In the Outlander universe, some characters make up the backbone of the story (Claire, Jamie, and Brianna, spring to mind), appearing in almost every episode, while others swiftly impact the plot, only to leave as quickly as they came. In “Providence,” Father Alexandre Ferigault is one such fleeting persona, executed before the audience truly got to know his full depth.
But while Alexandre’s exit was abrupt, French actor Yan Tual’s performance as the tormented priest won’t be forgotten any time soon. T&C spoke with Tual about his experience on the Outlander set, what it was like working with Richard Rankin, and his thoughts on Alexandre’s shocking death scene, below.
What interested you most about the role of Father Alexandre?
Father Alexandre is a conflicted man in a way most of us can’t relate to. It has to do with his calling and the situation he finds himself in, but also with the time in which he lives. It was fascinating trying to find the logic in his life and death choices.
Did you have a chance to read the book?
I became familiar with Diana’s work and how my character falls within the story line. [Writer and co-executive producer] Karen Campbell was a great help, answering any questions I might have had. Of course there were also choices we discussed on the spot but, all in all, everything was there in the script.
What was it like working on the Outlander set, and specifically with Richard Rankin?
Simply put, it was one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The Outlander team was just phenomenal—so much talent and generosity. Richard is a smart, talented, and committed actor, and working with him was a treat. We spent about two weeks in a hut together, digging dirt, so his witty sense of humor came in handy on many occasions.