Caitriona Balfe Interview – ‘Outlander’ Season One’s Second Half, Book Boyfriends, and Intimate Scenes

Caitriona Balfe Interview on Season 1's Second Half
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in ‘Outlander’ (Photo © 2014 Sony Pictures Television)

Caitriona Balfe says Outlander fans can expect to see ‘Claire’ doing a bit of soul-searching about the repercussions of her actions when the Starz series returns for the second half of season one on April 4, 2015. Thus far in season one, Balfe – who perfectly captures the Claire described in Diana Gabaldon’s books – has been spending time on screen with two talented actors: Sam Heughan who plays Jamie Fraser and Tobias Menzies who handles double duty as Black Jack Randall and Frank Randall. And at the 2015 TCA winter press event, Balfe talked about her co-stars as well as what it’s been like shooting this first season of the critically acclaimed series and whether she’d claim Jamie as her ‘book boyfriend.’

Caitriona Balfe Outlander Interview

You have intimate scenes, some of which are fun and some of which are horrific. Is one easier to do than the other?

Caitriona Balfe: “Well, I think they both have their own complications and their own challenges. Obviously, it’s nicer to be emoting in a positive emotion rather than a negative one. Those days are always a little bit easier, but those have their own challenges too. That’s a different type of vulnerability and a different type of exposure.”

With Tobias Menzies, do you feel you’re working with a different person, or is it a challenge?

Caitriona Balfe: “No, he’s such a fantastic actor that when he’s off set, when we’re not working and he’s just Tobias, we hang out and we have lunch in our trailers. But some of the scenes that we share are very challenging so just by that very nature, we’re not goofing around as much as we were if maybe perhaps it was Frank and Claire. He’s not method but he’s a very, very dedicated actor, but it’s easy to separate.”

Some of the fans say Jamie is their “book boyfriend”. Is Jamie your book boyfriend?

Caitriona Balfe: [Laughing] “I’ve heard people say that. No, I wouldn’t say Jamie’s my book boyfriend. I think he’s an amazing character and I think Diana’s created this incredible person but, no, I don’t think I’ve ever had a book boyfriend. I get into the stories more than one single character.”

How do you have such an easy way with difficult scenes?

Caitriona Balfe: “I think it’s because I trust my costars so much. I think Sam and I and Tobias and I have just built up such great friendships that it makes it very easy when it comes to those scenes. As awkward and as challenging as they are, I think when you have people there that you trust, then it just makes them easier.”

How do you manage your Twitter feed?

Caitriona Balfe: “Oh, badly. Really badly. I’m such a sporadic — I’ll take a notion one day and I’ll try and be really good, but then I can go for a week or two without going on it at all. Sam is so good, I don’t know how he manages it, and Diana, I don’t know how she manages to write books and manage a Twitter feed and a Facebook, but I try. I really enjoy engaging with the fans when I can, but it’s not my strong point.”

What skill have you learned? Could you ride horses prior to signing on to Outlander?

Caitriona Balfe: “I didn’t know how to horse ride. I’ve been on horses before but they definitely gave us lessons on that, and I got to meet with a herbologist quite a lot so I think I can now make pretty good herb cream and stuff. Or as you guys say it, ‘erb,’ right?”

What’s been your favorite scene or episode so far?

Caitriona Balfe: “I’m really looking forward to 11, for people seeing it. That’s one of my favorites.”

– Also of Interest: Sam Heughan on swooning women, Jamie and Claire, and sex scenes