There are two important things to know about Sam Heughan: He’s as nice as his social media persona and work on
Outlander suggest. And he is that attractive in real life.
Even after a week of nonstop appearances promoting the third season of the hit Starz fantasy drama, (Sundays, 8 ET/ PT), he’s all winks and Scottish charm, joking about getting bad takeout salad stuck in his teeth and fanboying over Whoopi.
“We’re going on The View, and I’d say 75% of people there were Outlander fans and they were just so enthusiastic, and I’m like, ‘There’s Whoopi Goldberg!’ ” Heughan, 37, laughs.
He seems genuinely shocked by how many fans the show has amassed — and there are many — but he’s quick to praise them.
“They were just really happy to see us. I felt very lucky,” he says.
That might sound insincere if Heughan didn’t have that rare combination of charisma and humility.
It’s as if he was plucked from a Scottish hilltop and dropped into Hollywood. And fans, as well as casting directors are eating it up.
His lack of pretense may stem from the fact that his 2013 casting in Outlander, the historical fantasy series based on the best-selling books by Diana Gabaldon, came as Heughan was questioning his career choice.
“I was a little, like, not disillusioned, but certainly looking at my life. I was 30, maybe 33. I had toured a lot, did bit parts in TV and theater, was just coming back from America where I tested on a lot of big TV shows and films but still not sort of broken that barrier yet,” he says. “I think I was just looking at life going, ‘Is this what I’m going to be doing for the next 10 to 20 years?’ ”
Turns out, he was on the precipice of change. He got a call from his agent with a script for the part of Jamie Fraser, the 18th-century Highlander who falls in love with Claire, a nurse from the 1940s who has traveled back in time after touching standing stones while on vacation outside Inverness.
“I read it, and I just knew that I knew that character.”
He was quickly brought onboard, and helped with the casting of his co-star, Caitriona Balfe. The pair’s chemistry has helped the show become a ratings boon for the premium-cable network and a social media phenomenon.
It also got him the attention of director Susanna Fogel, who hired him, alongside Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon, for feature film The Spy Who Dumped Me, due next summer, after an audition via iPad as he was shooting
Outlander’s new season in South Africa. It was enough to convince producers he was ready to break out from the historical fantasy genre for a high-budget comedy thriller.
Heughan plays a federal agent in the film, which follows best friends Audrey (Kunis) and Morgan (McKinnon), who unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend shows up at their apartment with a team of assassins on his trail.
“Sam is that rare actor with such a breadth of talent that he can effortlessly move between genres. In our film, we asked him to do it all, and he did,” Fogel said via email from Budapest, where filming is nearly complete. “He’s a bona fide action star one minute, a grounded dramatic actor the next, and a comedic foil for Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis throughout.”
The film may be the next break he was waiting for, hurtling him to a permanent place on the silver screen and giving fans a fullblown movie star to fawn over.
“It was exciting to give him an opportunity to explore a different tone and dynamic in his work and watch him master it like he did, and I can’t wait to see what he does next,” Fogel says.
The Heughlians couldn’t agree more.
In this exclusive clip from episode four of season three, Jamie finds that the human residents at Helwater are a million times more troublesome than the equine ones. This is especially true of Geneva Dunsany, who calls Jamie a “useless Scotchman” as he’s getting her horse for her. Excuse you, Geneva! No one calls Jamie useless and gets away with it unless their name is Claire. Jamie also has an interaction with Geneva’s far more pleasant sister Isobel, who fully understands his desire to kick Geneva’s butt. Given the fact that Isobel also looks at Jamie like he’s a snack, this seems like kind of a touchy situation. Can he please just go to the print shop already?
I’ve added a bunch of missing magazine scans to the gallery both recent and from earlier this year. Thanks to my friends Alikat and Claudia for some of these. For scans of Caitriona (Claire Fraser) check out my fansite, Caitriona-Balfe.com. Enjoy!
I’ve added HD screencaptures of Sam from Outlander episodes 3×01 and 3×02. I’ll be adding more Outlander photos soon. Enjoy!
I’ve added a bunch of photos of Sam from his recent appearances. I still have Outlander screencaps, stills, promos, and magazine scans to add so check back! I’m getting caught up since having been to be offline for over a week. Thanks to my friends Mary and Emily for their donations. Enjoy!
Caitirona and Sam were both on The View this morning. If you missed it, don’t worry, you can watch it above. The interview was short but it included a new Outlander clip of Caitriona. I wish it were longer.
I will add screencaps of the interview soon in better quality.
I will be adding all the videos and photos of Sam from the season 3 New York premiere of Outlander in this post throughout the next couple days so that it’s all in one location. So be sure to check back for more photos! If you are interested in seeing Caitriona’s coverage from SDCC, visit Caitirona-Balfe.com.
Click below for videos
It’s time to go behind-the-scenes with Sam Heughan!
After two full seasons of intense on-screen fighting, the Outlander star is gearing up for the biggest battle of his career — and only ET is giving you an exclusive first look inside the one of Heughan’s “favorite places” on the Outlander set: The armoury.
“I’m going to give you a tour of some of the weaponry that we use — not only in seasons one and two, but also season three,” Heughan spilled to our cameras.
“The beginning of this season, we start with [The Battle of] Culloden, which we’ve been trying to stop, but fate has got us to this point. In this battle, traditionally, the Highlanders would have used this basket hilt,” the 37-year-old actor explained while showing off Jamie’s historically accurate broad sword.
“And also, of course, the dirk, which you see Jamie carrying this a lot. It’s also very sharp and these would’ve been the Highlander’s traditional weapons against the brown bess musket,” he continued. “The whole [British] army was a very modern army and [the Highlanders] had to go up against hundreds and thousands of men with these [guns] and it was really a one-way battle — and that’s not a spoiler at all.”
After three seasons of intense training, Heughan revealed that he’s become “very comfortable” with all of his Outlander weaponry. “I sleep with [my sword] under my pillow,” he joked. “But actually, Jamie uses a lot of different weapons this season, and at one point, I do get to use a bow and arrow.”
“We got a great bowmaster to come in and teach us how to use it and we even have a straw wicker man made for target practice,” he said.
So what does it take to become an archery master? “You point the pointy thing at the bad people,” Heughan quipped. “We got a great bowmaster to come in and teach us how to use it and we even have a straw wicker man made for target practice.”
With so many realistic and dangerous props on set, we were curious to know if Heughan has ever had any on-set mishaps.
“No, not really. Not with any of the weaponry,” he admitted. “I actually did back-fist [my Outlander co-star] Tobias Menzies recently which was kind of good fun, so I think that might make the blooper reel.”
Heughan dished, “We were having a fight and I did a spinning back-fist — one of my signature moves — and, actually yeah, I smacked him in the face. It was brilliant.”
Press play on the video above to get a personal tutorial from Heughan on how to shoot a bow and arrow and the best way to face off in a one-on-one sword fight!
Outlander’s third season debuts Sunday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Starz — and be sure to keep it locked to ETonline right after the episode for exclusive behind-the-scenes details from the premiere.