Sam and Cait, Jamie and Claire, Choices, Fantasy, and Real Life…

Photo: from Sidewalks interview, Aug 2014.

Awww, look at these two cuties just starting out on their adventure…. 

I went back and forth about whether to tread into these murky waters, the risk being a bunch of negative attention.

Here I go… I get what shippers see. I see it too. I think Sam and Cait ARE attracted to each other. That’s why they “work” as Jamie and Claire. I’m sure there was a moment, or moments in the beginning when one, or both of them considered going with it. Maybe one or both of them even fell in love. But there’s that element that sets us apart from the animal kingdom (allegedly) – free will. We have the power to choose what we do, what we pursue, or not. This is captured quite eloquently by Matt Roberts, and spoken by Sam as Jamie here, in the Season 1 (re)opener of Episode 109:

Claire also makes a (HUGE) choice- to go back to Frank or stay with Jamie. In an interview with Laura Prudom (Variety), Cait had this to say about it…

“It was quite difficult for me, coming to that scene, because I didn’t want to just be like, ‘well, she’s in love with Jamie so she’s got to stay,’ because that’s not Claire,” Balfe noted. “You had to think about an entire lifetime of a place and experience, versus a few months and a man. That’s a big battle. The knowledge of the ’40s and the ability for her as a woman to be surrounded by that kind of openness and possibility, versus this place where for saying too much or for mixing a few herbs together to heal people, you’re almost been thrown in the fire. So for me, it was difficult to come up with her rationale.”

In the end, Balfe said, it came down to Claire not wanting to further hurt Frank or Jamie, as much as it was because Claire was following her heart. “I felt that part of it had to be that when she fell through the Stones the first time, it was an accident. So her death or disappearance had already happened and Frank, she has to imagine, must have suffered so much, but must be healing. And I think she felt like, how could she do that again to somebody, but this time choose it? It’s like causing a death. And of course, the pull of love is very strong and we will do almost anything for the people we love, but I don’t think it was as black and white for Claire as that.”

Choices… we all make them, every day. The things we say, the way we treat ourselves, the way we treat each other, to be happy, or not to be… these are all choices, made consciously or unconsciously. 

In my experience, Sam and Cait are both conscientious, high functioning, disciplined individuals, and my guess is their choices reflect that. I always say that Outlander is a marathon (I hope), not a sprint. Outlander has a way of seeping into our lives (ahem); I would imagine if you actually work on the show (let alone being the lead characters), you would have to have some boundaries in order to stay sane and maintain a real life. 

I’m a huge fan of the people who make Outlander, and I’m a fan of the characters in the story – they’re so real. The way they were conceived gives them dimension and life. There’s an interweaving that happens, a blend of the real, the timeless, and the mystic. I think this truth creates a lot of joy, some confusion, and even suffering.  

Here’s an interview with Sam and Cait from August 5, 2014, just before Season 1 premiered on August 9th. Little did they know what they were in for then! 

Kudos to host Cindy Rhodes for pronouncing BOTH of their full names correctly, (an anomaly in those early days). I also give her props for not missing a beat when her cat starts meowing at about 10 minutes in. As someone who does interviews from my home… I can relate!

Enjoy this look back, and may we all make conscious, loving choices….

(In the interview Cindy makes reference to Sam’s previous interview on Sidewalks for his role in Batman Live, World Arena Tour. I looked for the interview she talked about and didn’t find that, but I did find some other fun material from the Bat Sam days. To see that post, CLICK HERE )

Source: To read Laura Prudom’s full interview with Cait and Sam CLICK HERE

26 comments on “Sam and Cait, Jamie and Claire, Choices, Fantasy, and Real Life…

  1. So well stated Courtney! We should all keep ‘free will’ in our consciousnesses and make the best decisions we can each day….And accept the decisions others make for themselves as well. I always maintain a place of respect for both Cait and Sam and the choices they make as well as all the other folks involved with bringing this beloved story to life. I may not always agree with other decisions but I can respect their decisions none the less. Thank you for posting this, what I think, is an important concept for us all to embrace.

  2. Excellent points all, Courtney! I don’t see why we can’t separate the fantasy from the reality. I love to immerse myself into the world of Outlander, and the way Sam and Cait portray Jamie and Claire as a married couple is wonderful. However, I don’t need to “peak behind the curtain” to see if Sam and Cait are together as well…keeping the dream within the show is enough for me. Let them have their lives as they wish to lead it.

    • I agree, Tammy. I know some fans were hoping they were a real-life couple, but I prefer to see them separated from their characters and their real-life personas. This book series and the STARZ series have invaded my life to the point that I obsess about them. And, of course, there’s that marvelous eye candy, Sam/Jamie. Every time I see a photo or video with Sam, I make an involuntary whimper.

    • I agree. And I can tell you are doing My Peak Challenge because I spell peek “peak” now too, every time!! This is what I mean by seeping into our lives!!! 😂

  3. It’s the first time that I have a look on such comments. Reasonable, wise, well explained and presented. I will try to find others because for me OUTLANDER became a kind of obsession and at the same time I think it is interesting to be reviewed and commented. Lots can be said about it and I would sometimes like to share my opinion ont some points with others, but… have so much to do! Whatever, it is interesting and then there are parts that me made me laugh. Really. Humor helps in some cases, no?

  4. I agree in choices but what I object to is the lying and denying to generate to cover up the truth or generate deception. No intimate details of their personal lives is expected but all the deception was and is insulting. One way or another, involved or not doesn’t matter it’s the deception, it’s insulting. We as fans could accept them and the show whether they were/are in love in real or not. Outlander fans are intelligent enough to not need the games to stay involved. All they had to do was be honest, and they werent. People today are more accepting and
    enlightened. We can accept if they were involved or not. Many
    Stars in the past have been successfully together. Paul Newman & Johanne Woodward for example or not. They were together 57 years 6 children and worked together in 10 films and separately believe they
    were ok. Either way I’m ok.! I just resent the deception on a show I love so much. It’s not the 1940s really!
    I just feel manipulated for no reason. Its obvious
    They had something on and off screen. We didnt
    make it up. Who cares
    Whether they were/are or not just be honest. Details about their personal lives
    Is their choose but just stop promoting deception
    Or you might actually loose fans.

    • Hi Pamela, Thank you for your comment. May I just ask you to explain how you felt deceived? Did you feel like Sam and Cait were portrayed as a couple off screen? Thank you.

  5. Great perspective, as always, Courtney! You’re a brave woman wading into those waters, but you kept it respectful and real…thank you!

  6. Thank you Courtney as usual for your honest and insightful ramble into the thorny bushes. I have been struggled to figure out my true feelings about Sam and Cait NOT being together. I think that the bottom line is that during droughtlander I feel uncomfortably estranged from them both as characters and actors. The Outlander world is an important part of my otherwise full life and I revel in it so while I wish them happiness in their real life relationships, I miss them.

    • Makes sense Marion. You were the inspiration for yesterday’s post by the way (the leeches one). A wee visit to their characters. xo

  7. To me being together or not, in real life, seems to be their legitimate choice. As long as they seem together in the story – books or TV series – and make us believe they are, just for a moment, just for our pleasure, that is all we need. They may make us dream of something beautiful! And yes, some actors and actresses were married and it worked out well. But it is certainly a minority. Not easy to work together and to be at home together after a long working day on he same spots or in the “same bed”! They must sometimes be tired of “looking each other in the eyes” as Sam Said one day.
    Just wait now until they will be back! For me that means 2018 A long way from hoe…

  8. To me being together or not, in real life, seems to be their legitimate choice. As long as they seem together in the story – books or TV series – and make us believe they are, just for a moment, just for our pleasure, that is all we need. They may make us dream of something beautiful! And yes, some actors and actresses were married and it worked out well. But it is certainly a minority. Not easy to work together and to be at home together after a long working day on he same spots or in the “same bed”! They must sometimes be tired of “looking each other in the eyes” as Sam Said one day.
    Just wait now until they will be back! For me that means 2018 A long way from home…

  9. Posted a comment but realized that I had made a mistake. How do I remove the first one? Feel very sorry. Always in a hurry!!!

  10. At Last I found a fan who has the same rationality as me re Cait and Sam. There are many actors throughout the years who had great chemistry but Cait and SAM have something special, more than just chemistry. OFF screen they are just so natural with each other although i can see Cait pulling back sometimes . Such a pity that it did not follow its natural path.
    I think this time in their lives, Sam is still too young for Cait. I love to be able to live long enough to see if these 2 very special people will come together in later years. Maybe not.
    Meanwhile we just have to read about their journeys with others.
    Must say That Tony Mcgill is so afraid to leave her alone on any of her trips. You can say he is a rock to her or a possessive boyfriend.

    • I just found out about Caitriona’s friend Tony Mcgill. A rock? Maybe he is a little bit jealous… And I also saw a picture of Sam with a smiling “blonde”… Why not? Strange feeling when I saw it.
      If they have to be”together” one day, then it will be so. But let us enjoy the series, review them from time to time while waiting for the “suite”, and see what the future brings to our loving hearts. Because, if they do not love each other as thought, hoped, wished, dreamed or whatever, WE LOVE THEM. Separately or TOGETHER!

  11. ” I’m a fan of the characters in the story – they’re so real. The way they were conceived of gives them dimension and life. There’s an interweaving that happens, a blend of the real, the timeless, and the mystic. I think this truth creates a lot of joy, some confusion, and even suffering.  “… Ooooh… well put. On the page and on the screen, Claire and Jamie feel real. When Claire goes back through the stones, we totally believe it happens precisely because she cannot, at first, accept that it has.

    I had not seen this interview with Cait before. I had wondered how she dealt with Claire’s choice. This shows once again that Cait makes her own decisions about who Claire is, and what motivates her, apart from, yet interwoven with, the thinking expressed by Diana, either in the books, or in more recent interviews and FB postings. All of which only makes the entire project that much more compelling. How lucky we are to be living as this unfolds!

  12. I met you at ECCC and we talked awhile without me realizing that you were THAT Courtney! So glad you suggested that I read this post. Like you, I believe they made a conscious choice to not be romantically involved. They obviously have great chemistry and affection for each other, but I really don’t see them being successful as a couple. I see them as fun friends or brother/sister. With Sam being the annoying younger sibling!

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