Video

Outlander's Caitriona Balfe says she fights every day for 'a good portrayal of women'

The former model praises her strong, female character on the popular drama-fantasy show Outlander, based on a book series by American author Diana Gabaldon.

Time-travelling character, Claire, takes on a mission to change history in season two

Balfe talks about her character, Claire, female roles and what to expect in the upcoming season of the drama-fantasy show 1:17

Many twists and turns are expected for season two of the hit time-travel TV series Outlander, but Caitriona Balfe says there's one constant about her role as British war nurse Claire.

"I fight every day and the writers fight every day for a good portrayal of women in the show," Balfe told CBC's Laura Thompson. "I think it's very interesting how you have this strong, central, female character."

Balfe's character, a warm yet practical nurse, started season one married to Frank Randall in the 20th century. She then found herself transported back in time to Scotland, where she marries Highland warrior James Fraser.

The season one finale saw Claire and James sail away on a ship to France in the 18th century, determined to change the course of history. Balfe said fans can expect a lot more to change as well.

"Our characters from season one were always so honest and honourable," she said. "This season they've taken on this task of being duplicitous and underhanded and lying so you see them use a very different side of themselves."

The Irish actress was cast in the popular Showcase series in 2014 after many of her co-stars had already been preparing for months on location. A whirlwind schedule began immediately following her final audition.

"A week later, I was in Scotland and we started shooting within two weeks later after that," said the 36-year-old former model. "All of the sudden, my Twitter account was exploding, so I kind of knew that there was a fan base, but I didn't realize the magnitude of them."

In the upcoming season, which premieres Sunday in Canada, Claire and James Fraser leap from 18th century Scotland to France with a mission to stop the Jacobite rebellion. New excitement and tension in her romantic relationships are bound to ensue.

"We try to show that no matter what society's norms, the strength and the power of women always shines forth," she said.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.