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Outlander Brianna Cast Season 2

Outlander Is Finally Casting Brianna — and Why the Timing Is Verra Interesting

We have a feeling there’s about to be a run on red hair dye in Hollywood.

At long last, Outlander has issued a casting call for Brianna, which TVLine has exclusively obtained. And if you don’t want to be spoiled about what’s ahead on the Starz series, get yerself outta this wee post now.

As fans of Diana Gabaldon’s series of Outlander novels know, the second book — Dragonfly in Amber, on which Season 2 is based — involves a huge time jump and introduces Claire and Jamie’s ginger-haired, statuesque 20-year-old daughter Brianna… whose last name happens to be Randall.

The official character description describes Brianna as a young 20-something American who’s “strong-minded, intelligent beyond her years with an effortless charm and sparkling sense of humor (traits inherited from both her mother and father. She also has a scholastic mindset, with a healthy dose of American strength, having been born and bred in Boston under the watchful eye of professor and historian Frank Randall.”

The part also calls for tall (5’8″ and over) actresses who can play Brianna as “earthy and grounded and not girly” but “with the inexperience and vulnerability” that accompanies being a rather young woman. Hair color isn’t an issue; the notice explains that the series will dye if necessary.

Here’s the biggest potential diversion from the books: Brianna, who’s sometimes called Bree, is introduced at the start of the second novel in 1960s-era Scotland. But the casting notice states that “Brianna has secretly followed her mother back in time to find the father she never met and the family she never knew” — which does happen in the novels, but not until the fourth installment, Drums of Autumn. Hmm…

Sony Pictures Television, which produces Outlander, confirmed that the casting process is underway. “Fans of the books will know that [Brianna] first appears in the second book, Dragonfly in Amber, which corresponds to the season we are currently filming, but continues on to have several major storylines as noted in the casting search,” Sony said in a statement.

With all of that in mind, who do you think should play Brianna? And can the casting of Roger be far behind? Do you have thoughts on the (possible) timeline condensing? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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121 Comments
  1. lori says:

    Don’t understand how they will pull that one off.

  2. Amanda says:

    So glad they are finally casting Brianna!!! That is a weird twist though with it already saying she follows Claire back. But does explain why she wasn’t casted yet for season 2 since the first half is the Paris story. So maybe the 2nd half starts in the 60s and showing Claire and Brianna go back to find Jamie together. Guess we’ll know more if/when Roger is casted too. The show has been following the books very closely so would be interesting if they do change things, but I still think they’re just moving the order of what happens in book 2 so it’s more from Claire’s timeline of events.

  3. Brooke Boyd says:

    I think it should be me. I look younger than I am and already have red hair although I may be a slight too heavy.

  4. Hmmm. Spoiler heavy post here…Perhaps the writers have figured out a way to weave Brianna into the action earlier in the series since she is largely absent in Book 3. Would take some major detours from the books (not to mention how Roger fits in), but can see why they are considering it.

    • msun says:

      and right in the beginning of the article she wrote this “And if you don’t want to be spoiled about what’s ahead on the Starz series, get yerself outta this wee post now.”

  5. LaLa says:

    Depends on how they are introducing the Paris story. Because we book readers know how we learn the story from Claire – she’s relating it to . . . . Maybe we won’t see much of Bree in this second season. But if they already cast her, they can have a few scenes that fall in line with the structure of the books.

  6. jan says:

    Amber or Jane Levy. I’m just tired of waiting. But, the 6 footers that have been suggested like the girl from Downtown Abbey are not arrestingly beautiful.

    • Patty says:

      And Caitriona doesn’t fit description of Claire. Rail thin, flat chested and not much tush. Sam is very thin too and not as big as described in books. They can choose anyone.

      • BostonApril says:

        I think they match the descriptions quite well…Caitriona is not rail thin…for a slender woman she has a nice butt and she’s hardly flat chested! The only thing off from the books is her eyes–and you don’t pass over an actress with the emotional intelligence to deliver Claire merely because her eyes are blue! The only thing off on Sam is he is a mere inch shorter than Jamie! He is quite big and tall at 6-3…I’ve been hugged by the man…trust me…he is not small! Your imagination just veers off from Diana’s description to suit your own image…which is part of the process of reading…but that doesn’t make your vision correct.

        The casting has been spot on so far…so trust them to get it right.

      • Jacy37 says:

        I agree w/Patty. Love Cait’s lovely face and, for a relative newcomer, she’s handled “Claire’s character” verra well. HOWEVER, she does not look like the Claire that D.G. describes; since she has quite a “round arse” (that Jamie adores) and is about 5’7″ and somewhat curvy, she can tuck her head just under Jamie’s chin. (SO says the author in most of the books).

        Cait is mostly known for modeling and is at least 5’10” and yes, she IS rail thin. I’ve treated hundreds of women and young girls with eating disorders as a significant part of my career and while I’m not saying Cait has an eating disorder, she IS extremely thin (and bony) for her height. My husband winces at the love scenes and says that her breastbone, collarbone, and ribs stick way out beyond her breasts.

        In reality, IF indeed, Claire were that thin in the mid 1700s, in pretty much any country, she would have been considered very poor and malnourished, OR, ill and thus not attractive to young men as they were more interested in women with natural curves – indicating health and fertility. I wish Cait would gain 15 or 20 healthy pounds and look much more the part. (Renee Z. did so successfully for Bridgett Jones movies and Gwyneth P. for “Country Strong,” etc.)

        Sam H. is near perfect in his natural Scottish accent and ways but again, he is a bit shorter than D.G.’s Jamie Frasier in the books, and I think he could also gain about 20 pounds of healthy muscle to better fit with the “Great Scot” of the book series.

        The casting as is, of course puts a bit of extra pressure on the casting agents to find their Brianna; since Bree was inches taller than her mother and just a few inches shorter than her father…

        Hair color and eye color is never a real problem these days with contact lenses and hair dye. Sam H. has had blonde hair in most of the mainstream productions he’s done thus far, but looks great (and natural) as a redhead.

    • Rebecca says:

      In the books it is often stated that Bree isn’t beautiful but arresting. She’s beautiful to her family, but not stunningly beautiful to others. They are stopped by her height and coloring.

      • BostonApril says:

        She’s not conventionally beautiful…but is striking…there’s a difference.

      • Evelyn Thomas says:

        Her height, along with her talent of course, is the most critical. The call stated for an actress that is 5’8″ and over, shorter than Cait. I think they need to focus on those at least as tall as Cait if not a bit taller. They can change hair color and even eye color, if it is that distracting. But they can’t add 3-4 inches of height.

        I am not worried about the story line. The first series had a few changes and I am sure they will do Diana’s books proud for the second season. It is not possible to follow the books exactly.

    • Jane Levy is 5’2″. If only she were taller, she would look good in the role.

  7. Sue Knight says:

    An actress who played Holly this past season on the hit show Power, would be worth an interview. She is tall and has the light blueish eyes and red hair. Her build is like “Claire’s”, sorry I can’t remember her name just now!

  8. I miss good scifi shows says:

    I think Molly Quinn would be great, too bad she is only 5’5″.

  9. Karen says:

    Ok is an American actress is cast as Brianna as she was brought up in Boston but the actor for Roger better be Scottish or I will not be a happy bunny

  10. Hope says:

    I thought when Gaia Weiss joined the cast she would be Brianna – she’s actually pretty perfect for the role, but apparently she’s playing someone else.

    As for the storyline, I think that they put that line in about Bree following Claire back in time as a heads-up for any actresses applying that they will be required to do “period” work. Not every actor is able (or willing) to play older time periods. Some do better at it than others. Also, as a woman, the costumes are very different. There’s the obvious corset but there are also layers and layers of clothes that can be quite heavy. I think I read somewhere that Claire’s wedding dress was more than 40 pounds!

    SPOILER: I think that they won’t send Bree back until Season 3 or 4 because there is a whole storyline with Roger in the 1960’s that develops their relationship to the point that he’s willing to follow her into the past.

    • BostonApril says:

      Exactly. I think someone is just trying to wind us up.
      It’s just an FYI on the character…not the current season plot.

    • Due to the quick deletion of the twitter texts from July between her and Stanley Weber stating they were looking forward to working together..I think the Instagram photo of her dressed in an 18th Century gown she posted may be a ploy to throw us! She denied being the Vicotesse de Rambeau..who else would she be playing? Gaia would make a perfect Brianna.

    • Kate says:

      Corsets that are made to fit you are comfortable to wear. Yes, it’s a relief to take it off at the end of the day, but then again, it’s a relief to take a bra off, too.

      Keep in mind that most of Brianna’s time in the past was spent on the Ridge. She rarely wore fancy gowns (her wedding and Jocasta’s wedding come to mind as well as the time she spent at Jocasta’s while pregnant) and on occasion wore breeks. Her everyday clothing was probably not all that heavy assuming that it was made of linen (except in winter when she would have worn woolen clothing),

      Claire’s wedding gown weighed 66 pounds, I believe.

    • Jacy37 says:

      Gaia Weiss is dressed in an 18th century (French) costume/dress and hair styling. Brianna has not yet been born at this time so she couldn’t be playing that role.

  11. sam says:

    Debra Ann Woll (true blood and daredevil) is close to what’s in my head. Could Bonnie Wright pull it off?

  12. Yvonne says:

    We all expected a diversion from the book but I hope they give time to the finding of ‘the Grave’ & Brianna’s strong reaction to the news of her birth. I realise they do not have time to show all the build up to the reunion but that was a pivotal & moving part of the story.
    My hopes are high for the casting department to choose a strong and believable Brianna. They’ve done so well with just about every other character so far. I’m just worried about some of the U.S. actresses I’ve seen being suggested for this major role.
    Whatever happens story-wise I also have to have faith in Ron & the writers not to stray too far from the core material.
    I’ m really looking forward to Season 2 as all the bits they have allowed us to see so far look amazing.
    So fingers crossed & everything else I can manage!!!

    • BostonApril says:

      Word. The only casting misses I’ve seen have been minor… MacRannoch and Father Aselm were completely off…but only had minor parts in the TV adaptation…so they are easily overlooked.

  13. Shaun says:

    I’d be fine with Debrah Ann Woll or Karen Gillan.

  14. Jane Levi, for Brianna and Ben Levy for Roger.
    I’m now reading book 8, totally in love with this serie and don’t whant finish it! 😔
    Love you all and send kisses from Paraguay, South America

    • wilson says:

      Magaley Ostertag, don’t worry, the books aren’t ending any time soon. Diane Gabaldon is writing Book 9 now and who knows when it will be released for purchase. Plus, Book 9 might not be the end of the story either, only Diane knows for sure.

    • Evelyn Thomas says:

      Jane (Levi or Levy) not sure of spelling,
      is only 5’2″….think people, that’s 8″ shorter than Cait.

  15. CourtTV says:

    So no flashbacks…interesting. Might she not start till season 3?

  16. So if they are going to deviate from the books, does that mean I don’t have to read the rest of them? Because I think I’m the only person on the planet that didn’t enjoy the first book even a little bit. I did enjoy the show, and I’d planned to read book 2 before the 2nd season starts. But the second book has been lying on my end table for over a year and I can’t make myself pick it up.

    • LaLa says:

      Wow. I am surprised. What didn’t you like about it? Was it too detailed? I know the show wasn’t able to include everything that was in the books. Did you watch the show and then not like the differences?
      That is just so interesting. I’ve not heard of anyone who didn’t like the book. In fact, most like the book and hate the changes made for the show.

      • No, I read the book, hated it, then watched the show and enjoyed it. I’ve met a few others that didn’t like the books, but I know I’m in the minority. I think I would have enjoyed it more if they had more of the back and forth between the two worlds…present and past. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

        • Winter says:

          There is a bit more back in forth of the two worlds in books 2, 3, and 4 then again in books 7 and 8. I would recommend reading them but if you hated the first book you just may not like her writing. So just watch the show maybe.

      • grey6666 says:

        Lol: first time I read Outlander (first book) I had a hard time getting through the sex scenes. Second time had no such problems. Go figure.

      • BostonApril says:

        it’s rare to find someone who likes the show, but not the book. The first four books we’re my favorites…and I love the 8th book…5-8 got a bit too dense for me on military issues and war which I personally found mind-numbing.

    • Jacquelyn Adams says:

      You must continue to read. In the 2nd book it explains a lot .. Don’t sell yourself short girl lol

      • wgsecretary says:

        I read the first book just because it sounded right up my alley. But you can count me among the few who didn’t like it. I grew tired of all the rape talk. It seemed like every other page someone was almost being raped. I admit I don’t remember all of it, but the incident with Jamie when he was captured was just about enough for me. At that point, I skimmed and came across Claire recreating the scene for some reason, and I just couldn’t stomach it anymore. I didn’t even finish the book. That’s rare for me. I don’t even need one hand to count all the books I started and didn’t finish. Plus, I was annoyed that she didn’t more actively try to get back to her husband. She started out just wanting to get back and then it was a pretty quick turn around where she decided to stay. I liked the idea of the time travel. Most books I read are somewhere in the fantasy genre. But, I didn’t enjoy Outlander. I’ve considered giving it another try, but I just don’t really want to.

        • It sounds like you and I had the exact same experience with the book. I did finish it, but it took me forever and I was forcing myself. I knew about the rape scenes, so they weren’t a big surprise to me, but I do agree that they were a bit heavy. I agree with you 100% about how Frank just seemed to be forgotten after the first 100 pages or so. I think that’s why I enjoyed the show more than the book….because Frank was at least interwoven into the Claire/Jamie story and there was at least a bit of conflict for Claire. I commented above that the lack of back and forth between the two worlds was what I specifically didn’t like about the book. For example, when she notices the smallpox vaccination scar on the ‘witch’, my interest was immediately peaked because now we know there are other time travelers. But then she wasn’t even mentioned again for several hundred pages, and then only to mention her very briefly. I feel like I might enjoy book 2 more, but the thought of another 900 pages like the first book makes me not even pick book 2 up.

          • Bioarch1961 says:

            Book 2 has a bit more about Gillis and explains a lot. Gillis is imprisoned and burned before Claire has a chance to really talk with her

    • SGR says:

      The books get progressively better, all the most hilarious bits come in books 2, 4, & 5.

  17. MK Kramer says:

    Elyse Levesque might be a good Bree!

  18. Steve F. says:

    Three choices come to mind:

    – Karen Gillan
    – Karen Gillan
    – KAREN GILLAN!!! (Unless she’s off filming Guardians in the Galaxy 2… but even still!)

  19. dman6015 says:

    Just because they put that description in the casting notice doesn’t mean that the character will do that in the second season. You’re trying to connect dots that aren’t there to connect.

  20. dawnrmeade says:

    Rose Leslie – she is just too short at 5’6″ and Brianna’s height is so integral to her character.

  21. Sandy says:

    So excited to see Briana being cast! She has such a powerful role in the story. I am looking forward to (hopefully) seeing the scene between her and Jamie, where they face off, nose to nose, arguing in Gaelic! Of course, if it follows the order of the books, that will be a few seasons down the road.

    I’m also keeping my eyes peeled for the casting of dynamic, handsome, enigmatic Roger. I have a feeling he will steal my heart when I see him, although Jamie will still hold onto quite a chunk of it. ;)

    Best of luck to the casting agent! I’m sure you will do an excellent job, as usual.

  22. Sue Sommer says:

    The casting for the Outlander characters has been great. I have the greatest confidence that they will not disappoint with a strong striking Bree. The change in time for when she meets her father is still twenty years later, so I don’t think it makes that much difference for the story.
    It is her strength of character that matters – her father’s daughter, and everyone can see him in her.

  23. Valerie Sever says:

    I think that they are trying to give a heads up that whoever gets the part will have to commit for a few years. Also it sounds like a hint that they are already planning on more seasons even though Stars hasn’t committed to more than two.

    • That makes the most sense to me. Claire doesn’t even go back till book 3 so there’s no way Brianna can “follow her mother” in season 2. I think some people have just jumped to the wrong conclusion and read more into the casting call than is really there.

      • Evelyn Thomas says:

        Remember this is made for TV and will not follow the books exactly. Expect changes and adaptions as there was in parts 1 and 2 in season 1

  24. outlander_fan says:

    If I were the writers, I wouldn’t bring Brianna in until the last episode of season 2. I would set it like this:
    –Episode 12 would be what happens with Dougal at the house, Jamie and Claire saying goodbye, and ends with Claire closing her eyes as she passes thru the stones

    –Episode 13 would follow Jamie to the battlefield after leaving the stones; there would be a big fight and then he falls down injured (and presumably dead). The ending of the episode and season would be Claire opening her eyes after the stones…you think she’s waking up in 1940’s, but really she’s opening her eyes to talk to Brianna in 1960’s. Then she tells Brianna “and now you know…” or something like that.

    –Season 3 could then be reset back to where voyager starts

    Personally, I like the idea of Brianna following Claire. It would be really neat if Brianna was there when Jamie and Claire reunite and to meet her father sooner. It would give it a different dimension, for sure, but also more conflict between Jamie and Claire as parents and lovers who are newly discovering each other. It would also mean that Claire isn’t torn between leaving Brianna and being with Jamie. Maybe its Roger who carries on research about the stones and the past, and he comes back to warn them about the fire, then. Maybe Roger just has a crush on Brianna and nothing major develops until after goes back. It would be a way to have romantic tension in season 4.

  25. Erin says:

    How about Sophie Turner from games of thrones!

  26. dawnrmeade says:

    I’ve thought about this and am going to go out on a limb. I think Gaia Weiss was cast as Brianna, her casting was inadvertently published, and they want to cover it up because the announcement of Brianna and Roger will be a big deal. So, how do they cover it up? They issue a casting call for Brianna when we know good and well that such a call was issued long ago and they’ve been “looking” for her. There is just no way RDM would pass up Gaia Weiss, who is just perfect for the role at 23 years of age and 5’11” tall. HELLO!!!

    • Dorenda young says:

      I hope you are right. I thought she would make a great Bree when I saw her on Vikings.

    • Judith Rappold says:

      I agree!! When I saw the photos of Gaia Weiss, I thought she had to be perfect for Bree. I also think she was already cast and this new announcement is a smoke so screen

  27. Smiley Smilerson says:

    Clive Standen for Roger would be dreamy!! Love him in Vikings. He’s from UK, though not Scots, I don’t think. Could probably pull off the accent, though. I would LOVE him in Outlander!

  28. Smiley Smilerson says:

    Sophie Turner is lovely but looks a bit too delicate in her features to play Bree, whose beauty and personality are so fierce and strong… Gaia Weiss might be an excellent choice. Sharon Belle might also work but I lean towards Gaia.

  29. russellht says:

    Zac Effron would be a suitable casting for Roger. He’d need a lot of work on the accent though.

  30. lori says:

    I think the show will begin in the future with Claire time traveling back in time to find Jamie and she will be thinking back to the time before she left (Paris, the events leading up to Culloden) and how Brianna, Roger, and she put together what happened to Jamie after she left Jamie to return to the future. The show will jump from the past to the present as Claire recounts what happened leading up to Brianna and her decision to return Claire back to Jamie. The show will probably end with an older Claire finding an older Jamie and Brianna making the decision to find her father and mother in the past.

  31. Patty says:

    Very disappointed that they are going to change story line. We love the books as they are! Don’t ruin a good thing!

  32. Patricia says:

    Eleanor Tomlinson from Poldark onPBS

    • Dawn says:

      First person to get it absolutely right ! She is perfect! Looks and personal strength of character are right on. Once anyone sees her I can’t imagine considering anyone else. Liked some of the others previously but now they seem too soft!

    • Katherine says:

      Totally agree. Eleanor Tomlinson needs to play Brianna!

  33. ChiDN3 says:

    I don’t see why this casting call hints at anything being very different from the books as far as Brianna is concerned. They are simply giving a brief explanation of where her story will go in the future. They are going to need to cast someone who can pull off a “girl out of her own time” vibe much like Cait did. I actually hope they are able to find an actress that isn’t overly well known. I had never heard of Cait or Sam before Outlander and it made it easier to see them as Claire and Jamie. The most important thing to me apart from being believable as Claire and Jamie’s daughter is that they get the height right. She really needs to be taller than Cait who is nearly 5’10”. And of course the chemistry with whoever they cast as Roger will also be very important.

  34. Ash says:

    I agree with others. Brianna will not be “following her mother back though time” for a long while. They’ve already stated point blank at comic con the first half of season 2 is based in France while the second half is back in Scotland. There is literally no room for them to deviate that much with only a 13 episode season. Goodness how I wish Holland Roden was taller she just screams Bree to me (hahaha wow definitely no pun intended at least to begin with)! The only others I can think of are true bloods Jessica, the girl from Vikings or Sharon belle. Any of those choices I’m cool with :) heck any choice I’ll be fine with since they’ve done such a phenomenal job in casting so far! #outlanderforlife

  35. BostonApril says:

    I don’t think anyone should jump to conclusions that this is her current plot line for the series…and we know they often fail out of sequence. Bree does appear in Dragonfly in Amber…we just don’t know how they will sequence it yet–and I see no point in fashing now over things we don’t know.

    As for who should lay Brianna…Sharon Belle is the best i have seen among known candidates. She’s also six feet tall, a true red head, and could easily be the progeny of stunning Caitriona Balfe, and handsome Sam Heughan…not just in physical appearance…but because she seems to be an intelligent actress with a keen mind.

    Let’s not wind up the fandom by reading more into this than the casting announcement says. I believe it’s all just a ploy to get some press…so mission accomplished! You took the bait!

    • JamesMayhew says:

      I agree with you on Sharon Belle. Most of these suggestions are gorgeous women,
      Bree isn’t supposed to look like a model…more raw natural beauty.
      Do you know who i often got a Brianna flash from? Angie Harmon. Jane of Rizzoli and Isles. Raw Beauty and strength and Tall, she is of course too old but that’s my 2 cents.

  36. Christina says:

    Do you happen to have an email to the series’ casting director? I’d like to contact her about this please.

  37. Sandy Davis says:

    I think that Elizabeth Debicki looks a lot like how I’ve imagined Brianna. Of course, she would need to dye her hair. But, she’s tall and regal, and has a rich voice. And her face reminds me a bit of Jamie.

  38. Sharon C. says:

    Although Molly Quinn is short,, I think she has the face for Brianna, eyes and all. She has my vote.

  39. Jean says:

    James Norton of Masterpiece Mystery’s Grantchester would be a brilliant choice for Roger! http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/series/grantchester

  40. Elise Hurst says:

    Someone in the grocery store today told me I would make the perfect Briana….I’m flattered! I have definitely have the height. (5’10”) Here’s my YouTube channel, what do you think?

  41. Georgia says:

    Even if Starz and Sony or whoever pick up all of Diana’s books for future filming, it will be hard to keep the same cast together for years. So they might already know something they cannot tell us or be planning to combine some of the books main highlights so they can finish the stories up to date. Either way I will be watching and enjoying!

  42. Luisa richards says:

    I think they should either cast Amber Skye Noyes or Deborah Ann Woll as Brianna

  43. Brooke says:

    I think Meg Foster should be Aunt Jacosta Cameron. She was on The Originals last season and has these pale blue eyes fitting a Mackenzie and this awesome voice. I hope they do her in the series. I hope the whole pirate ship thing from book three will be in there somewhere too.

  44. Chris says:

    I think the actress in the commercial for women’s one a day vitamins really looks the part as Diana describes her. Don’t know her name

  45. Christina says:

    Jane Levy and Ben Barnes look the closest. Green eyes are really important for Roger, I hope they’ll budget for colored contacts unlike Claire.

  46. Anna Maria says:

    It is truly taking Starz a while to cast the roles of Brianna and Roger. I do hope they cast someone who will play the part well. It seems to me it needs to be an American actress to play Brianna and in particular from the Boston, MA area. They have an accent that is not easy to emulate and I hope whomever is chosen plays the part credibly. I don’t have anyone in mind in particular, maybe it should be someone not very well known.

  47. Laurel says:

    Rachel Nichols would be perfect for the part of Brianna!!! She’s 5’10” and looks younger than she is, and can play the strong woman that Briana is!

  48. Nicole M says:

    I hope that whoever the cast is more like able than the character in the book. In the book I am not a fan of Bree at all.

  49. amy says:

    Karen Gillan was born in Inverness, Scotland according to IMDB, she would make an amazing Brianna!