During the season 4 episode of the Starz drama dubbed “The Deep Heart’s Core,” an extremely angry Brianna (Sophie Skelton) whacked her father Jamie (Sam Heughan) across the face after learning he mistakenly beat up Roger (Richard Rankin) instead of the man who actually raped her (Stephen Bonnet, played by Ed Speleers).
Bree couldn’t contain her rage — a surprise turn of events, since the assault on daddy didn’t actually play out that way in Diana Gabaldon’s Drums of Autumn, on which season 4 is based. (In the book, Brianna only moves to hit Jamie but doesn’t connect. This blog post from Outlander Homepage does a good job of comparing screen versus book scenes.)
During a recent visit to Outlander‘s Scotland set, I asked Skelton and executive producer Matthew B. Roberts to reflect on the moment and why it was so important to show Bree literally busting her dad’s chops.
SOPHIE SKELTON: We were trying to show that Brianna is Jamie’s daughter. Not that he goes around hitting people, but Claire slapped Jamie before. The absolute gravity of the comment he’d made about calling her a whore when she had just said that she’d been raped. It’s not totally Jamie’s fault, and in those days that would be the attitude, unfortunately. But I also think, when we’re talking about modern women, I think it relates back to today whereby people say they’ve been sexually abused and people don’t always believe them and try to find fault.
With the Brianna story line, I delved into research about victims of rape and how their responses differ. In that moment, I think anyone’s response is going to be different. You’re in defense mode. I think if somebody questioned you or told you it was your fault or that you lied about it, you would lash out in a way that you might not be able to comprehend, had you not been through that experience.
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