Outlander stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have admitted to using some sneaky acting tricks to deceive viewers during a pinnacle sequence in season six.
The latest season of Outlander concluded with a gripping shootout on Fraser’s Ridge which pushed Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe) and her husband Jamie (Sam Heughan) to their very limits. In a new behind-the-scenes feature for the hit Starz drama, the long-standing co-stars revealed some of the cheats they used to ensure the sequence felt as convincing as possible.
Caitriona and Sam admitted they didn’t actually use proper gun techniques during the battle on Fraser’s Ridge.
At the end of Outlander’s gripping sixth season, Lionel Brown (Chris Larkin) launches an attack on the Frasers’ home when Claire is framed for murder.
The couple barricaded their home, but their defences weren’t enough to keep the Brownsville riot from breaking in and taking them hostage.
Although the time-travelling healer and her Highlander husband put up a good fight with their rifles, the actors aren’t exactly experts when it comes to firearms.
“We cheated quite a bit, didn’t we?” Sam asked, to which Caitriona agreed, “Quite a lot.”
Sam then brought his voice down to a whisper and confessed: “We never actually reloaded the guns.”
For similar period dramas and films, actors are often trained to handle historic weapons down to the slow process of reloading with gunpowder and ammunition.
However, to make things easier for the shoot, the cast just had to pretend to fumble with the gun to give the illusion of reloading.
“We sort of pretended we were reloading, and then they were reloaded,” Sam recalled.
Caitriona joked: “What are you talking about? I loaded every single one of them.”
“You did,” Sam pressed. “With putting the chalk in there, then the gunpowder.
“The loose paper, then stuffing it all down, then putting it in the pan -”
His co-star quickly interrupted: “Okay, well I might not have done that bit!
“I mean, it’s very impressive when you’re pulling out the rods and ram-rodding it.”
“It’s a very exciting action sequence, isn’t it?” Sam added. “And I feel like we hadn’t done much action for a while, so it was good to get back into running around, screaming and shouting.”
What made Outlander’s spectacular action scene even more impressive was the fact Caitriona had to shoot the episode whilst heavily pregnant.
She revealed she had some concerns after breathing in the smoke which accompanied their prop guns being set off.
“I was very, very pregnant,” she confirmed. “And I smoked the gun, which I don’t recommend to anybody.
“When you fire the gun there’s a nice little puff of smoke and I was breathing in at the same time. I literally inhaled all the smoke and blew it out.”
Hopefully, the Frasers will be able to rest once Outlander begins season seven this year, although Jamie still needs to rescue Claire from almost certain death at the hands of the Brownville gang.
Outlander season 7 premieres summer 2023 on Starz.