Karen Gillan as Outlander’s Brianna Randall? Casting Thoughts…

Outlander, the popular and critically acclaimed series based on the books by Diana Gabaldon and set in bonnie 18th century Scotland….is headed into production for its second season. With millions of fans around the world still to enjoy the remaining six episodes, speculation has been swirling for months on what Season 2 will bring us and, more importantly, WHO…in terms of casting!

Last fall a casting call was put out to talent agents and managers in Hollywood looking for an actress to play the role of Brianna Randall who (and this will be a SPOILER for anyone that hasn’t read the books) is the daughter of Claire and Jamie Fraser!

Here is what the casting call looked like:

BRIANNA RANDALL (Female)  20 years old. (20-25)  General American accent. Looking for an actress who is OVER 5ft  7′.  This tall, striking, redhead (we can dye hair) is the daughter of Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) So actress must have BLUE EYES and ideally resemble the actor and actress playing her mother and father.  Strong-minded, intelligent beyond her years with an effortless charm and sparkling sense of humor (traits inherited from both her mother and father), Brianna also has a scholastic mind-set, with a healthy dose of American strength, having been born and bred in Boston under the watchful eye of historian Frank Randall. The ease of a natural beauty, Brianna has the ability to turn heads wherever she goes. She also has a practical, analytical brain so she should be played earthy and grounded and not girly.

Hmm, sound like anyone we Whovians know? Sounds like no-brainer casting to me.

When fans heard that the role of Brianna Fraser was being cast (besides sending in their own head shots and resumes…) they began tossing around ideas and suggestions, and one name that continually came to the forefront was former Doctor Who companion, Karen Gillan.

The perfect Brianna Randall?

The perfect Brianna Randall?

She certainly fits the description and hailing from Inverness Scotland, she certainly has it in her blood.  We would all love to see her back on our television sets, especially after her ABC sitcom Selfie was cancelled.

Gillan's ill-fated sit com didn't make it to Season Two.

Gillan’s ill-fated sit com didn’t make it to Season Two.

Whether or not she’s available is another question. Gillan recently completed a film starring John Travolta, “In A Valley of Violence” and has recently been cast in a new HBO pilot about the Salem Witch Trials, “The Devil You Know” which is/was set to go before the cameras this Spring.

And it’s not like our beloved Amy Pond wouldn’t have competition for the role. Here’s a pretty respectable audition video from one Brianna hopeful:

There’s also bonnie Bonnie Wright, Ron Weasley’s sister in the Harry Potter films, now all grown up and beautiful and ready to star in Outlander!

Bonnie Wright

Bonnie Wright

Still speculation abounds over Karen Gillan…

Today, months after the casting notice went out…with still no announcement from Starz on new cast members joining the show…Gillan Tweeted this:

Squee! Outlander fans who are supporting the idea of Gilllan as Brianna are elated at the possibility!! Of course, this Tweet could simply mean she’s going home to visit family. One thing is for sure, Karen is one busy and in demand actress…so whether or not Starz was quick to snatch her up shall remain to be seen.

Who do YOU think should play Brianna Fraser in season two of Outlander? Put your comments below!

Catch Outlander Ep. 111, “The Devil’s Mark” tonight on Starz at 9PM PT/ET. And IMMEDIATELY following, catch our recap, OutlandDish©! To catch you up, here’s last week’s recap of “By The Pricking of My Thumbs”:

Lady Anglophile…casting hat firmly placed on head.

This entry was posted in British Telly, OUTLANDER | OutlandDish Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Karen Gillan as Outlander’s Brianna Randall? Casting Thoughts…

  1. Reblogged this on Barabal's Blog and commented:
    Brianna casting call

  2. worldtraveler9 says:

    Karen Gillan certainly has my vote!!!!

  3. While I think Karen would make a great Bree, I think she may be a bit too in demand at the moment. Also Ithink I’d prefer someone less well known to play the part. Maybe someone like Amber Skye Noyes. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5652088/?ref_=nv_sr_1 .

    • Anonymous says:

      Amber is my Bree too

      • Anonymous says:

        When described in the books Bree towers over her mother. At only 5’8″ Amber is shorter than Caitriona Balfe. Hair color and even eye color can be changed but unfortunately you can not add 4 inches or more to someone’s height. I think they should have put physical requirements as over 5’10” instead of 5’7″.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t like how Amber’s been trying to dangle carrots in front of people’s faces, especially Outlander fans and then she doesn’t tell them her “news” or whatever. I also do not support actors that try to gain the approval of the fans first as if to go into the audition saying, “But the fans already love me! You don’t want to disappoint them by not choosing me, do you?” As if giving the fan base that control is EVER a good idea. I want the BEST Bree, not someone who “looks” like the Bree in my head. The actress could have naturally dark hair and brown eyes… but if she’s the best Bree, I want HER! Because if all the redheads in Hollywood can’t embody what makes Bree who she is, what’s the point of casting them? Sorry. I’d rather have a completely unknown actress. If I was nitpicking, my only hope is that they pick an American woman to play the part. Let the UK and Scotland take the casting for the rest of the parts, I don’t care, but Bree is an independent AMERICAN woman and she needs to understand what being American, not to mention an American WOMAN, was back in the 1800’s AND the 1960’s.

      • Anna Bolic says:

        Amber’s tweets about “news” had to do with the new album she was releasing. The fandom wrongly assumed they had to do with Outlander. Hardly her fault.

    • Anonymous says:

      i agree Brianna needs to be an actor not seen in many other films. in response to casting call i would point out Brianna needs to have a heavy Bostonian speaking voice…and from experience i know nobody but a Bostonian really can speak like a Bostonian.
      as the series progresses (and i hope it never stops) the Bostonianspeek becomes
      more to the fore…..in actual fact Boston area north to the saint john river in new brunswick were Bostonian settlers, all intelligent,smart,prone to inventing new things (like the first fog horn ever)…and educated always. anglophones to the bone historically.
      so why is the casting not focused on red-headed canadian actors of scottish born?

    • Karen T. says:

      I read some tweets this morning (Sam Heughan among them) that are making me worried that Amber Skye Noyes might be who they cast. I sure hope not! She just seems a little “arch” to me. I SO would prefer Sharon Belle, but I think I may not be getting my wish.. 😦
      I sure hope Ron Moore is capable of making ASN more sympathetic than she seems right now, if she is indeed “the one”.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sharon Belle, I couldn’t agree more. Her jawline looks like Heughan’s, beautiful red hair, pretty but not “too” ladylike….more of 1960 American young woman (from Ontario so accent wouldn’t be issue) AND SHE IS 6’2″ TALL. Perfect.

      • Sharon belle for me….not so ‘dolled up’ female…Brianna is more the Atypicl American woman of thr 1960’s……..and looks more like Jamie………….and she is Canadian, certainly a plus for Canadian fans of Outlander……..also must say to all here…I enjoy downtown abbey for sure…but I think that Outlander has shown us more range in the acting seen within the series….more complex acting. such a wonderful series…wish it were distributed more widely…..but it is a real gold nugget………..

  4. Keep Calm and Trust Ron.

    The amazing team for Outlander haven’t missed yet. They’ll get Bree & Roger & Fergus and all the other characters right, too!

  5. Raven says:

    Basically anyone other than Amber Skye Noyes – she was dreadful in Beauty and the Beast and she looks much too old. Love Karen or Deborah Ann Woll for the part! http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2832695/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    • Anonymous says:

      DAW is probably not gonna get it. *Lip quivers, and tears well in her eyes* She’s in Daredevil and it was an EXCEPTIONALLY good show with 13 episodes a year. I don’t know how she can do THAT show AND Outlander that takes about 10 months out of the year to film.

      As for Gillian, I’m not a fan of her American Accent.

    • Pamela Crim says:

      Don’t know what it is exactly, but something about Deborah Ann Woll reminds me of the girl who is playing Leery. That would be distracting to say the least!

    • DEBORAH ANN WOLL has my vote, for sure.

  6. Nymerias says:

    Reblogged this on OutlanderDreaming and commented:
    I will trust in Ron and Company, they have been good thus far!!

  7. I haven’t seen Sharon Belle in anything so I don’t know how her acting chops are…but she LOOKS perfect. Yeah, I know looks are less important than acting, but seriously, put a pic of her next to a pic of Sam. It’s uncanny!

    That said, the casting team has done a phenomenal job thus far; I trust them.

    • I have just sandwiched a pic of Sharon Belle with pics of both Sam and Caitriona – WOW! She has similar facial features of both actors and visually could pass for their offspring. Whoever they pick I hope it’s someone fairly unknown and someone from N.America.

  8. I loved her in Doctor Who. (I thought Arthur/Karen/Matt had fantastic chemistry together). However… I personally would have an extremely difficult time picturing her in the Outlander Universe. I would be so distracted by her past role as Amy. If she were to look different in the role of Brianna, I probably could live with it, but the fact remains that she just isn’t going to look all that different. (She’ll still be tall, will have the red hair, will be strong-minded, will have the Scottish accent). I WANT to be excited about the possibility but I’m really feeling the opposite. I would much rather Brianna be an unknown actress.

    Still… I do think it’s a real possibility that she get the part. I, personally, just know that I’ll find it distracting. (Just like how I now find Sam distracting in other films. To me he’ll always be Jamie now).

  9. annecolbert says:

    Please see the 24 comments on this same topic yesterday. This is Marijane Diodati. I am confused why those comments aren’t here. I understand wanting to include OutlandDish, but many worthy comments, unfortunately, are not included here.

  10. Liz says:

    I think Taylor Roberts from Turn: Washington Spies would make a great Brianna.

  11. Pamela Crim says:

    I just wish Molly Quinn was taller and available. She has the cat eyes and she is an awesome actress.

  12. Michelle says:

    Would LOVE Karen in this role…remember, while Bree is American, she frequently slips into a Scottish brogue, especially after they move there. It comes naturally to her. After watching her and Stanley Weber in Not Another Happy Ending- they are MY Roger and Bree. He is almost 6′ 3″ like Roger, bookish and beautiful, and while French, did a charming Scots accent in that movie. Great movie and great chemistry!

  13. Emilie says:

    I think Sophie Turner would be amazing.. IF she weren’t already doing Game of Thrones!!
    She has the perfect height and features for the role, down to the slightly too long nose and very high cheekbones!

  14. Janine Towers says:

    Please cast Bonnie Wright as Brianna McKenzie. I think she would be brilliant as Bree. She’s the most gorgeous, tall, redheaded, pointy chin . Everything is perfect about Bonnie Wright.

  15. Lesa says:

    Brianna is very tall, beautiful, blue eyed and not tiny. Her dress size was 16. Please do not cast a size 2! I agree with the comments on the Boston Accent!

  16. Heather says:

    I want to see Molly C. Quinn (Alexis from Castle) play Brianna.

  17. barb s. says:

    Can Joanna Vanderham speak New Englander? If she can, she would be a most beautiful red head and Jamie look alike daughter…plus she’s a daring and talented actress and by far better looking than the other prospects and she’s a Scot.

  18. Karen Pusateri says:

    I don’t think she’ll do. Brianna is to be beautiful, but fierce too. She’s pretty, but too feminine. But it’ll just go with bad casting like with Claire. They found and English woman with brown hair and pail skin… Nothing else. Wavy hair is not super curly hair. Gray eyes are not striking amber/hazel eyes. She is thin, but his mom’s of voluptuous traits of Claire. That was bad casting. Jamie, colum and Dougal were decent. who ever is the casting director needs to be replaced with someone who has read and understands the books.

    • Karen Pusateri says:

      Please ignore my typos… Cell phone keyboard is not good

      • what a discusting comment…in my opinion the casting of outlander has been very stellar to date…me i’m just hoping for a good solid ‘real’ woman that looks like Jamie. don’t want to see the intelligent,engineering degreed woman sans the make up variety…Brianna also needs to be very athletic (not Barbie doll type of woman with fake breasts)…so I think there must be an actor who has not been ‘hollywooded up’…..there must be a Scottish heritage lass yet to be discovered..

    • I’m fascinated by the fact that you don’t think the Outlander casting was stellar. You’re the first one I’ve come across that has disagreed with the casting. Not having read the books, I don’t have anything to compare them to. I fear, however, there are legions of fans who, having seen the final result of the great performances of the series, would disagree with you. I believe, from our chats with Diana Gabaldon anyway, that she also approved of the casting choices. Is there no ‘wiggle room’ in your mind when it comes to adapting a book into a film or series? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.

      • Karen Pusateri says:

        I believe in wiggle room, but Claire is not Claire in the slightest. She can cuss, but that’s it. I’m actually associated to multiple chat rooms with a mix of those like me who’ve read the books, those who are reading to catch up with the show, and those who have only watched. Most agree who have read the books that this was not a good fit for Claire. I am being open-minded with the other characters, but as the heroine there ought to be a closer resemblance. As for the Brianna I am using the description from the books as an imposing woman of 6ft tall, striking features to match both her personality and beauty, as well as, she is athletic and very intelligent . In several places she was compared to a goddess and life get father as a viking from those same attributes. The women suggested are beautiful, but in a more gentle pretty way.

        And in no way was I suggesting someone who is more plastic than real. At a size 16, being curvaceous is very very common. Yes, she had a bostonian accent, but that is rarely commented on. There are many actresses that could fill this description…Even if the hair has to be died.

    • Anonymous says:

      *snort* I love it when fans think they KNOW how the acting/movie/TV business works or or are arrogant and self-centered enough to think they can do better. Where the heck are your credentials you Gloria Swanson you? I’m sorry that your favorite series were destroyed by a straight haired, blue-eyed woman. And that Jamie/Dougal/Colum did not meet your high-expectations. Please stop watching the show and feel free to go fund your own production, because I don’t think a single person or actor will meet your stanch demands. You’re under the impression the fans have a say in what goes into this tv show and you don’t. These are not your books and your opinion (though you may have one) means absolutely nothing. You BOUGHT the honor to read the books, not have a say in how they were adapted for screen. Yes, these might be your favorite books and you feel very possessive of them. But they are NOT your books they aren’t yours to protect. Yes, they might be your favorite story and you might have some amazing store about how they saved you from _______. However, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter because again, these books aren’t yours.

      I have a TV show and a set of books. Are they the same? No. But please tell me something, would you rather have a 5″6, curly haired actress with brown eyes, who can’t freakin’ act her way out of a paper bag because YOU can’t get over details that are COMPLETELY FICTIONAL in a book, or would you rather have a 5″10 actress with straight hair and blue eyes who is able to embody the internal workings that makes Claire who she is? Seems a simple choice to me.

      P.S I have Claire hair and trust me, when it rains or the elements are less than spectacular. Any kind curl is an absolute joke when you’re filming in a place like Scotland where the weather changes its mind in five minute intervals! *eye roll*

      • Karen Pusateri says:

        If this is directed to me… In no way is this my favorite series. Far from it in all actuality due to the blunder in the scripting of Claire not only with the physical mishap, but also that the actresses is struggling in trying to connect to Claire and doing a poor job of it. This is a multi level character that has to be peeled away like an onion. I’m not saying this actress is not skilled, she is, but I don’t believe she is the right fit for this character. I am allowed to voice my opinion which is shared by many.

        Also brown eyes and hazel are not the same. That’s like saying green and blue are the same. Or black hair and Auburn are the same. The physical attributes is only one of many disconnects IN MY OPINION.. And I am allowed to give my opinion regardless if it is in opposition to what you believe.

    • Anonymous says:

      are you kidding me. have you seen the tv show Outlander?? a big thumbs up to the casting director on who they chose to be the characters OUTSTANDING job

  19. Very late in putting in my two cents, but Rachel Hurd-Wood would be a perfect Brianna. She has strong physical features of both Heughan and Balfe and looks as if she could actually be their daughter. She is definitely not well known and this would fit in nicely with the way Outlander casts virtual unknown actors.

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