Outlander season 6: Claire Fraser star speaks out on ‘difficult’ sex scenes ‘You worry’
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Claire and Jamie Fraser (played by Sam Heughan) are well known for their passionate romance and Outlander viewers have seen them get hot and steamy on screen several times. But despite Claire and Jamie’s healthy sex life, actress Caitriona Balfe has admitted she worries about the affect the numerous sex scenes may have had on the rest of the cast as the show progressed, particularly younger actress.
Opening up about stripping off as Claire, actress Caitriona, 41, explained: “You know it’s interesting. I think season one, was such a learning curve, primarily I had never done sex scenes before.
“I don’t think Tobias had. Sam might have on something else before.
“But we were all sort of quite naive about it and in the beginning as well, I was really trying to find my footing as in where I could personally draw lines about what I was comfortable with and what I wasn’t.
“I think also it is not until you see yourself later where you know, you really realise what the impact of having scenes like that out there are.”
She continued: “It is always this sort of fine line because you want to honour the character and you want to honour the scenes but you want to protect yourself.
“That is always really a difficult line.
“Especially as we started filming the show seven years ago and I was a young spritely thing in my early thirties and as you get older, you know, I don’t know, it’s a hard thing but also I think when I was starting in my thirties I was in a very comfortable place in my life and with my body and all of those things.
“I look at some of the younger actresses coming onto the show and you worry because we sort of set a precedent and you think, ‘Oh for young women in their twenties, do they feel as comfortable? Are they going to be under pressure to sort of show what we have shown?’”
Speaking on David Berry and Tim Downie’s podcast Outcasts, Caitriona added: “It is also such a difficult thing because as an actor, you’re not getting into this business to take your clothes off.
“You know, you are getting into this business to portray characters and sometimes that is a necessity to say something about the character but it becomes really difficult when it becomes expected.
“It almost feels like sometimes people expect certain things from you without taking into consideration that you know, your family is out there and the local priest is watching this show or whatever it might be and this stuff lives forever.
“I definitely, I don’t know, it’s still something to this day, it’s always a negotiation about what is necessary for the scene and what is expected.”
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The Claire Fraser star added she “learnt so much” from the first series, which saw her and Jamie enjoy a lot of sex, that they put in “protocols”.
“We sort of put in protocols after that first season that sort of worked for us and worked for the writers and we continued with that,” she detailed.
“I think you know, what changed after that was a lot more characters came on the show that also needed to do sex scenes and I think that gave a broader awareness to everyone.
“I think everyone is just more aware now that it’s not just this expectation that anything goes and people have to be sensitive which I think is so important.”
Caitriona explained she’d noticed on other sets the atmosphere on set surrounding sex scenes has changed since the MeToo movement.
However, she added it’s “always been respectful” on the set of Outlander.
Outlander seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.
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