New Sam Heughan and Ron D. Moore interview + BTS and Stills of Outlander from ‘Condé Nast Traveler’   3 comments

New Sam Heughan and Ron D. Moore interview


From Condé Nast Traveler

If you’ve missed the first eight episodes of season one of Outlander, here’s what you need to know: Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) jumps from a post-WWII second honeymoon in Inverness with her upstanding English husband to 1743, where she falls into the rugged Highlands embrace of be-kilted, Lallybroch-raised Jamie MacKenzie Fraser (Sam Heughan).

“Those days when you’re riding through the Scottish landscape and you’re on a horse and you’re seeing snow-covered peaks, it’s just magical,” says native Scotsman Heughan. “You’re taken by the beauty and kind of feel like no one’s every been there before. You don’t have to do anything, imagine anything as an actor. It’s all done for you.”

Showrunner Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) also credits the particular character of Scotland. “It’s gorgeous country, and the light is something we talk about a lot,” he says. “We kept going to places we felt we had never seen, had never rented to anybody. There are a lot of treats out there.”

More after the jump

Craigh na Dun

“Craigh na Dun, where we shot this, is a little remote and hard to get to,” says Moore, who was committed to staying true to the very specific descriptions in the book on which the series is based, and ideally, within an hour’s drive from the studio in Cumbernauld, outside Glasgow. Says Heughan: “It’s amazing how you can drive for 20 minutes from a main city and you’re in the countryside. It’s quite dramatic.”

Falkland, Fife

The wee town of Falkland in Fife is surprisingly well suited to spanning eras, standing in here as Inverness, where English couple Claire and Frank Randall honeymoon. “There are several buildings and streets that felt the most like they would play 1940s…and also 18th century,” says Moore. “There’s not a lot of signage. It’s pretty much how you see it in the show and pretty much how you want a Scottish village to be in your mind’s eye. It’s a great place to actually visit: very friendly, easy to access, great for walking around, pubs, restaurants.”

Doune Castle

Castles can be grand in Scotland, and Moore explains the need to keep the real estate within range for Jamie’s people: “We didn’t want the MacKenzies to have a ginormous fortress because this is a single-family clan.” Doune Castle, in the Stirling district of central Scotland, was the perfect stand-in for the fictional Castle Leoch. “It’s one of the best examples of a medieval castle still left in all of Europe, in terms of preservation,” he says. “The structure remains very close to when it was originally built, in the 13th century. The courtyard is great, there’s a rampart you can walk on, and I realized there wasn’t much I had to do to it digitally. It’s also where they shot Monty Python and the Holy Grail. If you go straight up to the tower, you will often hear tourists at the top shouting out lines.”

Flotterstone, Penicuik

“It’s just fantastic, great fun, to be given horses and the Highlanders to ride with to go attack Redcoats,” says Heughan about one of the show’s first locations, at Flotterstone, Penicuik, about 10 miles outside of Edinburgh. Moore describes it as “a perfect place for an ambush.” Adds Heughan: “They CGI’d in the rock, but the rest is all there.” His impressive horse is named Sleepy. “I’m obsessed with him,” Heughan says, “though Jamie and his horse have a love-hate relationship. He’s magnificent, extremely clever. He’s the most relaxed of all the horses. He doesn’t care about anything, even gunshots. However, he does not like goats. Apart from that, he’s awesome.”

Culloden, Highland

“Culloden is such a strong part of Scottish history, as it’s essentially where the last battle was fought to preserve this culture,” says Heughan of the bloody site where the English defeated the Scots in 1745. The stand-in, he says, was duly grim—barren moorlands with a lot of peat bogs. “Just to walk there, you feel it’s an eerie place, very empty, very open fields, not a very nice place to die. It must have been terrifying for these men.”

Newtonmore, Highland

“We shot for a couple of weeks up around Newtonmore, and all of the locations up there were really magnificent, the footage amazing,” says Heughan, who’s taken to Munro-bagging (climbing “Munros,” the Scottish term for mountains over 3,000 feet high) in his off time. He cites the area as the center of the outdoors scene in the Highlands. Not only is it lush and green for 18th-century Redcoats, but for travelers today who are up for biking, skiing, and mountaineering in the Cairngorms. The Old Bridge Inn in the village of Aviemore comes highly recommended by cast and crew.

Blackness Castle

To represent Fort William, where evil is done (most memorably to our leading young Scotsman), Moore says, “I wanted it to feel more forbidding and bleak than Castle Leoch.” It was the interior courtyard here—at the 15th-century Blackness Castle, a historic site on the Firth of Forth—that sold him on the site. “There’s this wall a good 20-, 30-feet high,” says Moore. “It’s cold and harsh and it just feels like a prison. You have this primordial, bleak, heavy fortress coming out of the ground. The wind comes off the water and it is cold. In every sense, it just goes right through you out there.”

Rothiemurchus Estate

Rothiemurchus Estate, by Aviemore, is where Claire most dedicatedly contemplates her future (or future-past) with Jamie. It’s “absolutely enormous,” says Heughan, “and where they famously used to shoot Monarch of the Glen. Whole herds of wild stags live here. It goes on for hundreds and hundreds of meters, just this really thick glen, almost up to Ben Nevis,” the highest peak in Scotland.

Ardverikie Estate

“We had 12 horses on set this day,” says Moore, “and any time you have horses and stunts and action going, it just increases the demands for what the location has to support.” That was Ardverikie Estate, Kinlochlaggan Newtonmore, “a long way to travel,” says Heughan, “to get that shot, to get all the riders, the horses, the handlers, the grooms on set. It takes a lot of people.” The Redcoats were a team of re-enactors recruited for the show. “They are magnificent,” Heughan says. “They work like a real regiment. They trained every morning, and they have to line up and march to their orders. It’s quite funny when the sergeant of arms, a real drillmaster, makes them march to the tent to go have their lunch. They’re a great bunch, very enthusiastic and very knowledgeable as well. We’d talk to them about the period and the weapons.”

Hopetoun House

Moore selected Hopetoun House, in West Lothian outside Edinburgh, as the stately home ofOutlander’s Duke of Sandringham. “It was kind of too big,” he says, so he digitally erased some of the wings of the house. “I didn’t want it to be like the duke was the king of Scotland or anything.” Because it’s a historic site—and the weather poses constant shooting challenges in Scotland—access is “always limited,” says Moore, and for the interior shots, they were “skittish about lit candles or open fires.” Outside though, “the specific quality of the light in Scotland gives it an unmistakable look, a whole tone and mood. If, for example, we were shooting in New Zealand, it wouldn’t look anything like this.”

Here are few new stills and BTS pics from Outlander

frank and claire

bts outlander4


BTS pictures

3 responses to “New Sam Heughan and Ron D. Moore interview + BTS and Stills of Outlander from ‘Condé Nast Traveler’

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Reblogged this on Ana Fraser Lallybroch Blog.

  2. Well how wonderful to have the actual places they shot mentioned here. I have never seen this before. They all love Scotland so much and it shows in their enthusiasm for their beloved project and in the unmatched finished product. A well matched team all around. and we the fans are the winners

  3. Pingback: Master Post: Outlander Premieres in London & Glasgow | Outlander Online

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: