Post Mortems
Outlander Angus Dies Season 2 Episode 10

Outlander Star Talks [Spoiler]'s Bloody Death: 'I Was Comforting Cait!'

Warning: The following post contains spoilers for Saturday’s Outlander. Proceed with caution.

Outlander‘s Stephen Walters might’ve thought he was safe. After all, in the Diana Gabaldon novel on which Season 2 of the Starz series is based, Rupert — not Angus — is the recipient of a fatal, wartime wound..

But as viewers saw in Saturday’s episode, Walters wound up pleating his plaid one last time when Angus died of undiagnosed internal bleeding at Claire’s field hospital after helping a wounded Rupert back to safety.

“To be honest with you, because they’ve taken such a divergence in the first place from the actual character in the book anyway, it didn’t surprise me,” Walters tells TVLine. Given that Angus is called “huge” and “massive” in the novels, “in terms of just casting me as Angus in the first place as Angus, from the physical description in the books, nothing surprised me,” the actor adds.

In a recent chat, we talked to Walters about doing (fake) battle at Prestonpans, forecasting Rupert’s near future and the surprising way he spent time between takes while shooting Angus’ bloody exit.

TVLINE | How early on did you know this was going to happen, that Angus would die this way?
I actually find out by reading a script that was sent to me and I was kind of like ‘OK.’ Then it was explained to me, the backstory, about how the character of Willie, they were intending to kill that character, but then the actor who played him was contracted so he had to bail out on a second season and I guess I took the bullet. But these things happen, and I’ve said before, I take a great positive from it; it’s a brilliant show. We were all gonna die at some point and in a way Angus gets his own dead as opposed to maybe, I don’t know what they were thinking, dying generically in battle. So I think Ira Behr, the writer, did me a real favor there by writing me some lovely moments in my final episode and giving the character his own arc and ultimately his own end.

TVLINE | Tell me a little bit about filming the battle scene. How long did that take?
I think it was full on a week or maybe more, 10 days. It was a long time. We just felt like we were in a huge marquee tent for a lifetime. It was pretty intense, as you would imagine, it was like thousands of the extras and thousands of step-ups, so these things take time to get it right and get the details, but if it looks good than it’s worth it.

TVLINE | Was it as physically exhausting as it looked?
It’s cliché of any filming, a lot of the time the standing around is the exhausting bit. When you’re running down a hill with your top off in the freezing cold then you think you’re doing something. It’s a kind of strange avenue really. Was it tiring? As tiring as any other long day. I think when you do fight scenes and battle scenes, I think most actors will tell you it’s an enjoyable process. So me, personally, I quite enjoyed it.

Outlander 2014TVLINE | Angus and Rupert were one of the cutest “couples,” so to speak, in the show the way they cared for each other. How do you think Rupert will be in the wake of Angus’s death especially because Angus basically saved his life by getting him to Claire in time?
I don’t know. I hope he’s devastated and I hope he cries himself to asleep every night, because if he’s a true friend he will, and I’m sure he does. I talked to Grant [O’Rourke], and he was saying the rest of his lines in the following episode just tend to be a lot of how he’s mourning the missing Angus and that he’s not quite the same.

TVLINE | Did knowing that Angus wasn’t going to make it out of the episode alive help your portrayal of him in the episode?
Yes, it did, because itgave it a definite finality and I feel blessed enough that the character had its own story, its own end and its own finish. It’s kind of fitting that it should be with the character of Claire, given that for most of the time I was on screen, I was either goading her or picking on her. And in the end, she kind of came around to him, or he came around to her. It’s fitting that it should be that he died in her arms. It’s a nice touch, an ironic touch.

TVLINE | You and Grant have been responsible for a lot of the show’s comic relief in the first two seasons. Did you ever get to ad lib, or were all of the jokes and funny moments on the page?
For me, it was a retrospective thing, the humor came through from all of the people observing it, which is a really lovely bonus, but it’s not something I pre-conceived going into it. I like to think there’s a chemistry there and the fans seem to think so, so I’ll take that.

TVLINE | Are you at all bummed that Angus won’t be in the Battle of Culloden which this whole season has been leading up to?
Yes. [Laughs] My one gripe for the character would be is if he was at Culloden, he would be at the front. There’s no doubt about it: He would be right at the front, and he would be charging as well. It’s just the way it goes. He would have certainly died through a battle, fighting for his honor and his people. Same ending, but different battle.

TVLINE | Tell me about shooting your death scene. Did you do it a bunch of different ways?
They saved my death for the final shot. We had one go at it, maybe two… As for filming the death scene, I have to say, everything that needs to be said about Caitriona’s already been said, but even in that scene, I watching Cait’s performance… and it was real tears. It was moving to watch, and it was a kind of fitting end. A bloody end.

TVLINE | What was the mood like between takes? Did you stay in character, did you joke around?
I wish I had the skill to joke and just turn it on. That’s a specific kind of gift and an ability that I don’t possess. I kind of have to stay in my own little box and block things out until it’s finished.

TVLINE | So it’s pretty heavy between takes?
For me it is.

Outlander Angus Dies Season 2

TVLINE | It’s a rather gory way to go, suffocating on your own blood. How much of your fake blood did you have to have in your mouth while you were filming?
Quite a lot. It was a mouthful each time, and it was a lot of pressure with something like that. Because there was so much blood — obviously for continuity and makeup, you had a turn around of two hours — and you had one go at dying, and then you look at it and go again. The pressure was on, but a nice pressure in a way, because it forces you to find that focus and be in the moment and hopefully get it right… It’s a two hour turnaround before you get another go at it, because you have to change your costume, clean your beard, get all of the blood out of your hair and even clean the set floor. In that death scene, I was actually in between takes comforting Cait, because she was actually crying. It was quite moving, actually.

TVLINE | I imagine it was very hard for the other cast members to say goodbye to someone they had been working with for so long.
Yeah, I think that’s why it moved me. When you get in your head and in your own zone, you don’t tend to think outside of that and I think that when I saw that reaction, I kind of realized that actually and it was neat.

TVLINE | I can only imagine how long it took you to get that fake blood out of your beard.
Too long. I think I had red patches under my beard for about the next two weeks. It was like a red, hairy lollipop.

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  1. Shaun says:

    Didn’t feel too moved since he wasn’t around a lot in general.

  2. Kim says:

    I loved his scenes. Well done sir!

  3. Alichat says:

    “the character of Louie, they were intending to kill that character, but then the actor who played him was contracted so he had to bail out on a second season and I guess I took the bullet.”

    Did he mean Willie? The character of Willie? I don’t recall a character named Louie from season 1.

    • LJ Pierce says:

      Yes, he meant Willie. Showrunner Ron D Moore states those same facts in another interview. The producers expected to have Willie (actor Finn Den Hertog) for the 2nd season, so had to scramble to change some story lines.

    • Carole Riordan says:

      He said Willie

  4. Guest says:

    Again, bravo writers! I was preparing for Rupert’s death the moment I saw the title of the episode (even though I want to say Rupert died in the next battle they fought before Culloden, semantics though lol) so I totally wasn’t expecting Angus to go!! And Rupert crawling off of his bed to take Angus’ sword that he wanted him to poor heart! Great performances all around and they battle sequence was awesome! Wondering if Rupert is still a goner or if he might replaces Willie’s character at the end of the second book when Jamie has to kill someone to protect Claire and Willie walks in on the act and Jamie begs him to give him an hour to see his wife to safety..lots of food for thought with this deviation from the books :)

    • Daye says:

      The preview of the next ep shows them in what looks like a church (where they hid in the book) so maybe we’ll see what transpires there.

  5. Murica! says:

    He was one of my favorite characters. I wish that other guy would have been available.

  6. Susannah says:

    Harsh to find out your character is dying from reading the script! No one thought to call the poor guy before and tell him he was let go?

  7. a great article! thanks to stephen for being so up front about his experiences during the making of the episode. and thanks for giving us another peek into the makings of the episodes themselves – in this case, how it was decided that angus be the one to die.

  8. PJnGA says:

    Thank you for spoiling it for me! If you are going to put “spoiler warning” in the headline how bout you don’t post a picture with it……thanks

    • Phillipa says:

      I agree!!! But it has happened to me so much last season and this season as well that I have given up. You have to just go with it or stay off social media altogether in case you see something you shouldn’t….most people dont realise that not everyone has read the books, no matter how
      popular they are!!!

    • Heather says:

      I see what you’re saying but they could have interviewed him about another character’s death and it’s only when you read the article that you learn who died on the show. They do interview actors about their costars’ character deaths.

    • Sarah says:

      Was going to say exactly the same thing! It airs a day later here so I wasn’t even thinking about avoiding mentions when I saw this in the top 5 articles list. Just post a cast picture for the thumbnail then put one of the actor lower down in the article!

  9. joanapolis says:

    Great interview. Candidness appreciated. Thanks to u all for this. RIP Angus.

  10. Louise says:

    What an emotional roller coaster episode 10 was.
    Tissues and whiskey got me through it. Stephen and Cait were amazing. Well done to everyone on the show

  11. JD Haynes says:

    He was one of my favorite characters, loved his qurkiness. Will miss him……he’d get a kiss from me!

  12. claire’s kiss of death…should have seen it coming but caught off guard….NOW JUST SO UPSET….someone call Melisandre

  13. Angus was crude but he had such a big heart! I was so shocked by his death. I wish it had been that creepy prince….ewwww!

    • Sarah says:

      They would have had a hard time explaining that, given that they’ve already established the outcome of Cullodan hadn’t changed when Claire went back to the future (especially given their choice of theme song!).

    • Ronette Wade says:

      I know right!! he makes my skin crawl when he touchs jamies face. Ewwwwww

  14. Valerie says:

    Neil Jackson seems just tricky enough

  15. ConnieT says:

    I don’t want to miss him, I want Annette Badland and Stephen Walter and everyone else back to play their own descendants when SPOILER SPOILER Roger and Bree come back to raise their kids in present Scotland.

  16. Ronette Wade says:

    I absolutly LOVE LOVE LOVE the show. I was devasted and bawled like an idiot when dear sweet adorable angus died. He was/is my 3rd favorite charactor in the show just behind Jamie and Clare. Even now my heart hurts when i think of angus.