Nellie Andreeva

After a very lengthy search and multiple screen tests, Starz and Sony TV have found their Claire. Irish actress Caitriona Balfe (Now You See Me) has landed the lead in Outlander, a Ron Moore series based on Diana Gabaldon’s best-selling books. It follows the story of Claire Randall (Balfe), a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives. “Hard to believe lightning can strike twice, but it surely did,” Gabaldon said. “The moment Caitriona Balfe came on screen, I sat up straight and said, ‘There she is!’ She and Sam Heughan absolutely lit up the screen with fireworks.” Added Moore, “The casting of Claire Randall was a long and difficult one because the role is so crucial to the success of our show. Outlander is told from Claire’s point of view and we experience the entire story through her eyes, so it was vital that we find exactly the right actor to play her. Caitriona wasn’t on anyone’s radar, she wasn’t on any list, but when we saw her audition tape, we immediately knew she was someone special. Then, after we had her read with Sam, we knew we’d found our Claire.”

Related: ‘Outlander’ Officially Names Sam Heughan As Lead

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