Returning for an exciting second season which takes primary characters Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) to Paris, we got the chance to chat to actor Claire Sermonne all about her character in the series, what we should expect and more.

Credit: Starz

Credit: Starz

Could you please give us a brief outline of your character, Madame Louise Marquise De Rohan?

Louise [is] Claire's best friend in Paris. She's an aristocrat from the highest-ranking family in France, the only family that's allowed to be present when the King is crowned. She's very close to all the most important families in the country and introduces Claire to them.

How else does she help Claire?

Louise teaches her about Paris fashion and shows her how to dress in the most elegant way. She represents femininity. Louise existed in real life, but of course the writers have changed a lot of things.

Have you enjoyed wearing Louise's various costumes?

Absolutely. I'm so lucky because I get to wear so many beautiful dresses. My character loves all sorts of adornments. The costume designer Terry (Dresbach) says that with Louise it's a case of more and more and more. If Louise can have little flowers and butterflies on her dresses, she will. She's very fancy.

Do her exuberant costumes reflect Louise's personality?

Definitely. She's very alive and very light - and that shows in her choice of clothes. She wants to have fun and wants everybody else to have fun with her. She wants the world around to be smiling and happy and feel that everything is good.

Did it take you long to get into your costume every morning?

Yes, it took a very long time. When I had to be on set at 8am, my pick-ups were at four in the morning. You can imagine how long the process took - it was two and a half hours every day. After a while, I lost all sense of time!

Is Louise quite a party girl?

Yes. This season of Outlander is set just before the French Revolution, so it's the calm before the storm for the aristocracy. It's all about the parties. I see Louise as like a character from a Fragonard painting, a woman who is very sensual and light.

Can you tell us a little bit about Louise's romantic life?

Although she's married, she's had many lovers. That was completely normal in that world. She doesn't say anything to her husband about it, but in that society women had the freedom to seduce other men and enjoy life.

Have you had to film a lot of intimate scenes?

No, there hasn't been much kissing. The characters talk a lot about sexy things, but don't act on it - it's all very French! In my very first scene, I'm not wearing a dress, but I'm covered up by a robe. That's exactly like Fragonard, too. You see, and yet you don't see.

Is there another side to Louise's character?

Yes. Generally Louise represents the lighter parts of Outlander, but I've found there is also something deeper within her. So we show that in this period just before the French Revolution, everything seems great. The attitude is, 'Let's have a party!', but beyond that, there is something darker. There is certainly a darker side to Louise.

What brings out that side of her?

Louise changes through her friendship with Claire. As the audience, we know that Claire is from the future, so she has very different views from Louise. Claire is very complete as a woman. She's free and knows what she wants. She doesn't live in a prison. Louise appears free, but actually she's in a golden cage like her pet monkey. The monkey is cute, but still in a cage - that's exactly where Louise is. But she finds out from Claire what being a free woman really means. She has a true friendship with Claire, and it really changes her. It's not just an 18th Century version of Gossip Girl!

Have you liked it filming in Scotland?

I've loved it. This has been my first time in Scotland, and it's been wonderful. I've been really impressed by the production -the actors, directors, lighting, decor and costumes have all been excellent. The work is so precise. I've never seen anything like it in my life. I've learnt an awful lot.

Outlander season 2 is available from April 10 on Amazon Prime Video.

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