‘Super 8′s' Caitriona Balfe to play Claire on Starz's ‘Outlander'

By Jethro Nededog LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - The Irish actress will join lead actor Sam Heughan in the series based on Diana Gabaldon's novels Starz and Sony Television have finally found their Claire. Caitriona Balfe will assume the much-coveted role as the women who travels through time in "Outlander," an epic story of romance based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon. "Hard to believe lightning can strike twice, but it surely did," Gabaldon said in a statement. "The moment Caitriona Balfe came on screen, I sat up straight and said, ‘There she is!' She and Sam Heughan absolutely lit up the screen with fireworks." "Outlander" follows Claire Randall, a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743, where she is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry Jamie Fraser (Heughan), a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, Claire becomes torn between her two lives. The Irish actress starred in the digital series from Bryan Singer, "H+." She also appeared in J.J. Abrams' film, "Super 8." She will next be seen opposite Arnold Schwarznegger and Sylvester Stallone in "Escape Plan." The series also stars Tobias Menzies, Graham McTavish, Gary Lewis, Duncan Lacroix, Annette Badland and Stephen Walters. John Dahl, whose credits include "Breaking Bad," "Dexter" and "Justified," will direct the first two episodes of the upcoming drama, from "Battlestar Galactica" executive producer Ronald D. Moore. "The casting of Claire Randall was a long and difficult one because the role is so crucial to the success of our show. ‘Outlander' is told from Claire's point of view and we experience the entire story through her eyes, so it was vital that we find exactly the right actor to play her," said Moore. "Caitriona wasn't on anyone's radar, she wasn't on any list, but when we saw her audition tape, we immediately knew she was someone special," he continued. "Then, after we had her read with Sam, we knew we'd found our Claire. At its heart, ‘Outlander' is the story of two people — Claire and Jamie — their loves and losses, their adventures and tragedies, and now we finally have them both." Balfe is represented by Industry Entertainment and Emptage Hallett (U.K.).