Remote Controlled with Daniel Holloway: Caitriona Balfe on ‘Outlander’ Season 4

Remote Controlled with Daniel Holloway: Caitriona Balfe on 'Outlander' Season 4:






Can I just say that I am honestly such a fan of this woman. Her thoughts, ideas and opinions on this show are so gratifying to listen to. You can tell that just like us as fans she is constantly grappling with her own morals and beliefs versus what makes the show. That all the stuff that we point out in terms of its problems, that she is acutely aware of them. That she is also disappointed when her key moments don’t make the cut. But most of all what stood out in this interview is that she is a person trying to live her life in the midst of telling this story. That this is tough for her, that it has been a huge learning curve and she is still discovering what is best for her.

She has mentioned a number of times how naive they were in S1, particularly in relation to sex scenes. That she has learned to find her own personal line of comfort in terms of what is right for Cait and what is right for Claire. That when she makes these calls about nudity or an intimate scene that she is aware it is setting a tone for younger female cast members on set who face similar scenes. She is acutely aware of her place on set, as a leader for the cast and crew but also in the heirarchy of power in shaping the story, in which she is much lower down the line.

I could listen to her for hours, talking about anything at all. 

If you have a spare half hour this interview is totally worth your time. 

Interesting how Cait not only talks about how she learned that she could talk about what she was comfortable with in regards to sex scenes but that she wanted the younger cast members to feel that same right. (May explain why what was written for the Roger/Bree scene was more explicit than what was shown. )  She said her learning curve on what she could say (I think once she said what they could say) was steep in Season 1.  

She mentioned this is not soft porn again so I think they want to show love/sex scenes but not as graphic as they did in the first season.  Even though some fans will be disappointed, I have to respect that once she realized she could say no to something, that it was OK.  They probably were so grateful for the job in S1 that they just followed the scripts as written.

I just loved this interview. I loved the respectful tone of the interviewer and I loved the Cait who showed up to answer her thoughtful questions. This is all I ever wanted from promo. Let them be themselves, make personal questions off limits, and stop taking advantage of the fact that I showed up to listen by making her repeat the fake narrative over and over. Stepford Cait is nervous and grumpy and not as intelligent or insightful as this authentic version.

A great interview and agree with the comments. The very first thing that shocked me when I ventured into OL tumblr was the proliferation of sex gifs and how they were taken out of context, and used out of context with such abandon and glee by fans. Even if the actors were comfortable with their bodies and their work, it had to be uncomfortable the way they were used! In fact, to this day, I still think this is one of the reasons Sam and Cait have chosen this extreme path to keep their relationship private.

Two things stood out for me. Cait said Claire feels the right to right the wrong and this can mean she’s looking at things with a narrow field. But that’s where the drama comes from. This is exactly what we criticise about the writing and characterisation. And there’s a convo in the river boat that she wanted to play because it shows interesting developing in Jamie and Claire’s relationship but it didn’t make the script cos not dramatic enough. Cait understands. Can she write an episode that is about that? No drama, no plot all character?

Very solid interview; and I concur on the comments. I would say that it seems to me that both Cait and Sam were taken advantage of in the first season, neither realising the enormity of what they had stepped into: their naïveté essentially exploited, whether deliberately or not, by the writers and production. And they were clearly shocked to realize the intensity with which some fans – online and in person – focus on the physical aspects of the JC relationship (and of Sam-as-Jamie and Caitriona-as-Claire).

Like other commentators here, I was also struck by Cait’s heartfelt comments about how quieter “together” moments are sacrificed for “action”. Unfortunately, in doing that, production also misses opportunities to convey the intensity and depth of the emotional bond between Claire and Jamie; and cutting lines from scenes in that vein that were filmed has in several instances accentuated that and left viewers looking for ‘more’. I imagine that must be very frustrating for Caitriona as she tries to bring both dramatic and personal integrity to the screen; and hope she (and we) are allowed more of them in the balance of this season, and beyond.

Interesting interview and comments. I am glad to hear from Cait that she had different views on what should be included in the show. Her confirmation that the production favoured actions and plots for the purpose of making TV than dialogues and character experiences has reassured me she knows what the story is about but she doesn’t have final say.

I acknowledge the fact that at the beginning they were in less favourable positions to bargain for anything in general and particularly sex scenes. But as Cait also said herself, when she and Sam signed up they were at their thirties, and they had careers before, I tend to believe they also knew what they got into for S1 and they agreed to push themselves as much as they could. I could feel their desperation in breaking through in S1. I even believe if they didn’t go this far in S1, the show wouldn’t be as impactful as it is now.

I’m all for passionate sex scenes, with or even without plot, as it’s a big part of human activities and SC are good at showing it. Nothing shameful about sex but still it’s hard to share the most private part of one’s life, and SC were doing it unafraid. I am in awe and feel indebted to their generosity. But I also see their scenes being amplified at the same time decontextualised by being taken them out of the story development, the darker scenes brightened, slow-motioned, the moments which show clearer their private parts captured, etc. They’re hot and beautiful to look at and they’re gratifying but these graphic images alone without the story have little to do with intimacy. While we are saying we only want the intimacy of JC, if we take these sex scenes out of context, to hardcore book and show fans, we know they are iconic because we already know the story, but please imagine what these graphic images in S1 tell to a random person. I actually saw porn bots using S1 gifs and I’m sad because the casts and fans both deserve more respect.

I believe what we are seeing now is the outcome of a basket of factors. Production (inconsistent writing and editing are getting more obvious), casts and even fans are at play shaping how the story is being told.

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