‘Outlander’ Star John Bell Says He Aspires ‘To Be Like’ His Co-Stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe

Outlander star John Bell has opened up about his aspirations and the profound influence of his co-stars, Sam Heughan and Caitríona Balfe. Bell, known for his portrayal of Young Ian Murray, offered a deep dive into his experiences of him on set and his admiration for his fellow actors.

Bell highlighted the lessons he learned from Heughan and Balfe and expressed his admiration for them professionally and personally. Bell’s reflections offer insights into his character’s development, behind-the-scenes stories, and thoughts on the series’ impending conclusion.

John Bell | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SCAD

John Bell says he wants ‘to be like’ his co-stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe

Bell shared a heartfelt acknowledgment to his fictional aunt and uncle, Jamie and Claire Fraser, portrayed by Heughan and Balfe, respectively.

In an interview with Express, the Outlander star expressed his gratitude and recounted the significant insights he’s gained from collaborating with Balfe and Heughan.

“But I’ve literally learned so much about how to be on a set with them,” Bell shared. “I’ve been working in the acting business since I was eight years old, so I’ve learned the way of a set, but they’ve just become such inspirations for how I want to continue my career, who I aspire to be like.”

The actor, who portrays Young Ian Murray on Outlander, praised Heughan for being the epitome of a professional. He also revealed that Balfe continues to fascinate him in everything they work on together.

Not only is Balfe an absolute powerhouse as an actor, but Bell goes to her for advice on a professional and personal level. At the end of the day, he holds immense admiration and respect for her.

Bell concluded by saying he has learned invaluable lessons from Heughan and Balfe. He’s taken these lessons and incorporated them into his own approach to acting.

‘Outlander’ star dishes on surprising Young Ian storyline

In episode five of Outlander’s seventh season, Bell’s character, Young Ian, made an unexpected disclosure upon his return to the Mohawk encampment.

Fans might remember that Young Ian parted ways with the Mohawk in the show’s fifth season. The Mohawks exiled him due to his wife Emily’s inability to conceive. However, a conversation with Claire triggered a quest for closure, leading him to seek Emily out of her at her residence in Unadilla.

Upon his arrival, he met Emily and her wife, Sun Elk’s three children – a boy of five, a three-year-old girl, and a newborn baby girl. The suggestion that the eldest boy could be Ian’s child was rather strong. The child’s name, Ian James, reinforced this idea.

Bell offered his insight into how Young Ian felt about seeing his son for the first time.

“Talk about the emotions. So many ideas, what ifs, are swimming around his head from him at this moment,” Bell explained. “I mean, he was basically assured he could not have kids. That was the whole reason why he was exiled from the Mohawk nation. So, to come face to face with this huge life-changing moment, it’s a lot for him to process.”

John Bell shares his thoughts on ‘Outlander’s’ final season

Upon the announcement that the eighth season would be the last for OutlanderBell took a moment to reflect.

Bell described the show’s conclusion as “bittersweet.” He also considered it a “privilege” to be part of a series that lasted for eight seasons, a feat few shows achieve.

“I’m immensely proud, but then there is the sadness of something coming to an end and feeling like it’s part of your life,” Bell shared. “It’s all memories now. But then it happened, and it was beautiful, so I’m proud mostly.”

Bell first stepped into the role of Young Ian in Outlander in 2017. Before securing this role in the Starz series, Bell had quite an impressive array of credits to his name.

Some of Bell’s credits include roles in Into the Badlands, Wrath of the Titans, Tracy Beaker Returnsand The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. But it was his part of him in Outlander that put him in the spotlight.

Fans can watch Bell in action when new episodes of Outlander air Friday nights on Starz.

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