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Simon Callow On Playing "Wicked" 'Outlander' Villain The Duke Of Sandringham

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Simon Callow On Playing "Wicked" 'Outlander' Villain The Duke Of Sandringham

When it comes to the villains of Outlander, no one schemed in style quite like the Duke of Sandringham. The not-so-secret patron of Black Jack Randall didn't often get his hands dirty, but he still caused enough trouble for Jamie and Claire that he ended up losing his head. Although he died back in a 2016 episode, The Dipp caught up with actor Simon Callow to discuss his miraculously beloved Outlander villain, the Duke of Sandringham.

Although his name is discussed a fair amount, the stage and screen actor, writer, and director only appeared as the Duke of Sandringham in five episodes. When the audience finally gets to meet Callow's duke in Season 1's "By the Pricking of My Thumbs," Claire has come to ask for his help in condemning Black Jack Randall to clear Jamie's name. While he's intrigued by this brazen woman, he's also distracted because he's writing a book — Aphorisms of the Most Worthy and Most Witty, Clarence Marylebone III, Duke of Sandringham.

Callow says these Season 1 scenes were some of his favorites of the show. "I hugely enjoyed the scenes where he was dictating his memoirs," he tells The Dipp via email. "In those early scenes, he was like a character from a Restoration comedy, outrageous, naked in his lusts and his greed." (Callow knows a thing or two about acting in Restoration comedies as he wrote a book on the subject.) As vile as he was, it was impossible not to admire a character who could threaten Claire's gorgeous neck, and within the same breath, demand his servant make note of his clever phrasing. "Later he became darker and more menacing, but in those first scenes, his pleasure in his own wickedness was wonderfully uncomplicated," Callow says.

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