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Inside Emmy Magazine's Cover Shoot With 'Outlander' Stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan

Kelly Woo
·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
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When it comes to Outlander, the passion on screen between Jamie and Claire Fraser is matched by the passion off screen shared by the actors, producers, and network executives.

“I think we’ve accomplished something here that’s a bit unusual,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht tells Emmy Magazine for their latest cover story. “We’ve managed to capture what made the books so successful. That’s quite a feat.“

Related: ‘Outlander’ Postmortem: Meet the Actress Behind the Other Feisty Fraser

The magazine details the journey that Outlander took from a bestselling novel series by Diana Gabaldon to an acclaimed television series on Starz. Casting the two leads was a crucial task, of course. Series creator Ron Moore landed the perfect actor for Jamie in Sam Heughan right away, but finding Claire was much harder.

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“We saw so many people for Claire — we were really getting late into the process,” Albrecht says.

Finally, they saw Caitriona Balfe’s audition tape. But before making a deal, she had to film a chemistry test with Heughan.

“It was a passionate scene between Jamie and Claire, where he is chastising her for running away and then getting caught [by British soldiers],” Heughan explains. “I had her in this huge bear hug, and she was really pissed off at me. As soon as Caitriona left, I think we all knew she was the one.”

Video: ‘Outlander’ Stars Get Quizzed on How Well They Know Their TV Work Spouse

That off-the-charts chemistry is just part of what draws fans to Outlander. Balfe believes that the connection to the show runs deep.

“It’s also how a marriage stays together,” she says. “They have to go through all these trials and tribulations, and it’s how they support each other and get through those things together.”

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Heughan is often shirtless and galloping on horses. And “he wears a kilt as well,” the actor notes with a roguish smile, “and that’s pretty good.”

Outlander airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz.