Laura Donnelly, Outlander‘s Jenny Murray, took quite a bit of time answering fan questions on Twitter today – her first Q&A with us! Here are the questions and her answers, plus a few guests sprinkled in:
Laura: I’ve got a glass of Scotch and I’m here to answer your Outlander questions. Fire away!
Q Do you feel like you relate to Jenny?
A I definitely relate to er love for her family and willingness to do whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves.
Q Have you read Outlander? If you did how did you feel about the way they changed your character in the show?
A I read it in preparation for the role. I trusted our brilliant writers to do whatever they think is best.
Q Were you surprised that they took the BJR scene “there”?
A Not really. I think it was important for that scene to be a bit disturbing to understand Jenny.
Q Did you know about Outlander before Sam became involved?
A Only through having just done my first audition too.
Q What side of Jenny is most rewarding to play – Jenny as a sister, wife or mother?
A So far actually Jenny as a sister!
Q Can you describe Sam in just three words?
A Kind, hardworking, fun.
Q What has been your favorite scene to shoot?
A Some of the scenes with Claire in the next episode when Jenny goes in to labour.
Q What has been the one character you’ve played that has stuck with you?
A My character in The River.
Q Did you originally test for Jenny?
A I actually tested for Claire and Jenny at the same time! They made the right choice in Caitriona.
Q Best advice you ever got from your parents?
A Don’t regret doing anything that truly felt right for you at the time, even if it didn’t work out well.
Q Have you ever thought about being on the other side of the camera as a director?
A Not yet. Acting has always been my passion.
Q Jenny is the new fave! How hard was it to do the line about Jamie’s balls with a straight face?
A No! Easy to be angry for Jenny there – not funny in her mind!
Q Loved your performance as Jenny. Did you enjoy the play The River with Hugh Jackman, will you do any more?
A I will always do theatre whenever I can. It’s like coming home.
Q How do you take your scotch?
A With a cube or ice or a little water.
Q What character would you have liked to play other than Jenny?
A BJR would be fun. Villians are the best fun to play!
Q If you could choose any time to travel ot, when and where would you choose?
A 1930s for the clothes!
Q Was the accent hard to master? Because I’ve tried to do a Scottish accent and it is hard!
A I studied in Scotland so I was pretty familiar with it.
Q What is something about Jenny that you don’t like?
A She should chill out a little bit!
Q Did this project change your popularity?
A What with my friends? No they liked me anyway.
Q Favorite place in Scotland?
A The Last Drop in Edinburgh.
Q If you could keep one prop from the Lallybroch set, what would it be?
A My horse! Does that count as a prop?
Q What’s the one thing you CANNOT live without on set?
A I love having a hot water bottle for those cold Highland days!
Q Proudest life moment?
A My Broadway debut last year.
Q What would be your DREAM role to tackle?
A I’d love to give Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf a go at some point.
Q Between takes, to maintain costume integrity do you lean against inclined boards or just stand? Or??
A A lot of standing! And taking heartburn tablets!
Q Are your family members fans of the show?
A It has only just come to the UK so they are just beginning to get into it.
Q What’s your go to guilty pleasure? (chocolate brownies here)
A Marathon Dr. Phil viewings!
Q What about the Outlander experience has surprised you the most?
A The fans! Amazing dedication!
Q Would you have played Jenny differently if it weren’t Sam being Jamie?
A Probably.You feed off the other actors.
Q What’s your idea of a perfect day off?
A Late sleep, cook dinner for my friends, music on, eat and drink and chat in to the early hours.
Q Biggest costume challenge?
A Squished baby bump under corset!
Q What’s your favourite incoming episode?
A Ep. 14 -Claire and Jenny = Thelma and Louise!
Q Have you read the whole series of books?
A No, don’t want to get ahead of my character and know what’s coming.
Q Do you have any ritual before shooting a scene?
A Just staying quiet and calm and focused.
Q Favorite things to cook?
A Roast chicken, roast whole trout, Mexican food. Anything!
Q Fraser or Murray?
A Once a Fraser always a Fraser!
Q If not acting, what career was your second choice?
A I got accepted in to Edinburgh University to study law and history. Glad I didn’t go for it!
Q Favourite drink?
A Whatever you’ve got!
Q I saw you in The River and you were extraordinary. What do you think the play was about in 140 characters?
A Human beings trying to connect.
Q What is the first thing you do after a long day of shooting?
Q Fondest childhood memory?
A Fits of giggles with my siblings over silly things.
Q What are you enjoying about your role in Beowulf?
A Thrilling story lines and lots of horse riding!
Q On the days you’re shooting, what time do you have to be on set and how long does your day last?
A Pick up can be 5:30 am and the day usually ends at 7 pm
Q The best part about acting? Do you like period pieces?
A Getting to live different lives in my short time on earth. I love period drama.
Q Have you seen any of the scripts for Season 2 yet, and if so what are you looking forward to most?|
A Haven’t seen a thing. Which is exciting!
Q What do you do for fun?
A Hang out with my friends, hike, eat out, eat at home. Eat. Eat. Eat.
Q Jenny is a tell it like it is kind of gal, are you the same way?
A No. I’m not as brave as she is!
Q Are you aware of all the hoopla that was brought up after the scene with Tobias Menzies (Black Jack’s nudity)?
A Ha! Maybe not!
Q In what way is Jenny/Jamie’s relationship most similar to that of your own siblings? Most different?
A My siblings and I don’t fight very much. But we can get on each others’ nerves!
Q What kind of wife for Jamie would “you” expect?
A A 1700s WAG?
Q What is your favorite thing that you got to do in the show?
A Horse riding. I love it now!
Q What did you learn from working with Hugh Jackman on Broadway?
A That you’re never too famous to be a lovely person with time for everyone.
Q How do you come down after filming a highly charged emotional scene?
A Usually having a good laugh helps!
Q What’s the best advice you ever got?
A Say yes as much as possible. (Except when a stranger offers you sweets!)
Q What do you like most about Scotland?
A My family is there.
Q Are you feisty like Jenny?
A Some might say so… 😉
Q What is your favourite Disney movie?
A Snow White and the Seven Dwarves– I was obsessed with being her as a child (and still a bit now tbh!).
Q If you had to choose between Jamie or Jenny as one of your siblings, which one would you choose and why?
A Jenny’s a bit more reliable!
Q Recommended places to visit in Scotland? (editor’s note: some Harry Potter and James Bond Skyfall scenes were shot in Glencoe)
A Glencoe. Beautiful!
Q Mountain or beach?
Q Who would your dream actor be?
A to work with? Daniel Day Lewis.
Q If you drink, what is your favorite cocktail?
A Dirty Martini.
Q How is working with Caitriona and Sam and the Outlander cast?
A An absolute pleasure!
Q Have you worked with Caitriona or Sam before?
A Went to drama school with Sam and did a film with him (Heart of Lightness).
Q Is there anything you regret?
A No regrets. I don’t believe in them!
Q Anyone over for dinner, dead or alive… who would it be?
A Mr. Stephen Fry. Isn’t that everyone’s answer?!
Q I noticed you hold your prosthetic belly a lot. How do you like the feeling of being pregnant?
A Let’s just say I was ok with taking it off at the end of the day!
Q Your best quality and worst defect?
A I’m loyal and a good listener. I can be very lazy and I don’t like to do anything I don’t consider to be fun.
Q What is the most difficult thing about your job?
A Not having a job!
Q You are my favourite actress! Lots of love from Hungary! Have you ever been in Hungary?
A Thank you! Very briefly for one day filming Missing for ABC.
Q When do you film again?
A Later this year.
Q Do you have a favorite actor/actress that you look up to?
A Many. Judi Dench is the icon though.
Q Was Tobias really slapping you in tha tscene? And did he prep you for the appearance of little Toby?
A No! Fake slaps! How does one prep someone else for that?!
Q Your perfect vacation would be?
A Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur.
Q What’s it like working on such a fantastic show?
A Just the worst. No fun at all! 😉
Q Favorite line of Jenny’s from Ep. 12?
A Tell that trollop to keep her neb outta ma business!
Q Are you relieved you got cast for Jenny instead of Claire, so you didn’t have to film awkward scenes with Sam?
A LOL! That would have been weird I have to admit…
Q Country you’d most like to visit? (hint: I live in Costa Rica.)
A Costa Rica!
Q (these are all from director Metin Huseyin) If Jenny ran away to the circus would she be a a) clown, b) a trapeze artist, or c) a lion tamer?
Q Is Jenny ever tempted to kick Ian’s wooden leg away for the craic?
Q When it comes to chickens, is Ian a breast or a leg man?
A You should know…
A (from Sam Heughan) Ian’s vegetarian… right?
A (from Metin Huseyin) He doesn’t tell me anything. If you had a haggis past its eat by date, would Jenny roll it at Ian as if he were a skittle (bowling pin)?
A (from Metin Huseyin) He’s partly a log man.
Q Which maniac is more scaring: BJR or Paul Spector?
A Well judging by the end of book one – BJR!
Q Do you follow Irish rugby by chance? I do!
A I actually prefer Gaelic football. But I’ll support anyone in green!
Q would you like to go to an Outlander premiere?
A I was supposed to be at the last one in NYC and would have loved that but I had to work!
Q How is Beowulf going?
A Really well thank you. Exciting!
Q What is the secret to the success of Jenny and Ian’s marriage?
A Ian is afraid of Jenny!
Q Kiss Dougal! Kiss Dougal!
A Erm… okay? but he’d have to want to too…
Q What TV show is your ultimate favorite? If you have any, of course…
A I’m a sucker for Supernatural!
Q Supernatural fan, eh? Sam or Dean?
Q Do you have any favorite Scottish food recipes from that time period?
A I love Haggis. But I’ve never made it myself! I lack the guts… (really sorry – bad pun).
Q An old movie you’d like to remake? And which character in that?
A Margot Channing in All About Eve.
Q (from Sam Heughan) Norwegian or Scottish cuisine? (editor’s note: the film they made together, Heart of Lightness, was filmed in Norway)
A You know I love a bit of whale!
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