Reveals Why Casting Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan was ‘Tricky’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe are recognized for portraying Jamie and Claire Fraser on Outlander. Their chemistry on-screen is plain, and it’s unfathomable that anybody else may play these iconic characters so completely. But, as showrunner Ronald D. Moore revealed in a latest interview, casting Heughan and Balfe was a “tricky” course of.

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are the guts of ‘Outlander’

At this level, Heughan and Balfe are just about TV royalty. Since Outlander premiered in 2014, the actors have turn out to be synonymous with its lead characters, Jamie and Claire. 

The present, which is predicated on Diana Gabaldon’s literary collection of the identical title, has an enormous international fan following. And Balfe and Heughan are sometimes celebrated by followers for bringing a lot depth to their characters.

RELATED: ‘Outlander’ Star Caitriona Balfe Lovingly Teases Sam Heughan on His 40th Birthday

Sam Heughan was solid as Jaime first

Caitriona Balfe and Sam HeughanCaitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan | Starz

When speaking to Collider, Outlander showrunner Ronald D. Moore revealed the early casting course of for the collection and what he anticipated from the actors who would painting Claire and Jamie Fraser. 

“At the beginning, I said, ’We’re going to cast Claire first because she’ll be the easiest to find,’” mentioned Moore. ‘”She’s a sensible 20th-century British girl, and there are many them and we’ll discover her shortly, however Jamie’s gonna be powerful. How do you discover the king of males? This heroic determine, this Scot?’”

Moore mentioned that the scenario really ended up in reverse. He discovered Heughan first and knew straight away he could be excellent for the function. 

“We found Sam, he was the first cast member,” the showrunner revealed. “We just saw his tape and we went,  “Oh my god, there he is.’ It was just like…boom.”

Balfe was solid as Claire simply days earlier than ‘Outlander’ began filming

Caitriona Balfe - OutlanderCaitriona Balfe - Outlander
Caitriona Balfe | Starz

After Heughan was solid within the function of Jamie Fraser, Outlander producers had been left with discovering the proper Claire. In his interview with Collider, Moore mentioned that many actresses learn for the half, however none had Claire’s spark.

“It was tricky, we were really trying to find a very special quality,” mentioned Moore.  “I always said that I wanted Claire to be really smart, and you had to see her thinking. And you know she had to be this really capable interesting person and she had to marry up really well with Sam.”

Moore mentioned that simply earlier than manufacturing started, Balfe’s self-made audition tape was found by producers. And after she got here in for a display check with Heughan, the showrunner mentioned he knew she was excellent for the function.

“We didn’t find her until very late in the game, and she taped her own audition and sent it in,” Moore defined. “We just were like pretty certain from her tape that she was the one. And then when we saw the chemistry test, we were convinced.”

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan attend the season 2 premiere of 'Outlanders.'Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan attend the season 2 premiere of 'Outlanders.'
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan | Randy Brooke/FilmMagic

Moore additionally admitted that they didn’t discover Balfe till the final minute. In truth, she was solid simply days earlier than they began filming.

“Once we cast her she was on a plane to Scotland within a day and shooting like two days later,” he mentioned. “I mean we were so close to the beginning of production it was really starting to scare everyone.”

Heughan and Balfe will return to play Jamie and Claire Fraser for Outlander, Season 6.

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