Finally, the end of #Droughtlander is in sight! Last night, we were lucky enough to attend the red carpet for the Outlander screening at New York’s Ziegfeld Theater. As someone who spends most of her day behind a computer, the idea of interviewing actors whose work I really respect (and squee over) had me shaking like a skittish chihuahua. But you don’t say no to an Outlander event. You just don’t.
My colleague and I set up near the end of a very long press line, which the entire cast spent over an hour walking — stopping for photos, interviews and making sure that every member of the press had time with them — from big-time entertainment shows like Access Hollywood to our, um, slightly more modest Brooklyn-based romance magazine.
Keeping up the energy and enthusiasm to run this press gauntlet is a talent all on its own, so the Outlander cast has all my admiration for doing that and then entering the screening where fans had, I’m sure, even more questions for them.
Observations about the cast! In case you were wondering:
- Lotte Verbeek (Geillis Duncan) has the most enviable hair on planet Earth.
- Graham McTavish (Dougal MacKenzie) is one of the most physically intimidating men I’ve ever seen — tall, broad-shouldered and very handsome. Also, HE WORE A KILT, PEOPLE! Both he and Gary Lewis (Colum MacKenzie) were extremely good sports when I razzed them about being nicer to Claire.
- In addition to looking dapper as hell in a suit, Tobias Menzies had a lot to say about the dimensions of Black Jack Randall’s character. Also? His performance as Black Jack is so good that I physically braced when he walked over. That’s talent.
- In unshocking news, Caitriona Balfe is a radiant goddess. I got to talk her about the love scenes in Outlander, which have resonated with so many women. This was the one question that I wanted to ask most.
- We know Sam Heughan is beautiful. But he’s also soft-spoken and deeply gracious. He stayed until the very end of the red carpet, when most of the media had entered the screening — just to make sure the smaller press outlets had everything they needed. He also crossed the barricade and bent down to pose with a member of the press who was in a wheelchair. All the kindness and gentleness you see in Jamie on the show? That’s Sam.
A video of our interviews from the event:
And now that Outlander is returning, here are some of my hopes for the second half of season one:
1. Finding out more about Geillis. Shady lady Geillis has intrigued me from the start. Is she a witch? What’s her agenda? I can’t wait to see how her friendship with Claire evolves, especially since Claire has so few true allies in this show. Claire needs a good girlfriend and it’s obviously not gonna be Laoghire. (Sorry not sorry, Laoghire.) So please be nice, Geillis. Please.
2. How will Claire change history? One of the major plot points of the first half of season one involved Claire discovering that Dougal and his men are Jacobite rebels who are trying to overthrow the English king and restore the Stuart monarchy, because the current regime certainly isn’t doing anything good for Scotland. Since history says the rebels failed, Claire made a run at trying to convince them to abandon the rebellion, but they’re unpersuaded. Is it possible that Claire could help them change history?
3. More Claire/Jamie kissing! Yes, yes, Outlander isn’t just about the romance, but let’s face it: most of us are tuning in, in large part, because of that wicked chemistry between Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan. She’s pretty. He’s pretty. If I can’t watch two pretty people kiss one another, then WHY AM I EVEN ALIVE? ::flounces onto couch dramatically::
4. Fewer gratuitous threats of sexual violence This is my dark thing about Outlander, literally the only complaint I have about a show that has so completely stolen my heart. I can well understand that rape and sexual violence were huge, prevalent threats in 1743. The hostility toward women is part of why Claire needs Jamie so much, and that does make sense to me. And I also understand when these threats serve the story and when they’re gratuitous. In “The Gathering,” Claire is implicitly or explicitly threatened with rape three times. Three times. In one episode. And we certainly didn’t need every single one to push the story forward. That’s a lot, guys. My squee has no value if I’m never critical! And this bugs me.
5. More Black Jack evilness. One of the most amazing thing about Tobias Menzies as Black Jack is that he’s so damn menacing even when he’s just talking. During his conversation with Claire in “The Garrison Commander,” I couldn’t breathe. I watched that episode quaking under my blanket in fear, but totally unable to look away. Give this man all the Emmys and give me more compelling acting to watch.
Enjoy our interviews with the cast! And stay tuned to this space as I recap the second half of Outlander. Can’t wait! You can find all of RT’s Outlander coverage, including my recaps, here.