It is a truth universally acknowledged that die-hard, book-reading Outlander fans were both immediately pleased with the choice of Sam Heughan to play Jamie Fraser, and a bit more skeptical when it came to Caitriona Balfe as his wife and intrepid time-traveling nurse, Claire. As it turns out, the process was somewhat similar for executive producer Ronald D. Moore. As he reveals in this new behind-the-scenes footage—which debuted on Entertainment Tonight—while Heughan definitely had a hold on the role of Jamie, this chemistry read helped decide the fate of his future on-screen spouse. As you can see, Balfe aced the test with flying colors and a quivering chin.
While the line reads themselves are fun to watch, Outlander fans are pretty used to Heughan and Balfe murmuring “I’m sorry” and “och aye” at each other. The real joy of this footage is seeing how the two of them interact after the scene is over. Remember, these are two people who don’t know each other very well yet—so there are a lot of apologies even as they stand close and try to strike their best “don’t we look good together?” poses for the camera. Moore agrees this is the best part: “We just wanted to see them a little bit more relaxed and sort of interacting,” he says. “You can see that they're sort of awkwardly aware that the camera is still running. But nonetheless, there is enough spontaneity and genuine affection and good humor between the two of them that it spoke volumes about their potential relationship.”
Compare the friendly-yet-awkward chemistry in the screen test footage with another new behind-the-scenes video the good people at Outlander released today. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the lovers of Season 3 assembled a cute, romance-heavy segment styled after the interview segments in When Harry Met Sally. Not content to merely sit on a bench together and reminisce, Balfe and Heughan also go the extra mile to re-enact the movie’s most famous scene. Oh, you know the one.
Also showing up for the video are the actors who play Outlander’s young lovers: Richard Rankin, Sophie Skelton, César Domboy, and Lauren Lyle,. Representing all the single ladies and gents is poor John Bell, a.k.a. Young Ian Murray—who is, as yet, unattached. Don’t worry, though; he won’t stay that way for long. May all this Valentine’s content slake your thirst during during the long Droughtlander until Season 4.
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