Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer

choosing an actor for the character

Home Outlander Costuming Discussion Forums General Outlander Discussion choosing an actor for the character

  • Creator
  • #7394

    anticipating the second half of season 1, I googled images of the actors and am flabbergasted. none of the supporting cast looks like themselves. so my question is, how do casting agents determine who would be a good actor for the role? angus, murtagh and Rupert look in no way like their actors. what did the agents and ron see in sam and catriona that made them think they would be the right person rather than some other actor?

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    • #7398
      Katie (@bunnums)

      It’s amazing, isn’t it? I have no idea how casting agents are able to do their job but I’m eternally grateful that the casting people working on Outlander are able to see whatever they need to in the actors they pick. Because they’re amazing!

      • #7436

        I don’t know either! Beauty and acting ability aside, they really chose actors with very pleasing voices. I would put Tobias Menzies at the top of that list closely followed by CB and SH.

    • #7439

      What puzzles me when I see pictures of real life Sam Heughan, is how the casting guys could see Jamie in him. As Jamie he looks so different. It is not only the hair, the makeup, but his face wears a kind of darkness that doesn’t show when he is not acting. I know this is the actor’s job, but how could one anticipate such a transformation amazes me, I would never have guessed (no wonder casting is not my job).
      I know that even Diana Gabaldon said that when she saw pictures of SH she didn’t agree with the choice that had been made and that it’s the audition tape that conviced her. It must have been a hell of a good audition because I am not sure I would have been able to perceive the character in him and I would have been wrong because IMO he makes a good Jamie.

    • #7797

      My guess is that SH went to that audition/audition taping so well prepared that what the producers saw was not SH at all, but Jamie. He already inhabited the role.

    • #7799

      I think casting directors and others in the business understand how to look beyond someone’s physical appearance—if that can be changed to suit the character. You can look at all the supporting actors in Outlander to see this in action, too—Gavin McTavish looks NOTHING like Dougal’s description in the book, nor does Tobias remotely resemble how DG described Frank/Black Jack. But they nail the essence of the characters perfectly and you instantly believe them. I suspect the actor they chose for Ian, who is so vastly different from the book description of him, will be the same. If a hair color, or an eye color, or particulars about a character’s build are essential, that stuff can always be changed. Cait his straight hair, Claire has curly hair. That’s why I don’t think they’ll cast a redhead as Brianna—they’ll cast the actress who embodies Brianna and send her to the salon.

    • #7802

      I like all your comments. I can’t help but think of terrible casting – mary tyler moore and elvis in Change of Habit comes to mind.

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.