SDCC Interview – Diana Gabaldon – Outlander
I spoke to author Diana Gabaldon about the television adaptation of her book series, Outlander. In a roundtable setting, we were able to ask some questions you may have not heard some of the answers before. Other questions and answers may sound familiar to fans from Diana’s other interviews. She began our interview with commenting on how large our recording devices were compared to the last roundtable she was at.
For the Outlander interviews, I represented both The MacGuffin and Outlander TV News.
[Spoiler Alert: This interview does discuss certain elements of the second season, so if you would prefer to stay spoiler-free, avoid reading this interview.]
Q: What was your reaction to the very first episode they allowed you to see?
Diana: I was just blown away by it. I actually got to see it in the production suite with the film editor and Ron, and they were showing me the rough cuts of the first two episodes together. It was so sweet. The film editor actually cried (cue the “Aww” sound from all of us) because he said, “it was so great to see you see this for the first time.”
Q: As we wait of course to learn who will be cast as Brianna and Roger, what are some of their individual characteristics from the novels that you look forward to seeing being brought to screen?
Diana: It is hard to say because so much of it depends on the actor, what they can do. Now Sam Heughan for instance is a very analytical actor, and he has read the books several times. You can see him do Jamie’s little physical things like drumming his fingers while he is thinking and so forth which he has picked up and those are conscious decisions. At the same time, he/you grasp(s) the emotional sense of Jamie. The very first time I saw him in an audition tape, I thought (makes a face) I never thought they would find anyone who could do that and he just did just like that. It was just amazing. At the same time, there was this certain “Sam-ness” to him. It is very weird to be sharing joint custody with a character. Well, with Caitriona Balfe…everybody’s take is completely different. It took them forever to find Claire. You have probably heard how they found her. They sort of picked her out of the slush bin, but she just walked into that part and inhabited it. Her physique is not how it is described in the book, but it doesn’t matter. I have always said to people that it does not really matter that much what an actor looks like. It’s can they act? And she just totally had it. It is just instinctive on her part.
Q: Book two (Dragonfly in Amber) begins in a surprising place compared to the end of book one (Outlander)…
Diana: People always think they are reading the wrong book.