Outlander‘s leading lady tried a new adventure this year: motherhood! Caitriona Balfe’s pregnancy during Outlander Season 6 required some creative filmmaking. But at New York Comic Con 2021, the actor and Outlander executive producer Maril Davis shared how they concealed Balfe’s pregnancy while filming. Both for the Outlander Season 6 plot and to preserve Balfe’s privacy.
How ‘Outlander’ Season 6 hid Caitriona Balfe’s pregnancy
Balfe successfully kept her baby news to herself until her child was born. She told Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast working on Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast helped inspire her to take the leap into motherhood, and that she was pregnant “not long after” the film wrapped.
At NYCC, Balfe and her Outlander co-stars dished on the upcoming season, coming out in early 2022. During the 2021 NYCC Outlander panel, Balfe and Davis answered a fan question about how they kept Balfe’s pregnancy hidden. First, she credited the Outlander costume designer, Trisha Biggar.
“Trisha did an amazing job,” Balfe said. “Trisha really worked with getting the costumes early, slightly bigger looking and more volumous [sic] so that we could hide things under.”
Other times, hiding her baby belly wasn’t as easy. Balfe continued:
“I do think it was a little bit difficult. We have an amazing camera crew, but they’re all men. And so, sometimes they don’t see things the way a woman would see it. Sometimes you would be shooting a scene, and you’d be like, ‘Can you see? Should I be hiding this? Should I be standing somewhere else?’ And they’re like, ‘You’re fine. You’re fine.’ And yeah, I don’t think I was always fine.”
As for Davis, she noted they filmed season 6 out of order. So there will be moments where fans might think they’re seeing a baby bump, but they’re likely not.
“I think no matter what we do, now people know, I think people will be looking for it,” Davis said. “We might use some creative solutions to try to fix some things, but she looked amazing throughout. And it all works.”
‘Outlander’ Season 6 was the hardest to film
That’s when co-star Sam Heughan piped in and praised his co-star.
“It’s incredible, I would say, just to be shooting through winter during COVID and also being pregnant,” he said. “I think Caitriona did an incredible, incredible job.”
Indeed, filming Outlander Season 6 was a doozy. Not only because of the rigorous coronavirus (COVID-19) safety restrictions implemented on set (daily COVID testing across cast and crew being one of the policies), but also because they filmed in the middle of winter. Heughan said on the Just the Facts podcast in June:
“It’s been challenging. I think shooting through a Scottish winter during a pandemic, it was weird. We would go to work, especially at the start, and we didn’t know what was going to happen. I’d just finished a movie in London which had similar protocols. But to be in Scotland and to see no one on the roads driving to work — and just to be in this world where it felt like we were the only people at work — it was kind of crazy.”
Caitriona Balfe had her baby in August 2021
And that interview was one month before Balfe and her husband, Tony McGill, welcomed their son. So Heughan couldn’t share how much more tiring filming season 6 must have been for Balfe.
Despite the intense COVID restrictions and having to keep a pregnancy secret, Balfe and Heughan are both proud of each other’s work on Outlander Season 6. Balfe told Variety Jamie Fraser will go through his share of trials and tribulations in the shortened season 6.
“He’s trying to straddle a couple of different political lines,” she said. “So he’s, on one hand, trying to placate the British, but also he knows that the British are gonna lose the war, so he doesn’t want to be caught on the wrong side.”
“Sam has some amazing work and I think everyone’s gonna be excited,” Balfe added.
As for Claire Fraser, she’ll be coping with the trauma of the events of the season 5 finale. And Heughan said at NYCC that everyone in the Fraser family will be keeping a close eye on her, especially in the Outlander Season 6 premiere. The episode will be one of Outlander‘s longest episodes yet at 90 minutes. And Heughan says the extended episode allowed for even juicier character development.
The Droughtlander is almost over!
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