Outlander Cast chats w/ Director Anna Foerster – Episode 16
Hosts Mary and Blake discuss all things The Wedding and Both Sides Now with, Anna Foerster, director of both episodes. Anna is a funny, intelligent, and charming director who is an absolute treasure to the Outlander franchise. In this episode you’ll learn all about Claire’s troubles in the wedding, the steamy sex scenes, breaking down the science of film-making, emphasis on the nuances of acting, the Frank controversy, if Claire actually heard Frank at Craig Na Dun, how scary Tobias Menzies can really be, the infamous motorcycle drive-by, “in-camera” effects, Anna’s favorite scene and much more!!
OC: It’s like you won a lottery ticket. Not only did you get to direct a series that you, a book that you like, but you got two really of the very important things that you’re talking about.
OC: Concerning “The Wedding,” one of the things that I really loved about that episode, is the non-linear storytelling device that you guys used. What was the driving force behind that? Was that something that you decided, was that Ron Moore or is that something that you both decided in conjunction together?
OC: (Blake) I loved it because when the episode opens up, and they’re already married, and they’re in the room. And I remember looking at it and saying, “Oh my God. Did they actually just make the choice to forget the wedding all together and just show the after effects?” (AF: Exactly) I thought it was great. Because obviously as a non-book reader, I’m just viewing the show as it’s own, and I thought that was a really bold choice. And then I realized they’re going to tell the story in different pieces. I loved that. I thought that was great.
|Photo Credit Dallas News|
OC: Well, since you brought it up, let’s talk about it. Because I wanna talk about the sex scenes. Because they were extraordinary, and you’re right there was a specific evolution of their relationship. It was visually told in the sex scenes. But how did you decide on what you could, and could not, show with the camera angles? And what was the scene like? Explain to me what the situation was like while you’re filming it.
OC: Were you behind the camera yourself to make sure you got exactly what you envisioned?
OC: Can you describe Sam and Caitriona’s chemistry? And how was it to direct their relationship especially regarding in this episode?
OC: How do you shape that? That’s one of the things I’m trying to understand as a director do you kind of sit down and have coffee with them beforehand, or do you go in during filming and give them a towel and say alright here’s another way I want you to think about it or…?
|Photo Credit Canadian WordPress|
OC: So concerning “Both Sides Now” the mid-season finale, can you explain the challenge of trying to make the two stories between Frank and Claire flow properly together?
OC: You said “in-camera.” For someone who is just as ignorant as me, by “in-camera” what do you mean?
OC: Speaking about that time and that part of the episode, when Frank and Claire…could they actually..could Claire really hear Frank? Are we supposed to feel that way during this scene? Or is that just something we are supposed to be emotionally feeling? Could she actually hear him calling for her?
OC: I really loved this episode. I remember sitting down while I was watching it with Blake and I said, “This isn’t in the book. This isn’t in the book. Oh my gosh! Wow!” It was brilliant.
OC: No! And I kind of felt bad because, you know, I would think being married myself I was thinking, “OK, if I was suddenly back in the past. And I was suddenly married to a stud, how often would I think about Blake?” (Blake: Hey, whoa, whoa, time out) I’m being honest. I’m saying I would be thinking about you, and it’s difficult because you read through Claire’s voice but also being able to see scenes like the wedding it’s…I’m happy that we were able to feel this angst and to know what was going on with Frank because, yeah especially just reading, when I was reading Outlander, I was thinking what did Frank do? Did time even pass? What was even going on in her original time? So I really, really enjoyed it. And I think it was absolutely brilliant.
OC: So in addition to adding this extra element where our heartstrings get pulled, and we get reminded that she does wear two wedding rings, there’s also this amazing juxtaposition between Frank and Black Jack Randall during this scene, especially when Frank is beating down the people who tried to take his money at the pub. We see his eyes widen slightly as he’s tearing them apart kind of like how Black Jack did. So is Frank supposed to be a mirror for Black Jack Randall and vice versa?
OC: (Mary) I saw this part, you know Black Jack Randall in these types of times, I would just see a monster. And whereas, especially with this episode being able to see things from Frank’s point of view, I felt his pain. I felt his anger. I felt just that complete sadness that turns to crazed madness. It was very difficult. And whereas Blake being a non book reader it was fun to banter about this episode just for that exact reason.
OC: The other thing that I think was shocking in this episode is how scary Tobias was as both characters. And we kind of want to know how scary was he in real life? You know in directing him. How much was he able to bring that emotion to the set, not just what was conveyed on the camera.
|Tobias as BJR and Frank (reellifewithjane.com)|
OC: I’ve seen Tobias on other shows like Rome as Brutus. And on Game of Thrones. And he’s always been this kind of character that you never really kind of liked. He was kind of like a dinky character. And I was kind of…when I heard about the casting, I wasn’t sure what to think about Black Jack Randall and Frank, because I’ve never really liked the roles that he’s played. But when I saw him in this show, he was fully enveloped by Black Jack. And I really appreciate his portrayal of Black Jack Randall. So when he’s walking around set with, like that whip, are you kind of scared a little bit?
OC: That was going to be my next question, how different it must be when you talk to Frank?
OC: What sold it for me were his eyes. Whenever you see him, we already made note of it earlier, but when his eyes widen in certain scenes, it just, ah it captures you. But I do want to get back to Frank a little bit. When Frank stopped near Craig Na Dun, there were a couple of conspicuous events while he was driving. Can you shed some light on that really abrupt motorcycle drive by? And then this really cool historical inclusion of General Patton’s death in 1945. Can you shed some light on that?
OC: Wow! That’s so much more beautiful than what I was thinking. I was thinking, you know how people complain that they’re on Facebook and they get jealous because their friend went to Jamaica and they have all these pictures of their fabulous vacation, but they’re stuck in Boston in all this snow and they get jealous. And they’re like, “Man, look at them. They’re having a great day and here I am stuck in Boston.” And that’s what I was feeling for Frank. Kind of along those lines and you just put it so much more eloquently with a lot more depth. Just, of course there goes a happy couple. Look at them, and I don’t have that in my life right now. I’m happy you brought even more depth, because I was thinking about being jealous of Jamaica on Facebook. But I like how you brought up the fact that he went there just out of desperation. And I wanted you to confirm that. Is that something that he believed in? That maybe “who knows if I go to these rocks maybe she’ll show up?”
OC: Is Claire in the same mindset? Is she running up there thinking, “Oh my God, if I touch these rocks am I gonna be thrust back into 1945” or is she just running because she’s in shock after this potential rape scene that happened earlier in the episode?
OC:(Blake) So as a Frank supporter, I really want to drive this baby home. She was willing to leave Jamie to get back to Frank.
AF: Ohh, Ohhh. So many different scenes as well. I think one scene I really liked from “The Wedding” episode was the scene where they both undress. I thought that was…I thought for me a very interesting and emotional and exciting scene to work, and I liked it a lot. From the other episode, it’s maybe the least expected scene, but I really liked shooting the scene when Munro is coming and meeting the two of them up on the hill where they’re having the picnic…where you know the guy that doesn’t have a tongue anymore? And I don’t know exactly why I would pick that, but there were so many things about it. It really takes place in the Scottish environment as Scottish as you get it with all it’s rain and weather. And if you watch that scene you actually see how the weather disintegrates and they are really sitting in the rain and the wind is whipping and everything. It’s a scene that evolves from so many levels to..yeah, no, I think it was definitely a scene I liked.
|Outlander Starz Instagram|
OC: Who or what may have surprised you for what they brought to the table during filming? Like actors or crew or is there something that you didn’t anticipate and something happened and you were like, “Wow! I can’t believe how awesome that was!”
OC: Do you have a funny story or an extra little tidbit you’d like to share with us that happened on set while filming?
|Photo Credit outlanderanatomy.com|
OC: Did you capture that fight scene the way that you wanted to? Or did you have to alter it because of the extreme conditions?
OC: And I love it because I feel like Scotland is a whole other character in this show. And to be able to add those elements certainly helps that character get a shining moment.
OC: Speaking of feeling, the episodes that you directed, “The Wedding” and “Both Sides Now,” it’s an emotional roller coaster. You have the wedding and everything is beautiful. It reminds me of that song (sings)”everything is awesome.” You know, it’s great. And then you have “Both Sides Now” where Claire gets captured and potentially raped and then she ends up in the clutches of Black Jack Randall. And then you have this crescendo of Jamie rescuing her. There’s a lot going on, and you were in charge of all of that. What I want to know is what were you trying to accomplish with both of those episodes? In other words what did you want the viewers to feel at the end of those episodes after they’ve watched them?
OC: Well, I am so excited to hear that you were able to direct those two episodes. It gives us even more to look forward to once the spring arrives. And addition to that what else do you have that’s coming up for future projects for yourself?
OC: What’s it like actually going from Outlander to Madam Secretary? Because I’ve seen an episode of it, and I enjoyed it, but it’s…you’re right.
OC: We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you for sure and send you lots of “good luck vibes.” Maybe we can get a chance to get you back on. I know and talk about the next half of this season. Who knows!
OC: Well, I hope so. We will definitely send people your way. You’ll get tons of new followers. Well, again, Thank you Anna for joining us. I really appreciate it.