Written by: Blake Larsen
Mary and I recently had the pleasure of speaking with actor Grant O’Rourke (Rupert MacKenzie) on Outlander Cast. While we don’t yet know the fate of Rupert for Season 3, we interviewed Grant for the podcast and Outlander Cast Blog as part of our #Gonelander series — a celebration of all the actors and characters from Outlander who we fell in love with but who won’t be part of the story in Voyager and beyond. You can find the audio interview here.
But as we’ve done in the past, we wanted to bring you an exclusive to the blog exploring 15 personal questions with Grant that were not included the original interview. Read on to find out more about Grant O’Rourke the person, including his favorite show, guilty pleasure, celebrity crush, and much more.
Outlander Cast: Beer or whisky?
Grant O’Rourke: Beer—all day, every day.
GO: All of them! I’m not a snob. (laughs) But, I’ve noticed this—Americans have a really weird thing about Lager, where you’re all like, you all sneer at almost every Lager choice. And it seems like everybody in America that drinks beer in America is like, “Oh no, this is the one that I drink. This is the best beer, and all the other beer is terrible.” (laughs) It all pretty much tastes the same! You know? It’s not wine! So, I love all of it.
OC: Who is your celebrity crush?
GO: Hmm… I have to say growing up I had loads. Obviously. And at various stages of my life. But “crush” is a strange word. But, Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman was just astonishing. It was a wonderful film, and she is wonderful in that part. I was just so impressed with her ability to kind of inhabit this huge heroic role. Yeah, that was singularly impressive. I just find it hard to say because attractiveness is such a personal thing for me. I feel like I really have to connect with someone emotionally to be attracted to them.
OC: They’re gonna have to respect you in the morning. That’s what you need. I get it.
GO: Yes! That’s what I need. I need respect! (laughs) And they need to be able to put up with my neediness. And I need to be cuddled.
OC: Last song you listened to in the car or on an .mp3 player?
GO: Stay With Me Baby – by Scott Walker—just crooning away like he always does.
OC: Guilty pleasure?
GO: I don’t have any guilty pleasures. I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. If you love something, just do it. You know what I mean? Who cares what anyone thinks.
OC: Best success you’ve ever had?
GO: Having a son who’s kind of an eccentric little wonderful person. And seeing him be kind to people when he doesn’t have to be. That’s the best thing I could think of. Yeah, ask me when I’m dead.
OC: Worst mistake you’ve made?
GO: Ohhhh—I’ve made loads and loads and loads of mistakes in my life. I don’t know if I could single out one. But yeah, I’ve made LOTS of mistakes and I’ve treated people badly and if I could, I’d change that. But then again, everything’s led me to this point and I’d probably be more of a dick right now if I hadn’t made all these terrible mistakes I’ve made.
OC: One thing not a lot of people know about you?
GO: My first-ever festival, I shared a dressing room with David Soul from Starsky and Hutch. We were in different plays, but we were in theaters right next to each other. So we got dressed in a caravan, some trailer thing out in the back. And yeah, we’d just stand in the back and chat with David Soul. I was so young that I didn’t really get who he was at the time, cause I was like 20. So he was just a really cool American guy that my mom knew who he was. That’s probably something not a lot of people know about me. That, and I murdered a couple of hobos. (laughs)
OC: Do you have a dream role that you would love to play?
GO: My dream role is always the next one. But sometimes, it’s like… when I was a young man I really wanted to play Hamlet, and then I got the opportunity to play Hamlet, and it wasn’t a great experience for me—because of, you know, circumstances. But in that same year, I did Taming Of The Shrew, I played Petruchio in that and I’d never read the play and it ended up being amazing fun. I don’t know—playing twins in The Venetian Twins in a big knockabout comedy, that was kind of a dream part for me at the time but I didn’t realize it until I started doing it. So I guess you never really know what your dream part is and I am sure that once I got my heart set on playing something, that it would probably end up being a nightmare.
OC: Favorite movie?
GO: The Jerk with Steve Martin.
OC: Favorite food?
GO: Hmm… right now? Wings. I can’t get enough of wings. It’s all about the sauces that come with the plain wings. But you guys don’t realize how lucky you are—you have amazing wings in America and there’s not a whole lot of places that do wings like you guys do. So there’s one restaurant in Edinburgh called, Wings… and it does wings (laughs). It’s like my favorite place, everything comes in a little paper bowl. You can be in and out in twenty minutes, it’s amazing.
OC: Favorite television show of all time?
GO: That’s a tough one. Hmm… it’s probably The Simpsons, to be fair. It’s the greatest show ever made. It’s probably defined everything that’s come after it in terms of comedy. You know, dramas like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, there will always be these great dramas because we’re in such a golden age. But there will never be a show quite like The Simpsons ever again, I think.
OC: What are you watching right now?
GO: Right now I just finished the last season of Ray Donovan. LOVE it. I just finished The Americans. I’m just constantly watching TV, there’s so much good stuff to watch. But now I going to take a break and as a palette cleanser I’m going back and watching some Star Trek: The Next Generation. I have shows that I always like to watch like Star Trek, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia—shows like that which I just keep watching over and over again because they’re so perfect and you can sorta dip in and out of them.
OC: If you had to keep one—Star Trek or Star Wars—which would it be?
GO: I’d keep Star Trek because there’s more episodes of them, and let’s face it, at the moment there’s three AWFUL Star Wars films. There’s three awful ones and like five good ones. Almost half of them are terrible.
OC: What would you do for a a job if you couldn’t act?
GO: I don’t know. Different stages of my life I’ve wanted to do different things. I wanted to be a butcher at one point. I imagined I would be quite a good hairdresser too, or a barber. Yeah cause I like working with hair, and I feel like I’m blessed with beautiful hair as well. So you know if you go to a barbers and the barber is bald? And I feel like, “what do you know about it?! You’re not qualified to cut my hair!” So I feel like the industry needs more people with beautiful manes of hair. You know, to inspire confidence in people (laughs). When I was 20, I had three things that I must be—a professional actor, a professional footballer or a Shaolin monk. I feel like one of those three would have been good. I’d tried a whole bunch of different things. Although I’d probably go back to doing stand-up as well.
OC: What is on the TOP of your bucket list?
GO: Wow. Um. I don’t know if I have a bucket list! I think you have to be mindful of the present, because there’s little things I’m planning. I do like the idea of doing a podcast, I like the idea of hosting an event, I like the idea of doing all these things. I want to keep doing them. But, now I feel like I should have a bucket list! (laughs) Because, honestly this is me—to a tee—I went on the longest zip wire in Europe because I was filming a TV show for BBC Education where they gave me this little link and then I’d do the zip line. I’m a little afraid of heights, but I never thought about it at all because I was working. So I did the link, looked at the camera, just went down it, and about half way down I thought about it and said, “Oh wow, I’m on the longest zip wire in Europe!” and I hadn’t even noticed because I was thinking about the previous day. So I find I end up doing stuff by accident, or I find myself in situations where I’m in the middle of it and I don’t really take it in. So I don’t really have a bucket list. I mean, I just bought a new guitar. So that’s at the top of my list. It’s a really boring answer to a really good question.