Outlander is one of the most romantic and sexiest shows on television, and Sophie Skelton and Richard Rankin are a part of it.
As the daughter of Claire and Jamie Fraser and her boyfriend, Sophie and Richard embody Brianna Randall and Roger Wakefield.
They took some time to chat with us recently about being a part of the Outlander world and what's coming up for them as their characters hit the ground running on Outlander Season 4.
TVF: I’ve really enjoyed watching your characters' growth since they were first introduced and so the first thing I want to know is ... What is it like belonging to the phenomena that's Outlander?
Richard: It's great. It's obviously such a huge show and is an absolute phenomenon. Came in Scotland with such an impact. And just became very prominent very quickly. And I think, because we came in at the end of season two as well, the show has really found its feet.
We just kind of hit the ground running with the show and they'd already done all the hard work, Sam and Katrina, and the whole production and the family that is Outlander and Stars just, you know, they had created this huge beast of a show. I feel very fortunate and grateful to have come in and been a part of. I'm excited.
TVF: You agree, Sophie?
Sophie: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, you know, we really do have one, probably be actually just best fandoms. So we just got a really good welcome and yeah as Rich said, it's just been great fun. Hard work but great fun.
Richard: Oh we love our work so much.
TVF: Where are Brianna and Roger in their lives when we catch up with them during Outlander Season 4?
Richard: Oh, there will be a whole lot of complex scenarios and situations in their life. They're having a long distance relationship. Obviously, that can be challenging. A long distance relationship ... They can be tough!
Sophie: And in the mid of the ‘70s.
Richard: Yeah, no. I mean, in the ‘70s, I mean, God, the world was much larger place back then. Travel wasn't as easy. You know, even phone calls, they were expensive. And you tended not to chat as much. So that takes its toll in a relationship, and I think that's where we're seeing them.
It's that they're just basically trying to make this work because they know that deep down they truly love one another. They have to make that work.
Sophie: But I think it's on a more personal level that makes each of the characters' individually; that they're still dealing with the personal aspects of their life, you know? Brianna's so lost.
Obviously, she's still sort of grieving from having lost Frank. But now in a way, she's lost Jamie too, and she's also lost her mother. So they're both at quite delicate points in their lives.
Richard: Fragile, I would say.
Sophie: They're both at quite fragile points in their lives. But I think they're both just kind of trying to move on and put the past in the past and make the relationship work.
TVF: And you mentioned 1970 is difficult for a long-distance relationship. It's also difficult for a Scottish gentleman and the daughter of Claire Fraser, one would think.
Sophie: Yeah. Definitely.
Richard: Anyone and the daughter of Claire Fraser.
TVF: I agree. So how, how do things go whenever they get together?
Sophie: Hmm. As always with Brianna and Roger, I think, as good as things go when they get together, in equal measures, they go very badly.
Richard: No they have a great time, actually. I mean that just shows that just comes back to the kind of climax of many of the meetings. Communication breaks down quite easily with Roger and Brianna and I think it's because of that passion that they have for each other or the love that they have for each other.
That they have such kind of like explosive moments but the time that they actually spend together, like in some of the scenes, that I think they really enjoy each other's company. I think they kind of get each other. When they stop to look into each other's eyes, I think they really see a future there.
The really beautiful thing, I think, they just get underway of that, you know?
TVF: And they're going to make their way to the United States together, so they're going to go on a trip? How is that going to affect the relationship?
Richard: Oh, it's not going to affect their relationship. Sophie?
Sophie: One of the climactic points in their relationship so far is when Roger does come to America. And they do go to the Scottish Festival. And yeah, I mean, shit, it's all light-hearted and fun.
They play the minister's cat game which people always loved from the books and it's just very ... Their relationships in those moments really reflects the time that they're in, you know? It's very light-hearted ‘70s, very fun, very vibrant. Easy. They’re very at ease with each other. But then yeah, as I said, as good as it gets.
It also goes a complete 180 and they have their issues, shall we say?
TVF: And I do know because everybody knows, you know, it's out there on the internet. And I do my homework that you guys are going to go through the stones at some point here in season four.
TVF: What was it like for you starring on the show to have this hanging out there for your characters? And what was the thought process as you were counting down leaving 1970 behind?
Sophie: It's always a funny thing, is obviously the show is based on books, but we do change things in the show. So, what you do and/or don't see in the books might not necessarily be in the show. Or there might be additional things in the show that fans don't know to be excited about yet, but they will see.
So as far as which is interesting to know we have just a lot more material coming up. And a lot more of Roger and Bree, and where that takes place is to be decided, determined, found out ...
TVF: I also wonder about you two. Because you get to play a romantic character on one of the most romantic and sexiest shows on television and yet you're also kind of competing against Jaime and Claire for like, sexiest, romantic couple.
Richard: Or are we there to just enhance the story? To just build on an already-
Sophie: I mean, look, there's no ... Jaime and Claire have the perfect relationship in terms of how their relationship is. With Roger and Bree, they're a very different relationship. I mean, Roger and Brianna aren't ... I mean, they're a little more work than Jaime and Claire.
They're not as good at communicating, they're not as solid as a couple and you know-
Richard: Seeing the humanity in them, I think, that just comes from much more of a place of realism. You can see the flaws and how that affects the relationship.
And I would go as far as to say that they're a more interesting, I think, more relatable couple. Certainly, in Season 4, anyway. A lot of our stuff is, you don't just dive right into it, you know?
TVF: Do you think that Jaime and Claire really were great communicators, though, at the beginning? I would say not.
Sophie: Well, they weren't together, though, at the beginning. I mean obviously they were kind of, not forced into marriage, but kind of forced into marriage. And then they sort of fell in love. Whereas I think since then, yeah, I think they're very good at communicating. And you know, they're both solid in their relationship.
They know how the other one feels about each other. And anything that's thrown in their way they sort of deal with as a couple. They're very solid. Whereas I think Roger and Bree are kind of afraid to tell each other how they feel or afraid to voice things. So, it's a very different relationship.
TVF: Right, it takes time. What would you tell viewers to look forward to with regard to Brianna and Roger?
Sophie: Just more Brianna and Roger!
Richard: Yeah just what I think we can take from this is, it's just going to be one emotional roller coaster ride and adventure that you're going to be really invested in and enjoy following through Season Four. I'm excited.
Sophie: And you're going to see a lot more of their personalities than you've ever seen before as well. So, I think you'll get to know Roger and Brianna a lot better.
Be sure to tune into Outlander Season 4 Episode 2 tonight at 8/7c on Starz!!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.