'Outlander' TV series casts its romantic leads

Two actors were recently brought on board to portray Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall in the Starz TV adaptation.

'Outlander' is by Diana Gabaldon.

The “Outlander” TV series that’s coming from Starz has found its two leads to play Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall.

Actor Sam Heughan, who starred in the the 2011 movie “Emulsion” and the 2010 film “Young Alexander the Great,” will portray the Scottish man who lives in the 18th century. The role of Claire Randall, a World War II nurse who travels back in time, will be played by Caitriona Balfe, recently appeared in the film “Now You See Me” and the 2011 movie “Super 8.”

“Outlander” author Diana Gabaldon expressed enthusiasm for both casting choices on Twitter. Of Heughan, she wrote, “I am UTTERLY delighted to confirm that Sam Heughan is cast as Jamie Fraser.” After the news of Balfe’s casting was announced, she tweeted, “She's Irish, but does a _perfect_ English accent. I saw the audition tapes. Perfect!”

After a fan asked her if she saw Balfe and Heughan audition together, Gabaldon wrote, “I did! They were both fabulous--but together they just lit it up!”

Other actors who have been announced for the project include “Game of Thrones” actor Tobias Menzies as Frank, Claire’s present-day husband (and his ancestor), and actor Gary Lewis as Colum MacKenzie, Jamie’s uncle.

The show is expected to debut in 2014. 

The “Outlander” novels center on Claire, who travels back in time via a stone circle in Scotland. The series currently consists of seven books and the next, “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,” is due to be released this March.

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