ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – It’s finally happening, Bri and Roger fans. But how much will actually happen?
In Sunday’s episode of Outlander, Brianna (Sophie Skelton) and Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) take their relationship to the next level — but not in the way you would think (or hope). We asked Skelton and Rankin to tease the episode, and what to expect in the coming months (and years).
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Gosh, it’s taken a while to really get to know your characters.
SOPHIE SKELTON: We know from the books that Brianna and Roger kind of build and build, so we are aware of how much they are in each season. That’s a good thing because we can plot the characters. We knew they’re quite the slow burners, in terms of what the audience sees.
RICHARD RANKIN: Yeah, we always knew they were going to be gradually introduced in the story as it moves forward. Although it makes you kind of anxious to dive straight in, it gives you time to think about the characters and what you want to do with them. We’re quite lucky in that respect.
We’ll see your personal relationship really developing this season, right?
SKELTON: Yeah, I think for Brianna and Roger — at least I know for Bri — we start to peel away the layers of Brianna so the audience can see a little more of her. Bri’s a very stoic person, very much like Jamie, and it’s nice to let the viewers see more of her inner thoughts and inner emotions. She’s a very strong character and outwardly strong too, but she doesn’t let a lot on. She’s very good at hiding her emotions so it’s very nice this season to see a bit more. With Brianna and Roger, we see that relationship develop. They get closer, they get torn apart, and there’s a lot of that dynamic in this season which I think makes it really interesting because it’s not as straightforward as you would expect.
RANKIN: You know what is great about it? There’s just so much to play. It’s an awesome opportunity as an actor because even individually these guys have so much going on in their lives before you even get to the aspect of their chemistry. Roger just lost his dad at the end of season 2 and he hasn’t had the time to process that. All of a sudden you have Claire and Brianna on the scene with all the circumstances. The drama that unfolds with time travel and historical fathers, 18th-century warriors and politics … I think you get a really profound glimpse of what’s going on for him and Bri.
SKELTON: Just how much this whole thing has affected each one individually.
Sophie was interviewed by 1883 magazine to talk about ‘Outlander’, acting and much more. Make sure to check our gallery for the beautiful new photoshoot!
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > Session 004
1883 – Since bursting onto our screens, Outlander has not only won a BAFTA but has also been nominated for an Emmy and an Oscar. It is due back on Amazon Prime Instant Video with Season 3 on September 10th and this week we were privileged to have a chat with one of its leading ladies.
But before there was Outlander, Sophie Skelton has had phenomenal success from very early on with roles in the sofa classics such as BBC’s Casualty to the lead role in action adventure miniseries, Ren (which gained her a best actress nomination!). It is this versatility that keeps audiences guessing what her next role could possibly be, and we didn’t miss this opportunity to discuss all of her upcoming projects.
Looking at all you have achieved this early on into your career it is impressive to say the least, what would be your highlight so far?
Well, firstly… thank you! I’ve been auditioning since I was 15 and working since I was 17 so it doesn’t feel so early on to me so it’s always wonderful when someone says how far you’ve come and you step back and think ’oh, the hard work is paying off.’ I would honestly say that my highlight this far has been Comic Con. It was just such a different experience for me. I’m so at home being on set but Comic Con was a new and entirely different experience and it’s so wonderful when you can meet the fans who make it all possible and give a little back. Outlander fans are so loyal and passionate and it was great to see how those days, weeks and months on set pay off and experience the affect that the show has on people. It really moves people and it’s a very powerful and humbling feeling to be in the midst of that. That Comic Con experience will be with me forever.
How did you get into acting, is it something you always wanted to do?
It was always something I wanted to do. I was a ballet dancer from the age of three and I started from there in musical theatre. I love the rush of being on stage and there is nothing like a live audience but I really craved for the discretion of screen. The camera doesn’t lie so you can’t either and there’s a beautiful insecurity that you have to allow on screen, on stage everything has to be a lot bigger.
Do you have any advice for any aspiring actors?
There are so many different routes into the industry. Mine was quite unorthodox so I suppose I’d just say; if you really love it and you can’t see yourself doing anything else then keep trying, push through the rejection and, whatever the route, the hard work will get you there.
I have added a new photoshoot of Sophie for Harper’s Bazaar. You can read the interview and watch the behind the scenes video below!
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > Session 003
HARPER’S BAZAAR – ophie Skelton’s trademark long chestnut hair is knotted in a tight bun, precisely placed high atop her head—exactly the style you’d expect from a Royal Academy-trained ballerina. Despite the early call time for her first major fashion shoot, an unfazed Skelton arrives effortlessly polished post dance session in her hotel room (she always packs pointe shoes when traveling), sporting an adopted LA uniform: leggings, plain T-shirt, and an unassuming cardigan.
The 23-year-old UK native—who plays Outlander’s youthful, fiery, stalwart Brianna Randall Fraser, the daughter of an 18th-century Scottish Highlander and a time-traveling English WWII nurse—is fresh off her first trip to Comic-Con, where screaming devotees flocked in droves to see her. Despite some initial trepidation, Skelton, who grew up in the quiet English countryside of Manchester, says she was grateful to leave San Diego with a strengthened connection to her fans. “I was unsure what to expect, to be honest, but it was really rewarding,” she explains from the makeup chair of a sun-drenched studio. “They give us so much support, it’s nice to be able to give even a little bit back—to meet them and give them a hug, or whatever else they need.”
Skelton, who began her performative career with dance at age three, carries herself as someone braced to handle her rapidly blossoming career with expert poise and dignity: she’s more gentle and curious than intimidating. The actress, who enjoys baking and binge-watching Stranger Things in her downtime, comes from humble roots, where she picked up acting in various small theater productions at school. But her appetite for television was unshakable. “I had always wanted to do the discreet acting that you can’t really do with live theater,” she explains. “In TV and film everything is really underplayed, and I liked that aspect.” Eventually, Skelton cut a deal with her parents: if she were accepted into university, they would grant her permission to defer a year and dip her feet into full-time acting. Less than a year later, she was offered her largest role yet in Outlander. Here, Skelton opens up about her headstrong character; pushing forward despite the odds stacked against her; and dealing with new-found fame.
INDEPENDENT – Sophie Skelton had to wait a year between her audition for popular time travel series Outlander and her call back. “I just figured I hadn’t got the role.”
Following the template of the popular books by Diana Gabaldon, the character of Brianna was originally going to arrive on screen at the end of season 1, but a last minute rewrite postponed the arrival of the American-accented rebel for a season.
Brianna is a university student in the 1960s and discovers that her mother has been lying to her about who her father is, and it’s not the man she thought it was. He is a highlander called Jamie, who her mother wants to travel back in time to see. Brianna has to overcome her state of shock and skepticism that time travel is possible.
That delay turned out to be good news for both the Cheshire-born actress, as in the intervening period she had her breakthrough role in action adventure web series Ren, and took the lead in Day of the Dead: Bloodline, a remake of the George Romero classic. She also made a bank heist movie, #211, with Nicolas Cage.
Consequently, the blossoming of her character in the upcoming series of Outlander coincides with Skelton being raved about as one of the most exciting upcoming British actresses of the moment.
In Season 3, Skelton says of her role: “You see a lot of the mother and daughter relationship develop. Her mother wants to go back in time to meet the love of her life, and you see Brianna mature into this woman who can say, ‘I love you enough that I can let you go back.’”
We meet in a cafe in London. The actress arrives with a newspaper folded under her arm; it’s open on the puzzles page, all of which have been completed. “I’m a geek, I mean I can’t really pretend to be cool, if I bought the puzzles with me.”
But she doesn’t have to pretend, as being beguiling seems to come naturally to her.
The cast of ‘Outlander’ attended a panel during San Diego Comic-Con to talk everything season 3 so make sure to watch the video below and to check out our gallery for high quality pictures (thanks to Maria)!
Public Appearances > 2017 > San Diego Comic-Con – ‘Outlander’ Panel