Outlander: Behind the scenes with John Bell
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Speaking to Express.co.uk, Outlander actor Paul Gorman praised leading stars and producers Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe, saying they were mentors to him and the younger cast members on the Starz series. Gorman, 26, is best known for his role as twins Josiah and Keziah Beardsley and has been part of the show since season five. The Glasgow-born star first debuted aged 22 with Outlander marking his most high-profile part to date.
Gorman trained at the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), boasting James McCoy, Colin Firth, David Tennant and co-star Heughan as alumni.
Paying tribute to Heughan, 42, and Balfe, 43, Gorman said: “From day one, just really supportive and giving people as well as actors.
“Sam had that connection with RCS. He just takes everybody under his wing not just young actors.”
Gorman said Heughan was a positive force on set and lifted spirits among the cast and the crew during filming.
He said: “We have some really difficult shoot days and the rain and the cold and night shoots as well, and Sam is always someone who keeps us going and is that big massive morale booster as well as being a really talented actor.”
The rising star went on to hail Balfe: “Caitriona – I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who is just as intelligent an actor as she, probably drawing with [Lizzie Wemyss star] Caitlin O’Ryan.
“Caitriona, the first day I worked with her, she knew what the scene was about. She was offering suggestions to the director, who was very reciprocating of that as well and she knew the character inside and out.”
Gorman went on to say: “She’s an intelligent actor but she’s also an emotionally intelligent actor as well and always looks to lift her fellow actors.”
He said even though Outlander followed Jamie and Claire Fraser’s story, both actors “always look to lift up the supporting cast”.
The star said this was both heartening and inspiring for him as someone coming into the television industry and made him feel positive about working in the acting field.
Reflecting on what he’d learnt from the duo, Gorman said: “I think the simple lesson that I’ve always been taught, but seeing it in practice, is to just be a good person is really key in this industry, treating people with respect.
“We’re all into this together. It feeds into that together. I fell in love with this team aspect of acting, this ensemble work.
“We’re all here to do a job. There’s no hierarchy at all. It’s about coming together and making art. Those two people are so giving in their time no matter where you are in the production.
“They make everybody feel included. They make the whole process feel inclusive.
“So, seeing that and actors at the top of their game for such a long time do that is inspiring me to do that, and hopefully I can be that one day for other actors as well.”
He decided to pursue acting as a teenager after doing some drama classes at school and described his career as “a matter of luck” as he didn’t have “any idea” what he wanted to do, previously considering teaching and medicine as possible professions.
It was only after he starred in a school production of the musical We Will Rock You in the role of pop icon Britney Spears no less when everything changed: “I just loved it. Every aspect of it.
“Particularly, that kind of team feeling of it, that ensemble feeling of coming together and making something from basically nothing. I just loved it and that relationship you have with a live audience.”
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He eventually applied to the RCS and was successful, going on to complete a course there.
Gorman landed the double part of the Beardsley twins after doing a showcase all RCS students do at the end of their course.
Along with Outlander, Gorman most recently starred in the emotionally affecting BBC mini-series Mayflies which saw him starring as a punk rocker in the 1980s.
He is going to be reprising his part as the twins in season seven of Outlander, which is out later this year.
According to IMDb, he is also going to be appearing on The Woman in the Wall, The Outrun, The Old Oak and The Buccaneers.
Outlander season 7 will premiere in 2023 and seasons 1 to 6 are streaming on Lionsgate+
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