- Outlander -Laura Donnelly Has Moved On From 'Outlander' To A New Historical Fantasy
Jenny may not be hanging around Lallybroch for whenever anyone wants to stop by on Outlander, but that's because actor Laura Donnelly has better things to do, as evidence by the trailer for The Nevers. Donnelly stars as the supernaturally-gifted Amalia True in the upcoming HBO Max show created by Joss Whedon. Set in the last years of the Victorian era, The Nevers is historical fiction with a fantasy element (hmm, sounds quite similar to another Donnelly show)... and it looks worthy of tuning in to even without the Outlander connection.
The Nevers follows the "Touched" people of London, a group of (mostly women) who "suddenly manifest abnormal abilities." Donnelly's Amalia is a leader within the Touched community while she fights her own demons and other people. As it was created by Whedon, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer connections are apparent as Donnelly goes into full action-star mode in the trailer. (I am also obligated to mention that she drops from the ceiling in a badass pose much like her Outlander husband Steven Cree did in the trailer for his new show, A Discovery of Witches.)
Although it's unheard of in the year of our Lord 2021, The Nevers isn't adapted from anything. So the secrets of the Touched people and what the show has in store are a mystery outside what HBO has revealed. When Donnelly was announced as the lead in April 2019, Deadline had the role of Amalia described as "the most reckless, impulsive, emotionally damaged hero of her time. A menace to stuffy Victorian society, she would die for the cause and kill for a drink." Sounds like my kind of woman... and a role that Donnelly can flex her acting and actual muscles in.
"Laura Donnelly has charisma, wisdom, and an anarchic precision that not only captures Amalia but defines her," Whedon said when the casting news dropped. "She's fierce and she's funny – and I need both for the journey ahead."
Since she last appeared on Outlander in Season 3, Donnelly was in Tolkien as the mother of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings author. She's also been in the Amazon Prime and Epix series Brittania, created by her partner Jez Butterworth. But most notably, she won Best Actress at the U.K.'s Olivier Awards and was nominated for a Tony for her performance in The Ferryman, performing the lead role on the West End and on Broadway. The play was written by Butterworth and inspired by Donnelly's family history.
The Ferryman is one of the reasons that Donnelly did not appear in Outlander Season 4 when Brianna visited Lallybroch. And in a W Magazine interview, Donnelly made it seem that the chances are slim she'd ever return to the Starz series again. Even though Jenny comes back in the book series, Donnelly told W that by that time, her character is old, "So I think that’s probably me out." (Doesn't she know that hasn't stopped Outlander before?) But if The Nevers is a hit, she could also be too busy in her career to come back as Jamie's sister Jenny.
The Nevers has an exciting premise and cast with Ann Skelly, Olivia Williams, Ben Chaplin, James Norton, Pip Torrens, and Nick Frost joining Donnelly. So while Donnelly may never return to Outlander, she will be back on your TVs in The Nevers come April.
Images: Keith Bernstein/HBO, HBO