Outlander producer on filming 'intimate scenes' amid COVID-19
11/07/2023

Outlander executive producer Matthew B. Roberts says repeated testing and strict protocols has been the key to filming the show's sixth season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, amid a storyline that calls for close contact.

'I didn't want me or the staff changing what the story is for COVID,' Roberts told Elle Tuesday. 'We have a lot of intimate scenes - that's where we live and breathe.'

Roberts stressed the importance of onset health protocols to ensure smooth production on the series, which stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.

The latest: Outlander executive producer Matthew B. Roberts says repeated testing and strict protocols have been the key to filming the show's sixth season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, amid a storyline that calls for close contact. Stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are seen on the series 

'Testing, testing, testing, testing,' he said. 'We had to figure out how to make sure we tested everybody a million times before they walked onto set and keep that bubble as safe as possible.

'That was our main focus - making sure everybody feels safe walking onto a set in the studios and locations.'

Roberts said plans were initially in the works to continue production until the pandemic hit, bringing the entertainment industry to a halt.

'We wanted to keep our momentum from season five,' he said. 'The cast and the crew, and I think even the fans, were very excited to get right into season six. And then we decided to hit the brakes.'

Roberts said plans were initially in the works to continue production on season six until the pandemic hit, bringing the entertainment industry to a halt

Heughan and  Balfe were seen in a shot from the show's fifth season

Roberts also explained the impact of the coronavirus on how he penned the scenes, with health officials suggesting people remain six feet apart in an effort to curtail the spread of the virus.

'I don't know how to write "COVID-friendly scenes," certainly not an Outlander scene, because we are going to have people next to each other, being emotional - you talk close to people, and that's where it transfers COVID,' Roberts told the outlet. 'We had to figure out, how do we keep Outlander, Outlander? So we wrote the scripts and dove in with production.'

He said that he and the show's production officials went over the logistics of shooting and devised ways to work around problematic scenarios.

'We said, "Okay, this scene can't happen like this. If we did this, this, and this, then we can make it happen,"' he said. 

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