We talked with Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan about 1940s misogyny, dealing with grief, and Claire’s/Jamie’s journeys during Entertainment Weekly’s Outlander Season 3 premiere screening. See our exclusive interviews and images!
Sassenachs, most of us are still reeling from this weekend’s Outlander Season 3 premiere. “The Battle Joined” was phenomenal in every way, so please make sure to read our recap and review, plus our new video review of the episode where Katie and I share alllllll of our Outlander feels on YouTube.
Ahead of Sunday’s Season 3 debut, I was honored to be able to attend Entertainment Weekly’s screening of “The Battle Joined” in NYC, including their red carpet event and Q&A with Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.
The red carpet was very intimate, and bigger entertainment outlets, blogs, and fans were all able to interact with Sam and Cait as they chatted with press.
I had a chance to see “The Battle Joined” at San Diego Comic-Con in July, so the questions I had for Sam and Cait were quite specific to the premiere (which is why it was important to me to wait until the episode debuted and avoid major spoilers).
You can listen to my interviews with Cait and Sam below (the audio is set to exclusive images of them at the EW event):
One of the things that is shocking to many of us was the level of misogyny Claire deals with in the 1940s. For me, the most horrific example is in the hospital where her agency as an expectant mother is completely discounted and the doctor puts her under anesthesia against her will. Every time I watch that scene I’m infuriated by the blatant violation. I ask Cait her thoughts about filming that scene, and she mentions that when she first read it, she was very excited. Several years ago, she watched a documentary called “The Business of Being Born” (produced by Ricki Lake) that depicts the shift of childbirth from predominantly female-dominated arena to pregnancy as a “medical condition.” As a result women’s agency and capability in childbirth was discounted. Cait mentions that, even today, we still see women deprived of options in childbirth, all for the sake of expediency.
I’ve said several times before, but in the phenomenal episode that is “The Battle Joined,” Sam Heughan is the shining star. His eyes, his very breaths, the few words he does speak, all convey the depth of Jamie’s grief. When I ask about filming this, Sam discusses how much he loves portraying Jamie’s journey this season. Though it’s depressing, we really come to understand who Jamie is without Claire.
I ask both Cait and Sam about their experiences in South Africa and whether they have plans to visit any other parts of the African continent.
For Cait, she loved filming in South Africa and comments that the people, food, and wine are amazing. She also had a chance to visit Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned by the Apartheid government). Cait enjoyed being able to recognize that painful history and the beauty that emerged in South Africa’s post-Apartheid era. Cait says she’s been to Ghana, Tunisia, and Morocco, and would really like to visit other parts of Africa. I made sure to recommend Nigeria 😉
Sam also enjoyed filming in South Africa. There had a great crew and locations. It really added a new energy to Season 3. Sam does have plans to go back to Africa, perhaps sometime in the new year.
During the Q&A (moderated by EW’s Lynette Rice), Sam and Cait talked more about filming Season 3 and their overall experiences being part of Outlander. I live tweeted during it and you can check out those tweets at the end of this post as a Twitter Moment 🙂 It includes a video of Sam and Cait talking about what it was like to meet one another the very first time!
Beyond that, during the audience questions portion, someone asked what was it like finally kill Black Jack Randall? Sam responded that it was great finale to the epic triangle between Jamie, Claire, and BJR. It was sad to say goodbye to Tobias Menzies in that sense. Also, according to Sam, the fact that Black Jack dies in Jamie’s embrace is messed up (LOL).
A fan also asked Cait and Sam how they get to the emotional space to film all of Outlander‘s intense scenes. For Cait, she loves living in her imagination and going to her dream world. Sometimes it’s something she reads, a piece of music, or just observing behavior and keeping her eyes open to human experiences. All of these things help with filming. Cait acknowledges that it’s really only possible to understand a scene through your own lens; however, it’s important to empathize. Sam agrees and speaks more about enjoying the challenge of portraying Jamie’s grief and emotions, and that doing so can be liberating. Have to find the trigger for each scene.
EW has posted the video of the Q&A, so you can watch the whole thing now:
Take a look at 30+ exclusive images from the red carpet and Q&A and make sure to let me know what your thoughts about the interviews and what you’re most excited about for Outlander Season 3!
Outlander Season 3 airs Sundays at 8:00pm ET|PT on STARZ. You can also rewatch on STARZ Play online HERE or via the STARZ Play app.