One of Jamie's Guys... An interview with Paul Donnelly (Ronnie Sinclair) (2024)


One of the greatest pleasures as both an Outlander book andshow fan, is waiting to see which characters from the novels make it in to the television adaptation each season, and who plays the part. Season five of the Starz hit series has notdisappointed on that score, as we were introduced to several new residentsof Fraser’s Ridge in the very first episode. Outlander Homepage was lucky enough to enjoy abrief Q&A with one of the newest members of the Fraser’s Ridge community,Ronnie Sinclair, portrayed by actor, boxing coach and fight director, PaulDonnelly.

One of Jamie's Guys... An interview with Paul Donnelly (Ronnie Sinclair) (1)


Outlander Homepage: First of all, thank you for taking timeto talk to us! We are so excited about this season of Outlander! Please sharewith us how you joined the cast of Outlander. How did you land the role ofRonnie Sinclaire?

Paul Donnelly: I have known one of the casting directors,Simone Pereira Hind for a few years, and she thought I’d be good. She hadalways said, “I think you would be great in this, I just need to find the rightpart for you.” I auditioned for some parts in the earlier seasons but it didn’tcome off. When I went for this part I thought it was really exciting and agreat part. So I was really keen to land it. I auditioned for it and havingbeen down that road a few times, auditioning, then hearing nothing, I forgotabout it and was away doing something else. I think I was away coaching boxingwhen the call came in offering me the part. I was just over the moon andabsolutely delighted. The first thing I did was call my girlfriend Natalia,and then my mum. LOL!

OH: Well Congratulations and welcome to the world ofOutlander! You mentioned to us in earlier emails that your mother is huge fanof the novels and show. What was her reaction when you told her the good news?

PD: My mum “wee Mags” never knew much about the show or thebooks until I got the job. She started reading the books a few months ago andquickly got obsessed. She has now binge read all the books in the space of sixweeks I think. She tells me about my character more than anyone else.

OH: Holy cow! Six weeks! I think your mother may have set areading world record! Those books are well over a thousand pages each! But I can attest they are addictive and hard to put down once you get started. You’veworked on several movies and in television. Compared to other TV series you’vebeen in, how is Outlander different?

PD: The difference between Outlander and other shows I’vedone is huge. The scale of production alone is just massive. I think the bestpart of the show is the cast and crew. I knew a lot of the crew from otherproductions I have worked on, but didn’t know many of the cast. I knew Richard Rankin,as we trained at the same acting college, and I choreographed the fights on ashow called “Trust Me” that he was in. Joining the show I’ve made someincredible friendships with all of the cast and crew. I’ve made friends andbrothers for life, and as for the fans… I’ve just been blown away by thereaction and support. So positive! I’ve never had that on other productions.

OH:That's wonderful to hear! Yes, just from what we see on screen each week the detail is amazing, I can't imagine what it's like on set. Is there any part of the Outlander story line that speaksto you personally?

PD: I’m a Scotsman, and proud of my Scots/Irish heritage, soI can connect with the story and the historic battles. I also love thecamaraderie of the men that follow Jamie. We are a team who look out for eachother and I’m like that in my own life.


One of Jamie's Guys... An interview with Paul Donnelly (Ronnie Sinclair) (2)

OH: In reference to that camaraderie and loyalty, yourcharacter Ronnie Sinclaire, is one of Jamie’s men from Ardsmuir prison, andwould follow “Mac Dubh” anywhere, no questions asked. Is there a “Mac Dubh” inyour life that has helped shape you either personally or professionally?

PD: I’ve a few! My dad. He has always been there and beensupportive of everything I’ve done. So he has always been my hero. Beulah Koale(star of Hawaii Five-O). He is my “uso” which is Maori for brother. We met on amovie set a few years ago and just clicked. We always say to each other “usoMo aso uma” which means brother for life. So I’d follow him through thick andthin. Gabriel Robertson (Scottish writer and director). We were best pals foryears and then found out we were related, which blew both our minds. (Secondcousins!) He is someone I can go to with anything and he will always be there.

OH: True friendship and loyalty are more valuable thananything of material value. Sounds like you might have much in common with yourOutlander character. What traits/characteristics do you have in common withRonnie Sinclaire? Are you kindred spirits or total opposites?

PD: We are similar in some ways I think, as far as we areloyal, and would be there for people. However the books say that he is notvery trustworthy, so I’m not so sure about that side of him.


One of Jamie's Guys... An interview with Paul Donnelly (Ronnie Sinclair) (3)

OH: Hahaha! Listen to your mother about Ronnie! Mothers are never wrong! Obviously, you are very much into physical fitness,coaching/training boxing and performing stunts. How well do you think you wouldget along if you actually had to live in an 18th century wildernesslike Fraser’s Ridge?

PD: I think I’d be fitter actually than I am now. I’ve gotan addiction to cakes and biscuits! I don’t think I’d be eating them as much. Ilove coaching boxing and martial arts. I don’t really drink alcohol, but Ithink I’d be in a bar organizing the boxing matches that happened back then.Maybe trying to win money doing that.


OH: Well steer clear of those lady brawlers! Hahaha! From the looks of episode 502, they fight dirty! Paul Donnelly, thank you so much for chatting with us! We are excited for you to be a part of Outlanderand look forward to seeing what awaits your character Ronnie Sinclaire, and the residents of Fraser's Ridge this season. Slainte!


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One of Jamie's Guys... An interview with Paul Donnelly (Ronnie Sinclair) (5)

One of Jamie's Guys... An interview with Paul Donnelly (Ronnie Sinclair) (2024)
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