Diehard Outlander fans have seen the video of its stars’ chemistry test. Now, Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe‘s Outlander audition is getting more behind-the-scenes details from Heughan himself. The actor details the “intense” audition in his new memoir Waypoints: My Scottish Journey.
In a new chapter excerpt, the star talks of their audition, a scene that would go on to become a beloved Jamie and Claire fight scene from Outlander Season 1 Episode 9, “The Reckoning.” You know the one. It features the line “You’re tearing my guts out, Claire.” Heughan writes in Waypoints that this audition marked his and Balfe’s first meeting. The show’s hunt for Claire was ongoing, and he says, “the chemistry had to be just right.”
“Despite their enduring love, the two characters can be quite antagonistic in their relationship,” Heughan writes in the excerpt, shared October 21 in Variety. “In the heat of that moment, born from love and frustration, we literally began tearing at each other until the director called time on us. It was intense, physically and emotionally. It left us breathless. She was wrapped in my arms, and I think we both know that Jamie and Claire had just come into existence together.”
They reprised their audition for Episode 9. The scene comes after Jamie, and the Highlanders rescue Claire from Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies). Jamie and Claire are recently married, and their clashing perspectives on the roles of husbands and wives (influenced by Claire being from the future, of course) brings their simmering anger to a head. Watch Heughan and Balfe’s audition below, as seen on the Outlander Season 3 Blu-Ray special features clip.
Heughan also writes that Jamie’s protection of Claire reflected in real life on set, as Outlander was one of Balfe’s earliest acting roles.
“It was a big leap for her. I felt that I needed to be protective towards her, as supportive as Jamie is with Claire. In some ways, it seems as if that dynamic developed between us as actors and then went on to amplify and be explored in front of the cameras,” Heughan writes.
The actor again confirms he knows how Outlander will end, saying of author Diana Gabaldon: “Gabs is a wonderful and fascinating woman who has always revealed so much to me about the character’s subtleties and motivations. When the first season went into production, she’d written eight novels in a planned series of 10. With the narrative mapped out in her head, she even told me what would happen in the closing pages of the final book. It’s been our secret ever since, with only perhaps Maril Davis, the show’s executive producer, also knowing.”
Waypoints also features dozens of never before seen photos from Heughan’s life, including shots from his early adolescence, hikes through the highlands, and Outlander behind-the-scenes shots. The actor details his difficult relationship with his father, who abandoned his family when he was young, drama school rejections, blowing “big break” auditions, and disordered eating patterns triggered by unhealthy standards about male physique. The book is set over Heughan’s solo six-day, 100-mile journey through the Scottish Highlands and is available for purchase starting October 25.
Outlander, Season 7 Premiere, TBA, Starz