Kilts will be on parade when “Outlander” makes its television debut on Starz later this year. And on Friday, Scottish actor Sam Heughan, who plays Highlander Jamie Fraser in the series, dished on his 18th century wardrobe.
“In the show we use the feileadh mhor, which is the traditional kilt,” Sam said of the attire Jamie and his fellow Fraser and MacKenzie Highlanders will be swathed in, during a panel for the show at the Television Critics Association Winter Tour in Pasadena.
For those not initiated into all things “Outlander,” or Scottish attire in the 1700s, Sam explained the usefulness of the item of clothing.
“It’s a long bit of cloth. I can’t remember the actual size of the traditional ones, but [ours] are about seven, eight foot long, and they are basically used as a tool. The Highlanders would use them to obviously wear to keep themselves warm. You could use is it as a sleeping bag. You could use it as camouflage to blend into the background. They had sort of a variety of uses,” he continued. “They also had lots of pockets and you could wear them in different ways. … It took a long time to get used to it, but it’s a real joy to work with it, and you can find various uses. I mean, we even discovered you can use it as a shield you can wrap around your arm.”
So far, the cast has filmed four episodes of the show in Scotland, and on Friday, it was revealed that Diana Gabaldon, the author of the “Outlander” series, will appear in the drama.
“I don’t actually write scripts or direct or anything,” she said, when asked about her involvement in the show. “I will get two lines in one scene as a cameo. That’s the extent of my actual personal involvement. However, they have been very kind in involving me. They show me scripts. They show me glimpses of this, that, and the other, and they ask my opinion every now and again, although, they are not obliged to accept it, and I have been extremely amazed and very touched at the degree to which they trust me.”
It is actress Caitriona Balfe who is playing Claire (Beauchamp) Randall, the English World War II nurse, who, while on a Scottish getaway with her husband, Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies from “Game of Thrones” Season 3), ends up on a path back to the 1700s.
And, filming one scene on location has already felt magical, she said.
“We had this incredible cold… because it’s Scotland, but incredibly bright, sunny days and… we were up in a certain place called Loch Rannoch, and we shot some of the standing stone stuff, and it was this really strange thing… There’s a point where Claire hears a noise, and the wind would just whip up every time I went to do this certain point in the scene, and… the hairs on my arm would stand up. It just really felt like there was something kind of there,” she said.
“Outlander” premieres on Starz later this year.
-- Jolie Lash