Irish actress Caitriona Balfe says fans thought she was 'too tall and too skinny' for Outlander
Outlander star Caitriona Balfe has said that fans thought she was too tall and too skinny to play Claire on hit series Outlander.
The Monaghan native (36) was cast as Claire Randall on the popular US series in 2014 and her character is based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, whose cult fanbase are notoriously protective of the beloved characters.
But the former supermodel said she was initially criticised for her appearance when she debuted on the programme.
“I think the initial reaction to my casting was like ‘Well, she's too tall, and she's too skinny, she doesn't have brown eyes and her hair's not curly!’” the Dubliner said of her casting for the series, based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon.
“The thing is, everyone has a subjective vision of what these characters are supposed to look like. When you're casting anything, hopefully they're looking for people who embody the character in an essence way rather than just the physical.”
However, she said that fans have taken to her portrayal of the time travelling ex-army combat nurse.
- Read more: Caitriona Balfe's Hollywood takeover continues as Outlander is commissioned for two more seasons
“Once the show aired, the fans have really transferred their love over from the book series to our show, which is fantastic,” she told Rolling Stone.
The 36-year-old was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in the romance-drama.
The show has never veered from controversial moments and has been described as a "feminist version of Game of Thrones." And she said she is most proud of the standout sex scene between a pregnant Claire and her lover Jamie.
"We loved that scene! Sam and I fought to keep the belly bump in — I think there was some worry about whether or not you could see the prosthetic — because yeah, you don't see that!
"And why don't you see that in a sex scene? Why should that be a taboo? You see so many boobs all over the bloody TV.”
"It's the one safe space for them in this time where they're kind of estranged from each other, and they've been struggling with their intimacy — and the fact that this is what brings them together, this unit of a family that they've become … I think it's a very sexy thing,” she admitted.
Outlander is currently in its second season and it has been commissioned for another two seasons.