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How they filmed those steamy sex scenes on Outlander

"It's not a COVID-friendly show..."
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When it comes to TV shows, it doesn’t get much steamier than Outlander. Fans have come to know, love, and expect those saucy sex scenes between Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) but, due to the pandemic, they almost didn’t happen in the latest season.

WATCH: First Look Trailer for Outlander Season 6

The sixth season of the show premiered on February 7, after an almost two-year break due to the pandemic. 

While production on some Hollywood sets returned to work quickly, Executive Producer Maril Davis revealed that they waited longer to get back to the set in order to ensure the episodes still had those sexy moments.

“We don’t have the kind of show, unfortunately, that can be COVID-friendly,” he told the Outcasts podcast.

“That’s something that a lot of studios are talking about, and some shows have the luxury to do that, we do not. It’s the least COVID-friendly show ever. It means that maybe there’s no kissing, there’s no interaction; there’s not a lot of actors and extras.”

The time-travelling period drama eventually returned to filming in January 2021, with the leading star Sam revealing the sex scenes have been “enriched” this year by a new intimacy coordinator. 

sam heughan and caitriona balge
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe return to their iconic roles as Jamie and Claire Fraser. (Credit: Foxtel)

“I suggested we get one… It’s a relatively new thing in the industry, and obviously there is a great deal of intimacy on our show,” he told Digital Spy.

“In a way, it had kind of been left to Catriona and I to just sort of work our way through [sex scenes]. Obviously we have got a way of working and we have created this relationship, but also we realised quite quickly when she came on board that actually, it’s a lot of pressure and she really helped us work through those scenes.

“She also helped maybe move the scenes on and maybe add more to them that maybe we didn’t know how to do in the past, so it has been a really welcome addition I think, also for the younger actors that also have to do intimate scenes. It just takes out a lot of the pressure and fear and hopefully makes those scenes more enriched.”

Sam also revealed that part of bringing someone new on board to coordinate the sex scenes was to benefit younger actors, Cesar Domboy (Fergus) and Lauren Lyle (Marsali).

“When Outlander started we were in a different time, our show was a lot more explicit in some ways than it would be now,” he said. “I think our show is very challenging in those scenes… it can be hard for an actor to navigate.

“So I felt responsibility to support our cast, and the crew as well and the writers, so we now know what the boundaries are, and also how to explore those.”

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As Outlander returns, we’re gaining insight to how the show was filmed. (Credit: Foxtel)

In an interview with our sister site Now To Love, the actors previously spilled on their close working relationship.

“When we first met, we had to dive into these really, tough and intimate scenes,” Sam said. “That’s made our relationship a lot deeper and we feel comfortable with each other now. It really bonds you. It’s like a marriage… almost.”

Outlander Season 6, Episode One is now available to watch on Foxtel and BINGE with new episodes dropping weekly.

Sign up to Foxtel with a 10 day free trial here.

Sign up to BINGE with a 14 day free trial here.

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