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‘Outlander’s’ Caitriona Balfe on the danger of mishandling sexual assault onscreen

Caitriona Balfe stars in the lavish period drama "Outlander" on Starz.
(Neil Davidson / Starz)

In the latest episode of The Times’ TV podcast “Can’t Stop Watching,” host and staff writer Yvonne Villarreal asks “Outlander” star Caitriona Balfe about her character’s harrowing kidnapping and rape in the Season 5 finale — a scene Balfe’s co-star, Sam Heughan, discussed during his own appearance earlier this month:

One of the things I love about Claire is that everyone talks about what a strong character she is — but there’s a danger, in that people sort of make that character Teflon. ... I thought it was really important to show that no matter how strong you are, no matter who you are, if you go through something like this, first of all, you don’t know how your body is going to react. You don’t know how you’re going to be able to process it. And nobody comes out of anything like this unscathed.

It wasn’t all heavy subject matter, though. Listen to today’s episode of “Can’t Stop Watching” to hear Balfe chat about sketching the “Outlander” cast, her love of “Cagney and Lacey” and co-starring with — maggots. And be sure to tune in to recent episodes with “Better Things” creator Pamela Adlon, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” star Jane Levy and “Ozark” Emmy winner Julia Garner.

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