Duncan Lacroix talks about Murtagh and Jocasta, Outlander Untold, and more
There’s no doubt that Duncan Lacroix captured our hearts very quickly as Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser on Outlander. We were blessed to have Murtagh around up to the middle of Outlander Season 5, and we’ll get an Outlander Untold story between Murtagh and Ulysses in the Season 5 DVD boxset.
Lacroix talked to Claire and Jamie exclusively about Murtagh, especially about showing a mature relationship on the series and the important death scene that had us all in tears.
Claire and Jamie: I have so many questions and so little time. To jump straight in, let’s discuss Murtagh and Jocasta. When you learned this storyline was going to happen, what was your first thought about it and how it ended up being so heartbreaking for both?
Duncan Lacroix: First of all, I thought it was great just to show a more mature relationship, but also how mature characters can have a fiery relationship. Love can come upon you in the most unexpected ways and in the most unexpected periods of your life.
Up to this point, Murtagh had this lost love with Ellan, Jamie’s mother. He’d kind of consigned his romantic life to the ashes.
I was also very fortunate to be paired with Maria [Doyle Kennedy], an amazing actress. We just seemed to have such immediate professional chemistry in the scenes. We did have that beautifully scripted breakup scene. It was unusual to have a length of scene that long written for two characters that weren’t Claire and Jamie. I was very grateful.
C&J: I found that very important as a goodbye to the relationship.
Lacroix: Yes. He eventually laid it on the line and he gets over that gruff exterior. At the same time, she’s quite right that she can’t go through that tragedy again, and he’s not prepared to let go of the cause of the Regulators. It’s revenge against the British for everything the British stole from him and from his people.
It was nice to have the dimensions added. Nobody is one-dimensional on Outlander.
C&J: Then we get to the death scene with Jamie. It was so heartbreaking to watch. I was in tears watching this, even though I had a feeling it was going to happen. What was it like reading the script for the first time?
Lacroix: Reading the script was fine, because, weirdly enough, that’s how I expected him to go. When we were filming Outlander Season 2, I was informed that [the showrunners] wanted to keep him alive. I knew how he died in the books, and I was hoping to portray that.
It was great to keep the character going, but I am glad the death scene happened similarly to in the books.
When it came to filming, it all sunk in and I was super emotional, and I don’t really get like that. I think watching the whole crew and mourning the character, the experience on the show, and everything, it got to me.
C&J: It does look like such a close-knit family on set.
Lacroix: Yes, and it was a period of six years. It’s so rare an experience as an actor where you get to play a character over a length of time. There’s often a lot of isolated movies or plays, but you’re not really within that one person.
C&J: Something I’ve loved with Seasons 4 and 5’s boxsets is the Outlander Untold stories. There is one with Murtagh and Ulysses on the Season 5 DVD boxset. Can you tease anything about it?
Lacroix: It’s the night of Jocasta’s wedding and immediately precedes the scene with Murtagh and Jocasta. Murtagh breaks in on Jocasta on her wedding night and he’s discovered by Ulysses.
It was a real joy to work with Colin [McFarlane]. I didn’t really get a chance to do so during the actual season. I think it’s really nice to see a lot more of what motivates out characters.
C&J: I did keep hoping for something between Ulysses and Murtagh considering Ulysses’s story in the books. What about deleted scenes? We’re getting about 16 deleted scenes on the boxset. Are there any that you wished had made it to the season?
Lacroix: Not that involved me this season. There were some in the past seasons that I was disappointed about, but the deleted scenes this season involve other characters.
C&J: Okay! So, I’d like to get to know a little more about you as Duncan. What do you love to do in your spare time?
Lacroix: Well, being in Scotland for so long, I really like hiking around the Monroes Mountains, and I play the guitar. I actually started an Open University degree in philosophy and psychology, which is taking up a lot of my time at the moment and my head is kind of exploding reading about John Locke and self-identity. I didn’t think that would be as enjoyable as it’s been.
Other than that, loads of little things. I do like drawing.
C&J: Speaking of guitar, there’s constantly talk of some Outlander band. So that’s your instrument, then?
Lacroix: We did think about that. I think there was one point, Caitriona and I both had cellos with intentions of learning them. I don’t think either of us have. Mine’s still sitting in the garage somewhere, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t get too far with hers.
Thinking on the guitar, Sam’s got a guitar somewhere, which I think equally is gathering dust, so I think it would be a very horrendous band. We can just get Maria to sing.
C&J: Maria and Richard [Rankin] together will save the band.
Lacroix: Richard can play the guitar as well. The rest of us can mime.
C&J: You could entertain by dancing around the swords.
Lacroix: We could do!
C&J: You sound busy with the Open University degree right now, but are there any projects in the pipeline?
Lacroix: Because of COVID, not this year. I did go for a few auditions, but they got pulled. I think things are starting to get back on track now and auditions are starting to come back, but nothing was happening for a couple of months.
C&J: Everything got pulled completely and not postponed?
Lacroix: Yeah, nothing. I was in LA having meetings when it all kicked off, looking at maybe moving over there for a while. I came back just in time. It’s been a strange year.
C&J: I’ve got time for one more question. If you could do any role at all, what would your dream role be?
Lacroix: Oh, I’ve always wanted to play Iago from Othello. I’ve always loved the duplicitous nature about him. You never really get to understand his motivations, really. So, I’ve always fancied that one.
Outlander Season 5 is on DVD and Blu-ray on Sept. 15. There is still time to pre-order on Amazon (and you can buy through the same link on the day).