Starz’ critically acclaimed Outlander series has fans anxiously awaiting the debut of the second half of season one. Unfortunately, that won’t arrive until April 4, 2015. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait that long to hear what Sam Heughan has to say about what viewers can expect when the second half finally arrives.
Fans have fallen hard for Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser, and the handsome Scot is grateful for how readers of Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling book series have embraced the show and the cast. And during the 2015 TCA winter press event, Heughan talked about the books and the complex characters Gabaldon created that he and his co-stars are responsible for bringing to life in the series.
– A Word of Warning: He discusses what’s coming up and there are potentials for spoilers if you haven’t read the books.
Sam Heughan Interview
Now that Claire and Jamie are finally together, what is their biggest hurdle in the second part of season one?
Sam Heughan: “Wow, the biggest hurdle is what happens at the very end of the season. The whole second part really taxes their relationship. They’re trying, fighting their way to get back to where they were on the wedding night, really. It’s the great tragedy of the show, I think, for this wonderful relationship is [that it’s] actually tainted for good. I don’t think we can ever get back there. They’re constantly being tested by the things that happen. Jamie’s having to grow up. They’re all having to come to terms with where they are. They’re constantly trying to find a way to reconnect and the very end of the season, they’re both left in a very tentative place.”
She challenges everything he knows and he’s an innocent. How do you make that transition from a naive man to someone believing something fantastic?
Sam Heughan: “Yeah, he’s always suspected. He’s always known she’s got a secret. With the witch trial and all the things up to that, he has to ask her the question whether she’s a witch, and he also doesn’t believe that but he knows she’s got a big secret. So when she finally does reveal that she’s from the future, and he says he believes her, he trusts her word. So he believes that she’s talking the truth. Whether or not he can get his head around the enormity of what that actually means, that takes a long time, but ultimately they have this bond and it’s the fact that he trusts her and she trusts him.”
Are you still doing a lot of your own stunts?
Sam Heughan: “Yeah, I’m doing them all, yes. Yes. I really enjoy it. In episode 10 you may have seen there’s a duel. I actually had injured myself on that the day before but I was determined to film that. I kind of used it as well. He gets injured in that duel, so it was really a bit foolish but I love all that side of it, and the horse riding as well.”
Are you fiercely romantic?
Sam Heughan: “Yes, I like to try and be romantic, but I’m a guy so we’re not the best at it, but we do try. I do like to try.”
Does it work?
Sam Heughan: “It’s working, kind of. We’ll see. Ask me in 10 years time.”
Have you talked to Ron Moore about how you’re going to portray Jamie and Claire
aging significantly in the second book?
Sam Heughan: “I think we discussed the fact that we actually already aged on the show already. No, we haven’t got as far as that yet. I think it’s going to be a lot more down to the way we play it rather than relying on prosthetics and whatever. There’s a lot that can be done with makeup.
I’m really interested to see where these characters go in the future, but having said that, we’ve already done 109 the voiceover, and we discussed where Jamie is at that point. Is it now, after this all happened? Or is it in the future? Or is it when he’s a ghost? We’re starting to have a lot of parallel stories, a lot of different time jumps. I think Ron will probably play with that a lot more.”
Have you had chemistry tests with anyone for the roles of Roger and Brianna?
Sam Heughan: “They are starting casting pretty much now, so yeah, soon. I soon will.”
Did you have any idea what would happen when you took this role?
Sam Heughan: “No, I was pretty naive. I mean, this is wonderful. It’s really good fun and it’s nice to be in Scotland. We’re kind of out of all the bandwagon, so it’s really great. We can just put our heads down and work and it’s lovely to come here and get some sort of reception. I’m glad it’s been received really well.”
Are the sex scenes steamier in the second half?
Sam Heughan: “I think we try to approach all the intimate scenes or the punishments, spanking, or the torture and the rape and violence, we try to approach it with the fact of what do we need to see? What is this doing to their relationship? How does this move them forward or backwards? As Caitriona [Balfe] said on the panel, we then sit down with the writers. We read it through. We work out what works and what doesn’t. We rehearse it and then on the day I guess we just go for it. It is a process of what we want the audience to feel or see.
Honestly, I think we’re all firm believers that less is more. We want it to be an adult show as well. Showing a pair of breasts is like well, we don’t want to be some sort of smutty porn. We want it to have an effect or for a reason. I think the viewers will be surprised and challenged. I think there’s a lot of times that they’re going to be shocked.”
Are all the ladies swooning for you?
Sam Heughan: “I’ve yet to see a lady swooning but if they are, that’s wonderful.”
What is your relationship with Outlander author Diana Gabaldon?
Sam Heughan: “She is so loyal and I can’t thank her enough. She has supported us in every way. Without her, I couldn’t do it. We have a relationship that’s really nice. We talk via e-mail or twitter. She gives me advice. We just talk about other things other than the show. It’s nice to see her.”
Do you have time for any other projects?
Sam Heughan: “I’m doing a movie here in Los Angeles next month. It’s called When the Starlight Ends. It’s written and directed by Adam Segal. It’s an independent. It’s a lovely little independent movie about a writer at the end of a relationship. I’m excited about it.”
What role on TV right now would you like to play, other than a different character on Outlander?
Sam Heughan: “Wow, I’m loving The Walking Dead. I’d love to kill some zombies, but I’m really enjoying The Knick, actually. I think it’s fantastic and I love Clive Owen’s performance. So maybe something on that.”
*Caution: this answer contains a spoiler for those who haven’t read Dragonfly in Amber. Skip it if it’s still on your to-do list.* Have you read Dragonfly in Amber yet and if so, what are your favorite parts?
Sam Heughan: “Yeah, I started last year but I restarted again and I’m almost finished. I’m just really excited because where we leave the season, the end of season one is basically telling everything that happens in season two. I think Claire and Jamie are both in two very difficult places. If you’ve read the books it’s not a spoiler, she’s pregnant and he has had this terrible thing happen to him. He’s been broken and their relationship has been tainted so they’re both in two separate worlds. Yet they’re married and they love each other but yet it’s not black and white. It’s very gray.”
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