Sophie Skelton – Check this out

After posting a deleted scene with Roger and Brianna a couple of days ago, I’ve seen a lot of comments come in about Sophie, so I decided to do a little homework. 

I’ll be honest and say I didn’t fall in love with show Bree at first sight. I’m not sure why, I can’t put my finger on it. Something feels a bit stiff or forced with her lines or her voice, I think. Especially opposite Rik Rankin who is a natural and a slam dunk as Roger; for me, it’s like Roger walked out of the book and onto the screen. Also, Roger is such a likable character.

The character of Brianna is not easy. I remember a comment made by Diana about Brianna, so I went and found it in a Q&A that Erin Conrad of Three If By Space recorded (CLICK HERE for full Q&A, it’s a good one)

Q: Which Outlander character was the most challenging to develop and why?
A: Brianna, probably. She wasn’t organic; I was just stuck with her because Claire was pregnant at the end of DIA.

Does that have something to do with it? I always felt like Bree was kind of a brat and annoying in the books. One comment I read said just that: “Brianna was annoying in the books at this point. She is annoying in the show. So I think they are right on track.” 

Another slam dunk in this series has been the casting in general. It’s been unbelievable, in fact. I have a ton of faith in Suzanne Smith and her team based on literally every other character they’ve cast in this show. 

I went in search of more Sophie, to see what I could see. I found this showreel, and I have to say, she’s a pretty damn good actress from what I see here. Take a look, and take heart. I’m excited to see where Sophie takes Brianna in S3.



35 comments on “Sophie Skelton – Check this out

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. She was a hard character to warm up to in the books. I think it has something to do with her American accent in the show that is a bit off putting. Casting has been spot on, and perhaps with time, we’ll warm up to her a bit more. She is a good actress.

  2. I felt exactly the same way about Sophie/Bree. Now looking forward to what she brings to the show. They have made no mistakes in their casting for the show so I decided that we will see everything we expect to see…from Sophie when the show returns.

  3. I decided to take a ‘wait and see’ attitude. I an underwhelmed so far but it is too early to take a position.

  4. I never really cared for book Brianna. In fact, there were chapters featuring her I skipped over and returned to later. But I saw the last episode as a podcast without the actors voices and her acting was amazing. It was worth viewing a second time just to see her performance. It’s a challenging role. I’m sure Sophie Skelton will do fine.

  5. I think Sophie is a lovely young woman and will do just fine. Brianna is a problematic character (at least, through Book 4 – that’s as far as I’ve read thus far). She’s spoiled and headstrong and like a lot of children of the 60s thinks she has everything figured out. Of course, her perspective changes after her adventures.

    My only complaint about the casting is that I envision Brianna as being more statuesque, but I’m sure I’ll get over it.

    • I agree – in the books every single description of Bree mentions her height it’s what makes her so unique especially once she travels back through time… I don’t mind Sophie and think there is plenty of scope for her to show what she can do in seasons to come. Maybe she will wear heels ; )

  6. I love Sophie, and I thought she played Brianna perfectly….. Sophie’s Brianna is just like book Brianna. I think she’ll be great in season 3. She’s a great actress!! It was her first episode after all. I believe with time, we’ll warm to her….. Book Bree was a brat – and so was Sophie’s Bree!! She’ll be great!! <3

    • I agree about Sophie being a great actress. I think she had the hardest part of everyone coming into the show. I thought she played Bree perfectly. I keep thinking how I would feel if my mother dropped a bombshell on me saying that my father was a Scottish Highlander from the 1700s and the man I thought to be my dad wasn’t. Sophie played the betrayal, hurt and fear that her only living parent has gone insane perfectly.

  7. I think you nailed it! I think her character acting was right…a bit petulant a non listener but HOLLER! What a story she was hearing after losing her dad. BUT again I agree with the feeling of forced actions and stunted dialogues…I’m comparing that to the others we love bursting onto the screen and into our lives though and I don’t think she’s supposed too. This might not make sense out loud:-D

  8. You did nail this! I didn’t love her in the last episode but I didn’t love her in the books until later (5-8). I think the hardest part is her accent. I think she is unlikeable because she she isn’t likeable in the books. I hope they show some of her good side in the series.

  9. Well, I disagree. I never had any problems with Sophie’s performance. In fact, I thought she was the best thing of the final episode and her casting was the reason why I got to know the show. There’s a development and work of the character through the episode that people never noticed, especially on the way Sophie channels both Caitriona and Sam (the fact that non-readers have noticed it speaks a lot).

    Bree is not the same through every scene of hers, she has several attitudes through the episode. She can be stubborn, but also playful and lovely (like the first scene between Roger and Bree, the one at Fort William, and the one where they’re at the lake). Most of people calling her brat for having a natural reaction of finding out that her mother lied to her all these years makes me laugh. Jamie was as stubborn or worst through the show and they had no problem. So it looks like they think too much about Jamie and Claire to put into Bree’s shoes-

    It’s sad that people look for a black sheep through this amazing cast to say “Everyone from the cast are perfect except for her”, especially when they haven’t watched anything related to Sophie. Her webseries Ren is getting awards in festivals with critics praising Sophie on her performance. She did a show called Waterloo Road where she plays a girl who founds out about her real father and her performance is moving. And producers of Outlander and both Sam and Caitriona praised Sophie on how she played Bree, so it seems that people hating her are book purists who somehow can’t accept that she looks and acts the character differently from the books like they did with the others. I do agree, however, about the voice. Sophie has a very sweet voice with her native British accent, but the American one in Outlander makes her voice to sound less femenine.

  10. Brianna’s lack of a Boston accent is what baffles me. I know Ron Moore said he thought it would be too confusing for viewers, but I disagree. I think Ron & Maril have really underestimated the intelligence of their audience on this point. Very disappointing !

    • As a southerner (states) raised with Aussies on one side and Dominicans on the other let me certify that I picked up a tiny bit of each ancestral accent along with vernacular and a few other odd habits from each culture. I am a genuine southerner, yet I speak with no southern accent.

      So If someone were to play me on screen it wouldn’t be authentic to have them do a sterotypical southern accent by mere fact of where I was raised.

      • Excellent point Mia! I actually felt Brianna would in reality say some words in the British way, having been raised by two Brits. However I do know kids who completely lose their accents when speaking with peers. But yes- Boston British American ?? Thanks for your comment.

  11. I wasn’t impressed with her acting at the end of Season 2 and yet the reel shows she has a good range. I don’t mind her character [Brianna] so I’ll see how she plays her in Season 3. However Rogers character leaves me underwhelmed in the books [he’s no Jaime] BUT Ric. Rankins acting has changed my opinion. He is spot on-really good casting ! Didn’t expect to like him but I’m impressed. Time will tell…..

  12. Thank you for taking the time to delve into the situation with Sophie Skelton’s acting and the character Brianna. My first reaction to Bria was within the series as I somehow missed the Outlander book series phenomenon back in the 90’s and I’m coming to Outlander via the Starz series as of November 2016. I therefore didn’t have any preconceived notions of Brianna from reading the books (I’m reading the books now) but I’ve been struggling to figure out why my initial reaction to the character and acting wasn’t as positive as all of the other characters. Could it be that the rest of the casting has been so spot on that Sophie has very big shoes to fill? I agree she is very talented and I’m so glad you found examples of her other work to confirm how talented she is. I’m also wondering if Brianna is meant to be another bittersweet relationship in Claire’s life. As we all know her love affair with Jamie is almost all consuming and carries extreme pain along with extreme love. As a mother of a 27 year old only child daughter I know first hand what that love –the love of a child carries with it. I may also be putting myself in Claire’s shoes knowing how my daughter can find places where I’m most vulnerable that no one else can. (Like Jamie described when pouring his heart out to Claire about his trauma with Black Jack). I’m going to try to be patient and see how things develop. We sure don’t need anymore negative vibes in our universe these days do we?

    • Hi Terri,

      I’m going to be patient too. I’m really interested to see S3. I felt like some of her lines seemed forced. I re-watched the finale the other day and her voice feels a little loud and like she’s reciting the lines, vs. the natural feeling you get from Rik as Roger. I do find it interesting that Briana was the hardest character for Diana to write, so maybe it’s natural for her to be unnatural at first…

      • Bri is American! She grew up in Boston. There should be a roughness and edginess about her. When she is elbow to elbow with Brits and Scotts she will sound even more rough because of the accent. She is a combination of her parents and her upbringing. She is stubborn and not easy on the exterior like her true father. She is also loving and caring but not at all soft. This lady will prove to be the true Bianna.

  13. Sophie did a fine job acting in season two. She portrays a spoiled brat who’s Frank’s little girl. She was brought up in Boston, so her demeanor would more direct than those living in other parts of the country; although there’s no excuse for being disrespectful to her mother. Unlike some of the comments cited, her American accent is spot-on in my opinion (and I’m not only American but from the East coast as well.) If the character of Brianna is anything like the book, she will continue to be an opinionated spoiled brat who is used to getting her own way including her abrasive tone.

  14. I too wasn’t a fan of Bree in the books and I wasn’t thrilled with the TV Bree. Tough go for her as rest of cast so well liked. But I took a long time to warm up to Claire (yes really) so maybe it will be the same.

  15. I was terribly disappointed with the casting for Brianna. Brianna was constantly referred to in the books as ‘huge’ which Sophie Skelton isn’t, and being Jamie’s daughter I would expect her to have definite ‘presence’. Skelton’s American accent is poor. She is a ‘difficult’ character early on in the books, but ‘warms up’ considerably later on. Its Skelton’s portrail that i have an issue with, but as said before, they have been SO bang on with other casting.

    • Sally, I felt the same. I’m hopeful we’ll warm up to Sophie as we have Brianna- Outlander has a way of imitating life I’ve found! Thanks for your comment.

  16. Sophie Skeleton’s acting ability just does not measure up. The fact that so many comments in the fan base are discussing it is proof that this one casting decision was a mistake in an otherwise beautifully produced series.

  17. Brianna in the books is described as being 6ft tall and looking just like her father and being rather big-boned…. why in the world are you having a problem with her acting when her looks don’t even fit the part they did such excellent Cassie with all the other members but Brianna is a true disappointment I am sure you could have found a beautiful natural red-headed blue-eyed woman who was big-boned acting skills

  18. I hate the casting of Brianna and Roger. The acting looks forced, I cannot watch their scenes at all. I have not read the books, but was a big fan of the series. Their acting is just soooooo bad, nobody will convince me otherwise. How can the same people that cast Jamie and Claire so well, cast these two so badly?

    • Amen! It’s painful to watch brianna and roger on screen. It feels like suddenly I’m watching a terrible show (like it should be on CW or something). Claire and Jamie’s chemistry is perfection. Brianna and Roger look like I’m watching a middle school play.

  19. Brianna’s acting is very bad. In fact, its so bad that she pulls off the ‘self entitled, its all about me’ persona really well. I just wonder if that is her real character. There is something missing about her and her acting. She has very low ‘on-screen presence’. I hate commenting like this but I just get bored stupid when she is on screen.

    • Philip, I’ve heard that Sophie is a really wonderful person & I like very much the crew of folks she hangs out with (which possibly supports that under the birds of a feather flock together principle).

      However, I also find her portrayal of the Bree character hard to get into. I am aware that she is acting vs being bought into the scene. I wish it were not so.

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