David Berry explains how him and Sam Heughan managed to 'endow Jamie’s proposal with as much sincerity as possible'
WARNING: This article contains spoilers from the most recent episode of Outlander. Read at your own risk!
In one of the more tender scenes from “Of Lost Things,” the fourth episode from Starz’ Outlander, Jamie (Sam Heughan) offers his body to Lord John Grey (David Berry), a closeted gay soldier, in exchange for watching over his son, Willie, after he returns to Scotland.
Grey is, understandably, overwhelmed with emotion. “I should probably want you ’til the day I die,” he says to Jamie. But he declines Jamie’s offer.
Reached overseas by EW, Berry looks back at the scene and talks about how challenging it was for him and Heughan to communicate so much in so little time.
“It was tricky and involved many rewrites,” says Berry. “I think the scene was more difficult for Sam than it was for me. The audience needs to buy that Jamie would do anything to ensure the safety of his son, including sacrificing his dignity by allowing Grey to essentially rape him. Whereas the book has the benefit of several hundred pages to flesh out this conflict, in the show it’s condensed into only a couple of short scenes. It was important for both Sam and I to endow Jamie’s proposal with as much sincerity as possible so that we could then subvert the expectations of the audience when Grey rejects him. And for Grey it was important for the rejection not to seem cruel but come from a place of honor and compassion for Jamie. This helps the audience to understand the depth of their friendship. Grey loves Jamie but would never abuse or transgress his friendship with Jamie for his own selfish purposes.”
“It’s a lot to convey!” Berry continues. “Hopefully, we achieved it.”
Want to chat about episode 4? Tune in at noon ET Monday, Oct. 2, to Outlander Live! on EW Radio. Hannah James (Geneva) will be our guest. You can find EW Radio on Sirius XM 105.
Outlander airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.