‘Outlander’ Star Lauren Lyle Admits She Had to Push Her ‘Modern Brain’ Aside In Order to Portray Marsali
Outlander Season 6 was a difficult one for Marsali and Fergus Fraser, portrayed by Lauren Lyle and César Domboy. Fergus started drinking heavily and became suicidal due to his fears of not being able to protect and provide for his family, while ignoring his very pregnant wife who was left to handle the home and children.
Still, Marsali remains quite forgiving and loyal to her husband. According to Lyle, she had to push her “modern brain” aside in order to portray her 18th-century character.
Fergus and Marsali were in a ‘super different place’ in ‘Outlander’ Season 6
During an interview with Parade magazine, Lyle explained that the fallout from the end of season 5 — when Marsali was forced to kill Lionel Brown — caused the turmoil between Fergus and Marsali in season 6. She says they are no longer the “fun, cool, young couple that are really in love and don’t fight.”
“I think Fergus and Marsali are in a super different place to where we’ve found them before. They are going through a lot of turmoil, a lot of stress, all due to the fallout of last season, the big event of getting attacked,” Lyle said.
“Fergus couldn’t step in and help, and then Marsali having to kill Lionel because that was all she knew to do. I think the trauma of all of that, just piles and piles of stuff, has made the two of them fractured and they’re trying to find their way back to each other, both on quite dark, sad paths.”
Lauren Lyle admits she had to push her ‘modern brain’ aside
After all of the turmoil between them during season 6, Marsali still lovingly accepted her husband when Jamie (Sam Heughan) brought Fergus home to her. And Lyle admits she “really, really struggled” with how her character handled the situation.
“I had conversations with the writers saying, ‘But I would never forgive this guy.’ Now, me, I would walk out. I’d be like, ‘Absolutely no chance am I sticking around.’ But on a base level, women at the time, they couldn’t, that was not an option. She, of course, has to stay. But I also think she loves him deeply and this is stressful for both of them,” Lyle said in another interview with Parade.
“She’s a woman of the time and there’s such a deep love. And where’s she going to go and what she’s going to do?” There was so much more of a responsibility to stay, the children, and her place on The Ridge is so essential in terms of keeping that functioning part of that world alive. And so that was my modern brain having to push that element aside where I thought, “Well, OK, this is a different world, this is a different time.”
Fergus and Marsali’s relationship in ‘Outlander’ is ‘what love and choosing to stay is’
Lyle believes that Marsali wants her marriage to work and takes her wedding vows seriously. The bond they have as husband and wife means “whatever happens to you happens to me, and together we deal with it.”
The actor thinks her character is trying to get through Fergus, and she knows she’s the only one who can.
“I think it is just love. That’s what love and choosing to stay is. And also, she has her own fight, she doesn’t just sit back and let it happen. She does fight back in a sense, in both a physical and emotional sense. So, she doesn’t outright forgive and just let it passively go by,” Lyle said.
Outlander Season 7 will premiere on Starz in late 2022 or early 2023. Lyle’s new series Karen Pirie — where she can use her “modern brain” to solve crimes as a police detective — is available on BritBox.