Outlander's Sam Heughan Admits He'd Forget Caitríona Balfe's Pregnant Belly Was Real On Set, Was Tempted To Mess With It

outlander sam heughan caitriona balfe
(Image credit: Starz)

Outlander’s Caitríona Balfe surprised many of her fans last August when she revealed that she’d given birth to her first child during the extended Droughtlander for Season 6 of the hit drama. The show finally began filming on the now fast approaching season in early February of 2021, meaning that Balfe had a growing tummy for the entire shoot. And, her co-star, Sam Heughan, recently admitted that he sometimes forgot that Balfe’s pregnant belly was real while they were working, and was frequently tempted to “poke” her stomach. 

Why Did Sam Heughan Want To Mess With Caitríona Balfe’s Pregnant Belly?

Look, working on a TV show, especially one as deeply dramatic as Outlander, can be very taxing. As much as everyone involved was very excited to get back to work on the beloved romantic drama because they adore their jobs, all evidence also points to the cast and crew simply enjoying being around each other. Add those things up, and it means that they are likely to blow off steam behind the scenes and goof around from time to time, and pregnant belly-poking could easily come from that, particularly when several of your co-stars have had to wear a fake pregnant belly from time to time.

While speaking at a recent Wizard World convention (via Express), Sam Heughan revealed that he had just that instinct on set with Caitríona Balfe’s pregnant belly, after being asked about wanting to “poke” her stomach:

I didn't poke her belly but there were times I almost forgot [it was real], cause when other actors have their baby bumps on it's so tempting to. I had to remind myself 'do not,' but I think Caitríona would have punched me back.

Oh, dear Mr. Heughan, you can bet that Ms. Balfe would have “punched” you back! And, I’m basically 99% sure of this, even without knowing her personally. Have you ever met a pregnant lady? Do NOT mess with the baby bump uninvited, lest you’d like to be met with a firestorm of cursing and / or (possibly mild…but maybe not) physical violence, OK?

But, luckily, Heughan managed to remind himself that this pregnancy wasn’t like so many others he’d witnessed on the Outlander set, and was a real life one, as opposed to being for the show only. Truly, though, I think we can all forgive him for some almost lapses in judgement here. 

Not only did Balfe herself have to wear a fake belly for two different on-screen pregnancies early in the show’s run, but Heughan has probably also been able to poke the fake bumps of actresses like Laura Donnelly (who played Jamie’s oft-pregnant sister, Jenny), Lauren Lyle (who portrays the even more typically pregnant Marsali), and Sophie Skelton (who plays Jamie and Claire’s daughter, Brianna). So, you can see where the man might have gotten confused a bit.

The cast and crew of Outlander were, mostly, able to film around Caitríona Balfe’s growing baby bump, but Sam Heughan did also say that they had to do reshoots for some scenes where it turned out she was still showing too much. Either way, we can all rejoice that Balfe didn’t have to beat him up for improper belly poking on set, and that Outlander Season 6 is all set to debut on Starz on March 6! 

For more to watch, be sure to check out the 2022 TV premiere dates.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.