Outlander cast: What other actors were considered for Claire and Jamie?

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Outlander fans would likely find it very difficult to imagine anyone but Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan as Claire and Jamie Fraser. However, before the series began, there were several other names thrown into the ring. Here’s all you need to know about who could have played the time-travelling couple.

What other actors were considered for Claire and Jamie in Outlander?

Over five seasons so far, viewers have fallen in love with Heughan and Balfe as Jamie and Claire.

The pair have fantastic chemistry and have left viewers invested in their time-travelling romance.

As a result, fans might be surprised to learn it could have been a whole different pair of stars acting the roles.

This was because before the series was even commissioned, it was almost made into a feature film.

Author Diana Gabaldon revealed all about this in an interview with E! online back in 2015.

She explained: “This was years ago when I was first approached about adapting Outlander, when it was a feature film.”

At the time, she revealed some other Hollywood stars were the first choices to play Jamie Fraser.

She added: “Liam Neeson and Sean Connery were the first contenders for Jamie.

“People say, ‘Do [Heughan and Balfe] look just like your imagination?’

“And I’m like, ‘Well, how could they?’ But they don’t need to. What an actor does is magic.”

Back in 2010, it was also revealed which female actor was wanted to play the part of Claire.

Grey’s Anatomy star Katherine Heigl was actually in the running for the role when it was set to be a film.


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This was even referenced in a profile piece on Heigl by The New York Times.

When asked about the rumours, she said to the publication: “Scotland? 2012? What do you think?”

However, the idea of a feature film was eventually scrapped and the books were adapted into a series instead.

This was done by Ronald D Moore and meant he didn’t start looking for his Jamie and Claire until a few years later.

Although, this also was not the first time the book series was attempted to be brought to the screen.

Fans of Gabaldon’s novels may also know Jamie is partly inspired by the Doctor Who character Jamie McCrimmon.

He was played by Frazer Hines in the series who has previously revealed he also hoped to play Jamie in an adaptation of Outlander.

He told Express.co.uk in 2016 how he pitched it to the producers of Emmerdale.

Hines explained: “I said, ‘I want to play Jamie’. This is years ago, I could have played the the part then – not now, obviously!

“They said, ‘Oh no, it will be too difficult to film, it will be too expensive.’”

Outlander seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video now.

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