Sunday, September 18, 2016

"Outlander' Season 3 Premiere Episode Script Written by Ronald Moore; Expect More Sexy Scenes

*Blog editor's note: Really happy to hear that MAYBE, Ron and team listened to the fan's displeasure over the lack of intimacy in Season 2, but a bit wary nonetheless.  He admits there will be more "sexy scenes" but doesn't specify between whom. (Is anyone really looking forward to Jamie and his other dalliances or too much Claire and Frank?)

Article by Sachin Trivedi, IBT, Australia

Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore answered a few fan questions about “Outlander” Season 3 recently. Moore revealed that he has written the script of the premiere episode, and shared other titbits about the new season online.

Moore took some time from his busy schedule to answer a few fan questions on his official Twitter page. When he revealed that he had written the script for the premiere episode, the fans had more questions about it. The fans wanted to know why the first episode was important enough to demand his personal attention, and they wondered if he wanted to set the tone for the season. Another fan wanted to know if they have already filmed the episode.

Both Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) and Moore released videos from the first day of filming online. The videos showed the filming of scenes related to the Battle of Culloden. While the previous season was a build-up to this big battle there were no actual action sequences of the fights featured.

Jamie is expected to rush back to take part in the action, alongside the other Highlanders in “Outlander” Season 3. There are at least two major deaths expected in this battle. The TV series will then show the viewers the aftermath of the battle.

Moore teased that the filming is “off to a great start” and they have “almost finished with block one.” The next season is based on Diana Gabaldon’s book “Voyager.” The producer said that his team is still considering their options about where to film the scenes involving ships.

The big event the fans are looking forward to in “Outlander” Season 3 is the reunion of Jamie and Claire (Caitriona Balfe). The two characters will be separated at the beginning, as Claire is still in the future when the last season ended, and she was considering travelling back through time again. When asked in which episode the two characters will be reunited, Moore chose not to reveal that information. He did, however, tease that there will “definitely” be more sexy scenes on the show this time around.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Why Female Directors and Writers are Essential to Outlander: Sam Sums it Up

Nice interview clip with Sam Heughan, who reminds us why female input is so integral to the success of Outlander, and why we love the intimacy. (clip courtesy of ABC RN -Australia)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Duncan Lacroix on Why You should Always Take A Murtagh

By Katrina Tweedie, The Daily Record and Sunday Mail

Murtagh has become the unlikely hero of Outlander and here actor Duncan Lacroix talks about the enduring appeal of the character.

MURTAGH has become one of the most loved characters in Outlander, as Jamie Fraser’s right-hand man, Godfather and trusted confidant.

Irritable, funny, loyal and brave and with the most expressive eyebrows in TV Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser even has a hashtag on social media in his honour - #AlwaysTakeAMurtagh. *

But his slow burning appeal was a blessing for actor Duncan Lacroix, giving him the time to fully realise the character as the show developed over two seasons.

“I’m not sure many people really knew who he was for the bulk of season one until the Search episode when my character and Claire tried to find Jamie , then you got more of his back story,” says Duncan.

“Then, in season two, he was the only Highlander who accompanies the main characters to France, which was lucky for me.

"Murtagh is capable of extreme violence and tenderness at the same time with that sense of humour running through him,” adds Duncan.

But his unrequited love for Ellen (Jamie mother’s) was one of the integral elements of the show and one that Duncan latched onto.

“That idea where you have one love and stay true to that one love, was very revealing to me.

“We’ve all had one person that you can’t get over for a long time, that haunts future relationships.

"Murtagh is also the most open of the Highlanders. He accepts Claire through her actions rather than judging her as a ‘Sassenach’ or a woman.”

The transformation of the irascible Highland warrior, from the pages of Diana Gabaldon’s books to the small screen, has been Duncan’s big career break.

Originally from South London, and with an accent to match – yes, we were shocked at this revelation too – Duncan had a succession of office jobs after studying drama.

Fearing his “dream was starting to fade away” aged 30 he upped stakes and moved to Ireland. “There was a nice artistic community and I was able to properly learn my trade doing play after play after play.”

Acting is an addiction, he says: “It’s a habit, something you can’t do without. There have been times – and very long periods of time - when I’ve had no money and have been in desperate situations but I just can’t let it go.

“Especially when you really pull it off and in theatre you get an immediate gratification from the atmosphere in the room.”

Actor Duncan Lacroix

In September, Duncan joined cast members including Grant O’Rourke, Graham McTavish and Stephen Walters for ScotCon, the first fan convention in Scotland and at Starfury's "The Highlanders" convention in London, where he was also joined by Sam Heughan, Steven Cree, and Gary Lewis.

Duncan looked forward to connecting with Outlander’s famous fan base.

“We’ve had the most amazing fans from day one and I love these conventions and the chance to get their feedback.”

But do they even confuse Duncan with his character?

“As soon as I open my mouth they are disabused from that,” he laughs.

In Outlander he has a soft Scottish Highland brogue, which makes his real South London accent even more incongruous.

Sam Heughan and Duncan Lacroix in costume for filming at Troon Harbour

The accent worried me,” he admits. “Luckily we had an amazing voice coach in Caroline Crawford who really broke the Highland accent down.

“But there are still times when I look back on certain early scenes and wince.”

At ScotCon, Duncan will judge a Battle of the Bands competition, something he and his fellow cast members are all taking very seriously, mindful of the precarious nature of success in showbiz.

“Outlander has afforded me great lifestyle changes. I was just quietly working away in theatre for 13 years before this big break happened,” he says.

Now based in Glasgow during almost 10 months of filming every year, Duncan enjoys a life of relative anonymity, as without his famous beard few people recognise him.

But he’s looking forward to joining his band of merry men on set again.

Caitriona Balfe and Duncan Lacroix as Claire and Murtagh

Before the filming of season three starts again in a few weeks, Duncan will join Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe for a two-week bootcamp where they’ll reconnect over dinner and literally ease them themselves back in the saddle again.

Fans of the books will be aware Murtagh dies during the Battle of Culloden and there is much speculation whether producers will deviate from the original story to retain this popular character.

“The dynamic is very interesting between Jamie and Murtagh, especially around Culloden,” he says.

Catching himself from revealing too much, he laughs, adding: “I’m still to fully find out myself but even if I knew I wouldn’t give the game away.”

But tellingly, Duncan, at the age of 46, is going to strike while the iron is hot

And dip his toe into the water in Los Angeles.

It’s a daunting and bold move for the actor, who wishes he had a real life Murtagh of his own for support.

“I’ve never had someone like that,” he says. “He’d be a good character to have in your pocket during tricky situations. The fans are right - It would great if you could Always Take A Murtagh.”

* The hashtag was coined by our very own writer Connie Verzak in her popular Outlander recaps for Scotland Now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Looks Like Outlander's Newest Cast Member, David Berry, is the Perfect Actor to Play Lord John

Congratulations and Welcome to Australian actor David Berry for landing the role of Lord John Grey in the upcoming seasons of Outlander! Read on to see why he may just be just the perfect guy to play him

Shunned, Abused and Tortured: David Berry Portrays What Many Gay Men Endured in 1950s Australia
By Shannon Molloy, News Corp Australia Network

ACTOR David Berry would be so traumatised by his television character some days that he’d break down in hysterics on set.

The 31-year-old star of A Place To Call Home would be totally inconsolable — a sobbing mess. And he began to take the heavy experiences of James Bligh with him at the end of a day’s filming.
It wasn’t just the heavy storylines from the Foxtel period drama, set in 1950s Australia — it was that so much truth was woven in to the fictional heir to a farming fortune.
James is married but gay and, in the previous two seasons, has experienced everything from forbidden love to family disapproval and even horrific “treatments” including electroshock.
“In the beginning, I did a lot of research about what it meant to be a gay man in this era,” Berry said.
“But I also interviewed men who lived through this time, as well as those ordeals — including the so-called therapies. I looked at real stories so I could tell an honest one with these characters.

“That’s why I feel an enormous burden. I have a very real possibility to do James well because there are so many people who can relate to him.”

Heavy role ... Actor David Berry’s experience of playing James in A Place To Call Home has taken a sometimes significant toll.

Berry has heard from many of those men, who say seeing a familiar battle waged on the small screen has had a profound impact.
For many, it helped them to come to terms with the often barbaric events they lived through. A few said they felt closure — an inner peace.

“That’s humbling,” Berry said. “It’s also very scary. I owe these people — they’re invested in the character.”
Those investments include very vivid recollections of being held against their will in hospitals, electrocuted, pumped full of drugs and mentally abused.
Things have certainly changed in 60 years. It’s no longer illegal to be a homosexual, society is far more accepting and horrific medical torture like that no longer takes place.

Shameful treatment ... Some doctors in that era tried to “cure” homosexuality with barbaric practices like electroshock and drug aversion. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

But Berry said things are still far from perfect.

“You only need to look at the gay marriage debate to see that,” he said.

“There’s still a certain amount of prejudice in society. I think if James was a character set in present day he’d still have his own battles.”

In fact, he’s heard from young gay men who say James has helped them to accept who they are.

“He’s relatable to those who can’t be who they are, whose families and communities don’t or won’t accept them.”

When Channel Seven axed A Place To Call Home in mid-2014, Berry and the rest of the cast bid farewell to their much-loved personas.

Several months later when Foxtel saved the drama — an unprecedented move in television — most of the actors were ecstatic. But Berry admits he felt sick with anxiety.

“It’s not that I was reluctant … let’s say apprehensive. I didn’t sleep very well. I even developed an eye twitch!”

It wasn’t just that he’d moved on — Berry was in two war-themed documentaries in that year — but he was nervous to go back.

“Everything that James had gone through, I was terrified about having to live through that again.”

It’s why the actor argued for a progression of his character’s storyline in season three. Berry wanted to see James with a bit more strength, after so many episodes of being the victim.

“At the end of the day, he’s a wealthy and influential heir who’s a born leader. I thought more of that should come through.”

And while it will in the new episodes to air from this Sunday, there’s no shortage of heavy drama either.

Haunting storyline ... There’s a scene in the new season of A Place To Call Home that left David Berry an emotional wreck for days. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

There’s one particular scene coming up that Berry said still haunts him.

“I can’t say too much without giving it away, but there’s an argument between James (and his wife) Olivia that gets extremely heated. It really shook me.

“When you see it, I think you’ll understand why.

“For a week after, I had total anxiety. I’d start crying for no reason — just totally bawling on set or at home. I had zero control over it.”

The emotion of someone who doesn’t exist bleeding into his own world was a frightening experience, Berry said.

“I guess that’s all good for the character,” he laughed. “Probably not so much for my wife (in real life).”

There are many things about this show that Berry is fond of. The opportunity to tell such a rich story, for one, as well as the high production values and quality feel of the show.

But the young performer has also discovered something a white, heterosexual man rarely does.

“I’ve experienced what it feels like to not be loved or accepted for who you are,” he said.

“That’s a very potent emotion. It’s such a big, important part of life, and not having it is pretty rough — you end up wanting and yearning for it and there’s not a lot of room for anything else.”

But will James ever get the one thing he desperately wants? Berry said to watch this space.

In teasers for the upcoming season, his character is seen in flirtatious situations with a handsome doctor, hinting at a possible romantic dalliance to come.

“I think James will always fight to be at peace. Whether he gets there is another story. It’ll be difficult, given the time and his circumstances.

“But I know I’ll fight to get him there.”

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Our "Blood of My Blood" Auction Was a Huge Success!!

By: Outlander Central

We can't thank all of enough for your enormous generosity during our Blood of My Blood Auction to benefit Bloodwise UK, one of Sam Heughan's many supported charities.  We featured the gorgeous artwork of the verra lovely and talented Joanna Michalak (@joaellaine),which, apparently, you all love as much as we do!  Joanna was lucky enough to meet Sam at Jibland in Italy this past spring and, being the really nice guy that he is, he graciously signed two of her pieces, which were included in the auction.  All totaled, we raised $5000.00 for Bloodwise UK!! We know they'll put that money to great use in beating blood cancer.  Thanks SO MUCH to Joanna for providing her beautiful work and for all of her help with the auction, and to all of you for your amazing support!! The Outlander Fanmily ROCKS!

Joanna and Sam (the artist and her muse!)

In case you missed them, here are the pieces we auctioned off:

The Promise

James Fraser

Blood and Bone

Fire and Gasoline
Have No Fear

Just Once

May Child

The Frasers

Wild Strawberries

Both Sides Now
Dragonfly in Amber (contest winning Lithograph)

Dead Man's Box

Casting for New Outlander Season 3 Characters Gets Underway

By: Valarie Kinney, Daily Record

News that casting had begun for new characters Young Ian and Lord John Grey was confirmed on Twitter by the show’s executive producer Maril Davis.

Outlander fans worldwide are excited to learn that casting for the characters Young Ian and Lord John Grey has begun

The show continues to be hugely successful as it makes plans for its third season, and fans of the books are looking forward to seeing much-loved characters Lord John Grey and Young Ian come to life on screen, eagerly anticipating news about which actors are cast for the roles.

Oscar Kennedy was cast as the younger version of Lord John Grey, and we saw a quick glimpse of him in season two on the episode Je Suis Prest , when he makes a feeble attempt on Jamie’s life in an effort to ‘save’ Claire from the savage Scot.

Oscar Kennedy was cast as the younger version of Lord John Grey.

An older Lord John will become an integral part of the story as it moves forward, and those who feel unable to wait for the story may want to pick up the Lord John series of books by Gabaldon.

Young Ian, the son of Jamie’s sister Jenny and her husband Ian, plays an important role in Claire and Jamie’s lives in the book Voyager and beyond.

With his independent spirit and curious mind, Young Ian’s escapades will set life-changing events into motion for Claire and Jamie.

As fans continuously refresh their Twitter feeds looking for casting news of Lord John and Young Ian, they can rest assured Starz will find the perfect actors for the roles.

After all, their casting has been spot on thus far in the series.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Actor Steven Cree on Outlander and Taking the Mickey Out of The Hoff

Welcome to Twitter, Steven! @MrStevenCree

By Scotland Now

Actor Steven Cree plays Ian Murray the Starz hit Outlander

WHEN Steven Cree sends an email from his phone, a note at the bottom claims it has been sent from Dolly Parton’s bathroom.

It’s a surreal footnote but not unexpected from the Scottish actor whose career is anything but predictable.

In the past year he has tackled roles as diverse as a one-legged Jacobite in Outlander to a spoof with David Hasselhoff.

Steven, who is originally from Kilmarnock, moved to London 17 years ago but was thrilled when the trans-Atlantic success story that is Outlander brought him back home.

“When I got the part I had no idea what Outlander was and it wasn’t until we started filming, that I realised how massive the whole thing is,” he says.

His character, the amiable Ian Murray, is best friends and brother-in-law to Jamie Fraser, played by Sam Heughan, and married to Jenny, played by Laura Donnelly

Steven Cree as Ian Murray, with Jenny ( Laura Fraser) and Claire ( Catriona Balfe)

All three actors studied drama in Glasgow and were reunited on the time travelling fantasy written by American author Diana Gabaldon.

Steven recalls listening, bemused, to the tales of super fandom surrounding Outlander, which he was soon to experience himself after first appearing in the hit series in 2015.

“Sam and Caitriona [Balfe, who plays Claire Fraser] told me about the various things the fans had been sending them, including home baking. I’d never experienced anything like it before. Even the drivers have their own fangroup."

Although not a fan of social media himself, Steven need not worry since several fans have set up twitter and facebook accounts on his behalf.

“All interaction with fans has been extremely nice, but this level of interest is definitely not usual,” he says.

Later this year he will attend the first ever Scottish convention dedicated to Outlander.

ScotCon, in September, is expected to attract thousands of fans who will get the chance to meet key cast members and share a table with the stars at a gala dinner and ceilidh.

The show has done much to support the Scottish acting industry as well as providing an extraordinary boost to tourism and Steven is looking forward to celebrating his role in the production that has done much to showcase Scotland.

“Outlander must have created work for half the people in the Scottish film industry but it has also showed the world that Scotland is such an amazing and beautiful country and it’s the first TV production for a while in which Scotland has been one of the main characters of the show.”

Playing the part of Ian Murray was not without its challenges, says Steven, who had to get to grips with wearing a wooden leg for the role.

“It made for a lot of off-camera comedy,” he says. “I’d been walking into a scene and my leg would suddenly fall off, which Catriona in particular found hilarious.”

Although the Outlander series stretches to nine books, it’s not yet known how many will be adapted for the screen by Starz TV.

“I know that the character trajectory lasts until book six but it depends how closely they will stick to the story in the book. But I’d certainly love to go back as it’s an amazing thing to be part of.”

Soon after Outlander, Steven found himself on set with David Hasselhoff in the ‘mockumentary’ Hoff the Record.

“That was probably the most fun I’ve had on a job. For a start my character was an ex-SAS survivalist called Mike Porridge.

“For the most part it was unscripted and I had carte blanche to do what I wanted. The brief was basically to take the piss out of David as much as possible.

“He was a brilliant sport and was really up for laughing at himself. But it was surreal too, of course, when you grow up in Kilmarnock watching Baywatch as a teenager then find yourself taking the mickey out of David Hasselhoff being in Baywatch.”

Earlier this year Steven filmed The Titan, with Sam Worthington andTaylor Schilling. Set 30 years in the future he plays an scientist called Major Timothy Pike.

“The morning I got the call about the part I was on the Tube and a newspaper next to me fell open at a story about Tim Peake, the astronaut currently in space.” It was yet another pinch-me moment.

Now Steven is about to start filming Churchill, alongside Brian Cox and John Slattery, playing real life RAF serviceman and meteorologist, Captain James Stagg. The thriller follows Winston Churchill in the 24 hours before D-Day.

In between stints in Scotland filming Outlander, London where he lives and LA for casting session Steven has yet to actually find himself in Dolly Parton’s bedroom - but stranger things have happened.

You can buy tickets for ScotCon and get more information from here.