WHAT IS A MAN ???
THIS IMAGE, THIS MOMENT in First Wife has stayed with me from the first viewing, and with each revisit, I am left with the same strong emotions.
AT ONE STAGE, further along in the story, Bree asks Claire what Jamie is….Laird, Chieftain, Warrior, Soldier…..does he know what he is? And her mother, busily pounding herbs for a tincture, says “Oh yes, your father knows. He is a Man…..and that is no small thing.”
This scene was written for Television….it isn’t in VOYAGER, and it’s one of those perfect additions that compliment Diana’s Story….in fact adds to it, in such a beautiful way.
HERE IS A MAN torn apart by conflict, with his second wife Laoghaire, and the love of his life, his heart and soul, Claire, his newly returned to him, First Wife.
We all know what has gone before these photos….the shock, anger, both blaming the other, rage, passion, betrayal and above all else, fear….fear and misunderstanding.
Jamie is SO afraid of losing Claire again, and yet, when wee Joanie cries out “Da”, “Ma”, her face contorted with anguish, Jamie walks away from Claire, and we see him here…..putting his fear aside, to tend to wee Joanie.
“Who’s that woman?” she asks of him, and he stands there, answering her.
“She’s my wife, my first wife Claire…. I thought she was dead, but by the grace of god, she returned to me.”
And wee Joanie, brilliantly portrayed by Layla Burns, lifts up her face to him, asking.
“Wha’ about Ma?” Those words, the sorrow on her face, pierced my heart.
And Jamie tells her, gently, patiently “Your mother and I didna have a bond, that keeps two people together.” And she says to him “And you do with this woman?”
“Aye”, he says, “I do.”
THIS IS WHAT MAKES A MAN…..this ability to put aside every raging emotion that burns in his gut, his terrible fear that his soul mate will leave him, and comfort this small child.
This child he read stories to, took fishing, embraced with love, as his own even though she was not his kin. And as he tells her to go find Marsali, he drops down onto the stairs,sitting for a moment, catching his breath. The little girl walks a few steps, then turning, flings herself into his arms, and he enfolds her against his big body, once more, comforting her.
AND THEN, ONLY THEN, does he return upstairs to Claire.
AN ACTOR HAS TO DIG DEEP, and this is to me what Sam Heughan is.
Yes, he’s acting, but drawing from the deepest core of who he is, this rare, lovely, big hearted human. It is my belief that you cannot Act with this level of emotional integrity unless it’s a natural part of who you are.
A MAN !!!
Spring. Central Victoria Australia 2019
Photos belong to STARZ