Friday, October 1, 2010

Katherine Heigl as Claire in Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER?!?

So apparently Katherine Heigl is interested in going from cutting LVAD wires to cutting sutures and herbs. I dinna know what to make of this, my friends.

My first reaction? WHAT THE %$#@???   Are you INSANE?!? Katherine Heigl is not ENGLISH!!!

My second reaction?  Um. Hmmm. Ya know... as much as every fiber of my being is telling me to hate this... I don't.

One thing I want to remind you before I go any further: Actors are not the parts they play. Just because she did an amusing little movie called "Knocked Up", it does not mean she can't do a perfectly good job in a drama. 

Case in point: if you've ever seen Love Comes Softly, you know Katie Heigl can handle a period piece. (I had to call her "Katie" as I once saw Jeffrey Dean Morgan - aka Denny Duquette - do that in an interview and it was totes cute.) And if you've seen the film, you also know she can play a strong-willed woman on her own in the middle of a terrifying situation that is completely foreign to anything she's every been though before.

Having said that.. Can she do an English accent??? THAT, friends, is the question.

Bottom line -  I am not hating this. Am I loving it? No. But it's the unknown....and only time will tell. Especially when Diana, herself, does not seem to know a thing about it:

@ Nope. Hadn't seen that!

And - there doesn't seem to be a (decent) screenplay even written at this time. Either Katherine Heigl knows something even the author does not know... or she's got one hell of a PR sense...and knows how to get her name out there for wanted projects. And is a monstrous Outlander fan.

I prefer to go with scenario numero dos.



  1. Firstly the authors have little input in these things once they have sold the rights. Secondly Heigl is a fine dramatic actress - her work in Grey's Anatomy at times was superb. She has an Emmy and two golden Globe nominations for a reason - all for dramatic work. Her next flick is a period drama called Adaline which shoots in the spring so that might be a good thing to judge her on, but she has done period pieces in the past. As for accents - she did an English accent in the movie Caffeine which was pretty good, particularly given she had one day to prepare. If she has some time she will easily master the accent. The whole point of acting is exactly that - ACTING. Plenty of English actors play Americans. Heigl can do it and do it well. I hope the movie happens.

  2. NICE POST MICHAELA!!! I am thrilled to hear such straightforward support of Katherine Heigl's acting abilities. Unfortch, people just judge her from "Knocked Up" and they have no clue she's been doing dramatic work for years. Don't even get me started on Grey's Anatomy; she made me cry my eyes out in the scene where she cried to Denny "What about ME?!" (I'm getting chills just from typing that.)

    Again - only time will tell. But I am not against this prospect...and I am just thrilled they are still talking Outlander in Hollywood. (Remind me I said that the next time I wax on about being on the fence about seeing Outlander on the big - or small - screen. And believe me - I will definitely make such a statement. I go back and forth about it but I am always of the belief that - if done right - an Outlander film/series would be mind-blowing.) :)

  3. I just can't see Jamie saying the things he says to that face. She's just not enough to be Claire. We have to see what Jamie sees, so she has to be awesome.
    I'm also starting to think that they'll need 2 actors for each, both young and old versions of both Jamie and Claire. It's just too epic, too huge.
    Plus if some fans don't like the young version of one, they may like the older version, so it's a win either way for Hollywood.

    Also why can't they do several films like they did with Harry Potter?

  4. I never saw Knocked Up or whatever other comedies she's been in, so I only know her from her dramatic work on Grey's Anatomy, and I'm not a big fan. I don't think she's a bad actress, and ok, she has awards and nominations to her credit, but I still don't see her as Claire (and I don't mean appearance-wise). If she gets the part and proves me wrong, great! Right now though, it doesn't work for me.

    Still hoping for a mini-series!

  5. I love Katherine Heigl, but I'll have to think about her for Claire. I always "see" Kate Winslet or Diane Lane as Claire. I know they're both older, but that is who I picture or Kate Beckinsale. I think it would be really cool to have different actors play them over the span of the series. That's an intriguing idea to me.

    I was checking a blog today (a photographer) and there was a little baby girl with red hair and fierce blue eyes. I am just a little Outlander obsessed as I thought, "awe, that must have been what Bree looked like as a baby"! Geesh! they are not real I keep telling myself!

  6. Patti I totally did that today. LL Bean model. Red hair. Blue eyes. I was like "IT'S BREE!" LOL It's sad how many times a day little things remind me of Outlander. Seriously. ;)

  7. I'm right there with ye Carol. At first I was like WTF? But now I'm more just on the fence about it... I'm not a big KH fan, but I wouldn't mind being surprised.

    The major thing I'm nervous about is that the movie is going to be an "adaptation" of the novel. Yikes, that could mean anything right...?

    I was kind of thinking that the actress who plays Lois Lane in Smallville would maybe be a good Claire.

  8. I'm not completely against Katherine Heigel and I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised!

    The only thing that concerns me is the accent. The problem is (and this is first supposing that the film company go with accuracy) Claire is going to require a 1940's English upper middleclass accent (think keira knightely in atonement)which is more clipped than it's modern counterpart.

    I think it's tricky enough for an English actor to do this without it slipping into parody so I think Katherine would have her work cut out!

  9. I don't even know who KH is (yes, I live in a cave), but in looking quickly at pictures online -- is she a bit scrawny to be Claire? Not that she couldn't change that.

  10. I have to say, when I saw the tweets coming thru the other night I really didn't get the reaction everyone else was getting. I think she's a great actress and if she can pull off a great accent then I can see her in the part.

    ***as I step away before I get hit with shoes etc ***

  11. Megs, Anon - I'm with ya both.

    Adventures - no - Katherine Heigl is not scrawny at all. She's a good sized woman and I love that she doesn't try to do the uber skinny thing. I'll show you some more photos.

    Lis - OMG I'm afraid to go back to Compuserve because I said basically the same thing last night...and then said I was backing away slowly or something like that. LOL

  12. At first I was like "wtf" also but then I reminded myself that I was so mad when Tom Cruise was cast as Lestat (I can't stand him) and he ended up doing a really good job so you just never know. I also am not a fan of Rob Pattison at all and I'm holding out on judgement on him in the Water for Elephants movie.

  13. It is not just the accent I am worried about but the hair and coloring. I know that they can do amazing things with hair and makeup but I will just be thinking thats KH wearing a brown curly wig!!! Jamie calls Claire his "brown one" you just can't fake that. There are so many better options out there.

  14. Funny you should say that, Brandy... because I was just watching "The Haunting in Connecticut" which stars Kyle Gallner - who I considered the poor man's Rob Pattinson before seeing the film. Now? Holy WOW - this kid is GOOD!!!

  15. I guess I'm neutral about KH's acting prospects, but I do think that having some acting muscle behind the idea for the film makes it more likely to actually happen.

  16. RIGHT AMY - great point! Having KH interested in this film makes getting it made a LOT easier. She's got pull. And she's got an Emmy; something that brings investment dollars to the table immediately.

    And when we all say "Why hasn't this been made yet?" I guarantee you the answer is "$$$".

  17. While I don't think that Heigl is a bad actress - not in the least, actually - I cannot imagine her as Claire. Totally different look, body type, attitude. But (and I saw this on another site so it wasn't my idea) I think she is perfect for Geilie Duncan. Tall, blonde, a scheming personality under a sweet demeanor...I think she could really handle that.

  18. I can't imagine her as Claire at all...maybe Brianna with a long straight red wig, but that's even a stretch.

  19. Oh Carol,

    thank you so much for the trailer for
    'Love comes softly' that you posted! I immediately went to Youtube and watched the whole movie since the only dramatic work I've seen KH doing was Grey's Anatomy until now.
    I didn't know that she is actually a really really good actress and I can't understand why she hasn't continued playing roles like this. She certainly is very good with comedy but she has also an unbelievable depth.
    Funny enough that the story of Love comes softly and Outlander have some major and minor similarities (woman from the city loses husband, marries a stranger only to have a roof over head, has to get aquainted with a life without the comforts of the city - but falls (very very) softly and slowly in love with her new husband (much slower than Jamie and Claire ;)) and when the time comes for her to leave, she doesn't want to leave anymore and stays with him).

    To put it in a nutshell: After seeing this movie I am certain that KH could handle the role of Claire very well. She looks great in this kind of clothes and her body type is right enough for Claire as well.
    And the british accent: it's actually not that hard IMO. I mean, my little sister can do it perfectly and she is only 15 and german!
    There are surely better choices than KH for the part of Claire but there are much much more worse choices.

  20. Totally agreed, Lisa. She's got real talent. It's just a matter of the accent. Hopefully she's practicing right now as I type! ;)

  21. Hello, new to this blog. I met a woman at Diana's release party for The Scottish Prisoner who told me about this site.
    While most people are excited about the prospect of a movie, I am not. Look what Hollywood did to My Sister's Keeper. Someone is bound to be disappointed whoever is cast and it really dismays me that the movie industry buys rights to these books and then the authors have no input whatsoever to the screenplay or casting. Personally, of all the actors out there, my Jamie looks closest to Gerard Butler (yes I know he's too old but maybe they will have 2 actors, one young, one old) and Diana herself has mentioned Keira Knightley for Claire...I can see that easier than Katherine Heigl. BTW Diana has mentioned Ewan McGregor for Jamie. But I don't think any adaptation will live up to what is in my head...that's the trouble with us readers, we have vivid imaginations.
    Janet S.

  22. Welcome Janet!

    It's always great to have new friends join us here in Purgatory. We have a chat on Monday nights that's a lot of fun; come join us when you can! 9PM Eastern!

    That said, I agree with you that a film adaptation is a scary prospect. You never know what the screenwriter and director are going to do with the material. I will say this - the authors can try to negotiate themselves into the filming process. Sometimes the production companies allow it; other times they don't. I remember reading what an exception it was for Stephenie Meyer to be involved in the writing process with Melissa Rosenberg while she was adapting the Twilight novels. And as for filming and being on set to give guidance - again, that's up to the production company that options the rights to the book - and is in accordance with whatever contract the author has negotiated with them.

    Let us hope and pray that Diana stays involved. I remember her telling us that Allan Scott-Douglas was her pick for Jamie Fraser in a film adaptation but that Essential had the last word.

    As for casting - you make some pretty interesting points and I bet Karen Henry (Compuserve Books and Writers Community) would have some better answers. I was under the impression Diana thought Keira Knightley was too skinny. I also think I read that she thinks Ewan McGregor is too old (I think a writer misquoted her if memory serves). Ditto for Gerard Butler. But you are right - we need an older Jamie later who knows.

    I try not to even think too much about it at this point. I do know the screenplay has been written (by Ann Peacock of Chronicles of Narnia (#1) and Kit Kittredge fame. I also know the first screenplay was written by Randall Wallace and Essential decided not to use it. So they do seem to want to make sure they get the adaptation right; that is a plus!!

    OK enough of my babbling. I hope we see you at chat! :)

  23. PS - if you are a fan of The Bronze Horseman series by Paullina Simons, she is VERY involved in the film adaptation of her book(s). Andy Tenant (Ever After) optioned the book rights...and a screenplay was written...but Paullina didn't like the screenplay and went ahead and wrote her own! And she didn't renew the option when it ran out - so the rights have transferred back to her.

    Why am I still babbling? Because I find all of this film adaptation stuff absolutely fascinating. It's almost like playing Russian Roulette with your story/characters. Some get them right...and sadly, some do not. Only time will tell!!

  24. Outlander movie or no? This discussion is still going on in February 2012 ... why? Let's get on with it! It's a marvelous series of books and the main characters are riveting personalities. As Patti commented back in 2010 ... "they are not real I keep telling myself!" Give Katherine Heigl a chance playing Claire, and by the way, cast Taylor Swift as Briana. She could be compelling as a redhead and she already has the marvelous slanted cat eyes!