Outlander’s Lauren Lyle opens up on ‘struggle’ of Marsali Fraser role


Lauren Lyle is known for her role as Marsali MacKimmie on Starz’s hit period drama Outlander. With fans eagerly awaiting the return of its seventh season, the actress opened up about the challenges of playing a character based in the 1700s. 

Outlander follows the story of Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe) who mysteriously time-travelled from 1945 to 1743.

During her journey back to the future she fell deeply in love with Highlander Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), even though her husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) was desperately looking for her in the present. 

Although she eventually made it back to the future, Claire decided to return to the past after Frank’s death. 

Although 20 years had passed, she reunited with Jamie and chose to live the rest of her life in the past.

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During their time in France, the couple adopted a young orphan Fergus Fraser (Romann Berrux) who grew to marry Marsali MacKimmie (Lauren Lyle). 

Although many envied their lighthearted and playful relationship, their lives took a rocky turn after Fergus (César Domboy) began to drink his sorrows away. 

Many noticed he had become an alcoholic even though a heavily pregnant Marsali did her best to hide the problems in her marriage. 

The actress, Lauren admitted this was one of the major challenges of playing Marsali as she couldn't work out why her character didn’t leave Fergus. 

Lauren explained: “There was so much more of a responsibility to stay, the children, and her place on The Ridge is so essential in terms of keeping that functioning part of that world alive.”

She added Parade.com: “And so that was my modern brain having to push that element aside where I thought, ‘Well, OK, this is a different world, this is a different time.’”

Fergus had taken to drinking because he was ridden with guilt about Claire and Marsali’s attack. 

He felt terrible that he wasn’t there to protect the women he loved and felt responsible for the assault. 

Things took a turn for the worse when Marsali gave birth to their son Henri-Christian who was born with Dwarfism. 

The residents of the Ridge were convinced his disability was a punishment from God for their sins. 

After an attack on the newborn, Marsali, Fergus and their children moved to New Bern where they took over a vacant print shop. 

Outlander seasons one to six are available on Starz in the US and on Lionsgate+ in the UK.

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