Outlander teaser: "I Am Not Alone" – Season Finale
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Coffey was brought on to Outlander for season six after she was approached by actor and producer Sam Heughan. She worked with the cast on putting together all the intimate moments over the eight episodes including those involving Heughan and his co-star Caitriona Balfe as the star-crossed lovers Jamie and Claire Fraser. Outlander has always had steamy moments between the couple from the very first seasons with the show following the lead of Diana Gabaldon’s novels.
On why these scenes worked so well in the show, Coffey said it was something she would turn her own mind to often as they were “a big part of the books”.
She explained: “I think there’s also a lot of violence in the books and in the show and we need these moments of respite, these moments of love because that earns us those of violence, of the terror that happens.
“Season six is a really hard season to watch, in a way, because there’s a lot that happens with those characters that’s very dark in some cases and the love scenes give us levity but sometimes just a deeper insight how those characters really respond to one another.”
The intimacy coordinator went on to say: “You see through Jamie and Claire a marriage that really works in spite of everything that goes on around them. That’s quite hopeful for people.”
Coffey cited Young Ian and the sex scenes with his Native American wife Wakyo’teyehsnonhsa (Morgan Holmstrom) as another example.
“We see the tragedy of that relationship but we need the beautiful, intimate, romantic moments between them for the loss to mean anything,” she said.
She praised the “brilliant actors” on the show for making these intimate moments so powerful for the audience.
However, she said the other reason why these scenes were so significant went back to the source material with these moments “so deeply ingrained” in Gabaldon’s stories and so Outlander fans wanted and needed this “relationship element”.
Coffey said Jamie and Claire’s sex scenes and indeed the other love scenes struck a balance between the shades of light and dark in Outlander, which is set in a brutal world where sexual violence against women was commonplace.
She said the darker moments too were part and parcel of the show, which she classed as intimate scenes given their nature.
There have been depictions of rape involving Claire and Brianna Fraser (Sophie Skelton), along with others across the series.
The show has even featured sexual assault on men with Jamie raped by Captain Black Jack’s (played by Tobias Menzies) in a harrowing torture scene.
Additionally, Fergus Fraser (César Domboy) and Young Ian (John Bell) were both victims of sexual assault.
Season six saw Malva Christie (Jessica Reynolds) beaten by her father and involved partial nudity, making it an intimate scene which fell under Coffey’s remit.
These darker intimate scenes were again part of the storytelling and had a “huge effect” on viewers.
“They are treated with a great deal of respect by the writers’ room, I think. They’re given a lot of space within the script, in the same way they are in Diana’s books.
“I think it’s a real reflection. They do reflect those scenes really well in the series and there’s just something that really connects for people when they watch them.
“Whether it’s something awful to be watching or something that’s beautiful and deep and loving.”
She added: “There’s just something that’s really human about how people are connecting with that.”
Coffey is working on season seven of Outlander at the moment, which will be an adaptation of A Breath of Snow and Ashes and An Echo in the Bone, and is expected to have further violence with the impending American Revolution.
In fact, Claire’s sexual assault in the season five finale was taken from An Echo in the Bone and so the character could face another ordeal in the seventh series as she is put on trial.
Outlander season 7 is in production now
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