Breaking news: Sam Heughan swings an ax and cuts down a huge tree in season 4 of Outlander!
Okay, so maybe there were three or four guys standing by with hard hats and chainsaws to lend a cutting edge. But in the end, it was ultimately Heughan who brought down a tree while the cameras were rolling. “It was kind of fun,” Heughan tells EW in its latest Outlander cover story. “Jamie’s very comfortable in the outdoors.”
That’s good because he and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) get a heckuva lot of it. In the new season that begins Nov. 4, the Frasers make their way from a Georgia beach to the Blue Ridge Mountains, where they’ll begin a very important chapter in their very sexy and oh-so-complicated lives.
“Throughout the last three seasons, we’ve had them discover each other, go through this honeymoon period, and then try to establish themselves a home,” explains Heughan. “This is an opportunity to really ground themselves and find a home together. Certainly, for Jamie, it’s been something that he’s desperately wanted for a long time. He’s always wanted to be the Laird, have his family and settle down. Claire has finally come back to him and now they get this opportunity. Of course, it is Outlander so things don’t run smoothly. But this season is really setting up the years to come. We’re really establishing Fraser’s Ridge and this new world.”
To help kick off the season that’s based on Drums of Autumn, the fourth book in Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling Outlander series, EW returned to the drama’s Scotland set to not only chat with Heughan and Balfe but to meet the newest members of the cast — a pair of Northern Inuit puppies that took turns playing Rollo, the half-wolf companion of Jamie’s nephew Ian. Though equally as cute as his on-screen owner, he isn’t nearly as well behaved.
“I think Caitriona will back me up here,” warns Heughan. “The dog is great, but maybe not the best maintained. It tends to do its own thing, which is kind of funny. It will wander off on its own at times.”
We also checked in with Richard Rankin and Sophie Skelton — who will reprise their roles as Roger and Brianna — as well as Matthew B. Roberts about the challenges of trying to depict life in America without actually setting foot in it with the actors. (Hint: green screens help a lot.) We also talked with Terry Dresbach about her always award-worthy costumes, and we’ve got lots of exclusive shots to share. But none are quite so Scot — we mean hot — as all three of our cover images!
And our deep dive into Outlander doesn’t stop here! Beginning Nov. 5, join me and my fellow EW Sassenachs Maureen Lee Lenker and Ruth Kinane to discuss all things Fraser on Outlander Live! The show will air Mondays from 1-2 p.m. ET on Sirius XM 105.
Season 4 of Outlander premieres Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.