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On Outlander, Claire and Jamie’s love stood the test of time. Literally, they bent time to be together. Actors Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan didn’t manipulate the space time continuum, but they did make an important vow to each other when the series began in 2014. In 2022 as season 6 premieres, they’ve still kept their vow.

'Outlander' Season 5: Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe sit in a cabin together smiling
Sam Hueghan and Caitriona Balfe | Starz

Balfe was a guest on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast on Jan. 31 to discuss her movie Belfast and Outlander Season 6. She looked back on the start of the series and the vow Heughan kept with her. Outlander returns March 6 on Starz.

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan got to know each other before beginning ‘Outlander’ Season 1

Balfe and Heughan have both spoken about their walk through Hyde Park together before filming Outlander Season 1. This is where they suggested the vow, which six seasons later Balfe confirms they kept. 

“We did a walk in Hyde Park which I think anybody who’s been to London knows how beautiful Hyde Park is,” Balfe said on Awards Chatter. “And I remember it was a really crisp autumn fall day and he and I were walking. We were just kind of like, ‘Who knows what this is going to be, but you and I, we’ve got to have each other’s backs. Like, we’re going to go through this. If we’re not each other’s kind of support system and cheerleader then this is going to be a horrible experience. So let’s have each other’s backs.’ Of course, that’s how it’s remained since then.” 

Hair and makeup was the first ‘Outlander’ trial Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe survived together 

Balfe remembered the first test of their vow, when Outlander season 1 was first coming up with Claire and Jamie’s hair. Balfe said Claire’s WWII style was more intense than any of her modeling looks, and Heughan had it worse.

“We were actually in London,” Balfe said. “ was getting my second perm of the week and Sam was probably getting his sixth or eighth or tenth red hair dye. There was so much about getting the right red. That poor guy, they must’ve dyed his hair probably about 60 times that first year. I had my hair permed twice in one week and then they realized that was probably not a good idea.” 

Heughan was cast first so he already had Balfe’s back during her Outlander Season 1 audition.


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“I just remember him being just such a lovely, calming energy in the room,” Balfe said. “He already had the job. I came in a little bit late so I was sweating. I was nervous and I came in and he offered me a tissue to mop up my sweat which was very sweet. And then we just started talking about Scotland. I have a lot of friends who live there and I’ve been quite a few times. So it just was this really easy rapport instantly.”

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe continued to have each other’s backs 

There have been many intense moments throughout the Outlander seasons. Behind the scenes, they banded together to ensure Balfe received equal pay. Balfe described how she and Heughan always work together on the most challenging scenes. 

“Chemistry, whatever that is, it’s such a strange thing that you’re not necessarily aware of it,” Balfe said. “But what you are aware of is how easy you get along with somebody or how in sync you are when you start working together. When we did that first sort of fight scene we had to do or an argument, we were just really in sync. The things I needed to have to provoke a reaction in me, he went for that and vice versa. It got quite heated where he hit me in the face by accident, but it was good like that. We both went for it and that’s all you can ask for.”