Scottish with a Love of the Outdoors and a Link to Founder John Barbour’s Farm makes Sam Heughan the Perfect Choice as Barbour Takes on First Global Brand Ambassador
Scottish born Sam Heughan has been chosen as Barbour’s first Global Brand Ambassador in a two year deal from July 2016. Sam grew up in Galloway, a short distance from the farm where founder John Barbour lived in the late 1800s before moving across the border to set up the first Barbour store in South Shields in the North East of England in 1894.
Sam 36, the lead actor in the hit international TV series Outlander which is filmed on location in Scotland, will appear in a selected number of photoshoots and PR appearances for Barbour and will work with some of the brand’s key wholesale partners in the UK and US, Barbour’s two largest markets. He will also develop his own signature capsule collection incorporating Barbour’s renowned exclusive tartans which are based on the Ayrshire District Tartan from where the Barbour family originated in the 13th century.
Paul Wilkinson, Global Marketing Director, Barbour said “When I first met Sam, I was immediately struck by the similarities with Barbour. The British countryside has been at the heart of the Barbour brand since 1894. Sam’s Scottish roots and his genuine love of the outdoors means he brings an authentic and very real connection to the partnership. Sam has a great respect for our history and heritage of over 120 years and he has worn Barbour since he was young. He will become the face of our exclusive menswear tartan collection providing us with an opportunity to create some original and innovative marketing initiatives that will make this a unique and very special partnership.”
Sam Heughan said “I am delighted to be working with Barbour and feel very privileged that they have chosen me to be their first Global Brand Ambassador. Being Scottish, I grew up with the brand and have always been a big fan – being born in the same rural area as John Barbour, in the south of Scotland. The company has a long history and heritage and their archive goes right back to 1910, through many periods of momentous history that fascinate me and it’s so intriguing to see how Barbour has adapted yet retained its strong identity. It has also been fascinating to see that while the design and styles of the clothing has changed over the years, the founding philosophy of providing quality products that are fit for purpose, durable and functional is still as relevant today as it was in the beginning. I have a great passion for the company and their employees that feels more like I’ve been welcomed into their extended family. I very much look forward to designing my own capsule collection based on this ethos and to representing the brand in the UK, the US and internationally.”
Sam studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and in 2003 was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer. In 2011 he originated the role of Batman in the DC/Warner Bros and Waterlane production of “Batman Live”, an international tour which opened in Los Angeles and went on tour to Las Vegas, South America and throughout the UK and Europe. On stage, he has performed in the London West End and at a variety of theatres in various classical and new writing pieces including “Romeo and Juliet”, “The Talented Mr Ripley” and “Plague over England”.
In 2013, he was cast in the lead role as Jamie Fraser in the Starz hit period drama series Outlander which is set in Scotland. Since starring in Outlander, Sam has received numerous fan generated accolades including the BBC America Anglophenia Man of the Year in 2014 and Entertainment Weekly’s EW-wy Best Actor – Drama in 2015. He was the Grand Marshall at this year’s Tartan Day Parade in April in New York which was sponsored by Barbour.
I’ve add over 300 HD screencaps of Sam from the finale. I was so gutted when sorting through them. What an amazing/heart breaking finale. Can’t wait for the series’ return.
“Outlander” Season 3 will be an “adventure” on high seas, with pirates and more. Cast members Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe, and Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore teased what to expect next on the show, in recent interviews.
After seeing an older Claire (Caitriona Balfe) in the finale episode of the second season, the viewers will now get to see an older Jamie (Sam Heughan). In an interview with Variety, Heughan said that TV series will now focus on showing who his character is without his wife and how he manages to live on after losing the love of his life.
When the fans next see Jamie and Claire, they will both be older, Heughan teased. The actor said that the TV series will now explore who this older Jamie is. The character is expected to have changed both physically and mentally over the years.
Heughan said that the “joy” of the TV series is that it’s “never the same thing” and that it’s “constantly moving.” He teased that “Outlander” Season 3 is going to be “quite an adventure.”
The adventure Heughan is referring to will be on high seas. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Producer Moore revealed that the next season will start in Scotland, but later it will be a “sea voyage.”
“There are pirates. It’s in Jamaica. It’s in the New World,” Moore teased.
The TV series will still be mostly filmed in Scotland, which Moore described as their “home base.” They are, however, looking for options to film scenes involving ships, beaches and jungles of the Caribbean.
The water shoots of “Outlander” Season 3 will be “challenging,” according to Moore. There will be “logistical and technical difficulties involved.” However, the producer hopes to find one ideal location where the cast and crew can travel to and film all the relevant scenes, making it easier for the production.
Warning: This article contains major spoilers for the Outlander season 2 finale.
The Outlander stars also chatted about the big book change that happened in the season 2 finale.
We finally made it to the end of Outlander season 2 and the show gave us one of its best episodes yet, intercutting between the events leading up to the Battle of Culloden/Claire’s departure from the 18th century and Claire and Brianna’s return to Scotland in 1968 Scotland 20 years later (for Claire).
The episode had a notable change from the book, as well as some excellent acting from Caitriona Balfe, who was playing both her 20-something self back in 18th-century Scotland and her 40-something self in 1968 Scotland. Balfe and co-star Sam Heughan chatted with Variety about the decision to have Claire help Jamie kill Dougal, what it was like for Balfe to play an older version of Claire, and what 20 years apart has done to their respective characters. Here’s what they had to say…
On having Claire kill Dougal, too.
In the book Dragonfly in Amber, Jamie kills Dougal all on his lonesome, but the TV show decided to mix it up, with Claire helping to deliver the final, agonizingly slow blow. Heughan said of the decision:
I think it makes them both complicit in the murder of Dougal, it makes them both guilty. So they’re united in their desperation of trying to save everyone and everything, and in doing that they’ve had to kill Jamie’s uncle, which doesn’t sit well with him.
On playing an older Claire.
One of the most striking parts of “Dragonfly in Amber” was the chance to see Claire as a 40-something living in 1968 with her adult daughter. Balfe said of her method for aging up her character (other than the makeup and the foxy grey hair streak), saying that she studied actresses like Charlotte Rampling, Meryl Streep, and Helen Mirren to see the difference between films they did at the beginning of their careers and films they have done in their 50s.
Balfe also went ahead and nabbed some details from the next book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series: Voyager. In it, we learn a bit more about Claire’s life in Boston. She said of that process:
I wanted to really get a sense of what her life had been like in that interim 20 years. I really wanted to more concentrate on ‘what does 20 years of, in some ways, a compromised existence, how does that weigh on a person?’ Claire is a survivor, we know that about her – we know that she’s a fighter, but having lived in a marriage of convenience in many ways with Frank for 20 years, that has to have had an effect on her shine in a way, on her vitality. And yet, at the same point she’s become a surgeon so I wanted her to have a bit of gravity and she carries herself very well and it was really interesting to play with all of that.
On those missing 20 years for Jamie.
That intervening period between Claire and Jamie’s separation and their inevitable reunion has obviously changed the two characters, something that will no doubt be a large part of season 3. It will be particularly interesting to see how Jamie has changed given that, unlike Claire, we have yet to meet the older version of his character. Speaking on Jamie’s mindset pre-Battle of Culloden and what he might look like when we next meet him, Heughan said:
He knows he’s going to die, but at least she is going to be safe, and his unborn child, who will be Bree. We won’t actually see what happens to Jamie after she’s gone through the Stones until the next season – for me that’s a really big question and something that will be really interesting to look at – who is Jamie without Claire, why is he still surviving or what has he got to live for when he’s lost the woman that he loves? She will eventually return, but they’re both older, so who is the man he’s become age-wise, physically? I think that’s the joy of the show, it’s never the same thing, it’s constantly moving, so next season should be quite an adventure.
Outlander has just entered a new era in its story (in more ways than one). Like much of the season 2 finale, Outlander season 3 will be a whole new show. To keep up to date on what is in store next for this time-traveling romance, be sure to check back regularly on our Outlander season 3 news hub. Until then, Sassenachs!
Access Hollywood released some bonus interview footage from an interview they did a few months ago with the cast. Enjoy!
I’ve added a couple missing photos from last night’s Outlander thanks to FFA as well as a new behind the scenes photo of Sam.
Spoiler warning: Do not read on unless you’ve seen the Outlander Season 2 finale, Episode 13, titled “Dragonfly in Amber.” Refresh your memory of where we left off with our previous “Outlander” recap.
After a season spent barreling towards the Battle of Culloden, it felt like something of a relief to be spared the gory details of that fateful fight, with the Season 2 finale of Outlander spending most of its time focused on what really mattered — Claire and Jamie’s relationship, both in its vibrant immediacy on the morning of the battle, and through melancholy memories that played out across Claire’s face 20 years later as she revisited Scotland. Claire took a monumental journey in the extended episode, moving from grief and repression to a rekindled sense of hope as she realized that Jamie hadn’t died at Culloden, meaning there was still a chance for her to reunite with him, even two decades (and two centuries) after leaving him.
The episode skipped back and forth between the 18th century and Claire’s “present” in 1968, allowing us to meet Claire and Jamie’s daughter, Brianna (Sophie Skelton), and Reverend Wakefield’s dashing adopted son, Roger (Richard Rankin) — as well as catching up with Claire’s Season 1 friend Geillis Duncan — aka Gillian Edgars — before she traveled back through the Standing Stones and met Claire for the first time back in the 1700s.
The finale provided yet another showcase for Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan’s nuanced performances; Heughan exuded both strength and vulnerability as Jamie was forced to say farewell to his wife — and that was after the ordeal of killing his uncle, Dougal, when the war chief discovered them plotting to kill Bonny Prince Charlie in a last-ditch effort to avert Culloden.
“You just see how desperate they’ve become that they would even consider something as horrific as this, but as Claire says, it’s take the life of one to save the lives of thousands,” Balfe says of their scheme. “It’s a really heartbreaking moment for Jamie because no matter what Dougal has done, he’s his uncle, he raised him for a lot of his life and trained him, and there was a very complicated love there, but there was some kind of love there.”
Heughan agrees, telling Variety in our video recap above, “We decided that Claire should be involved in that and that isn’t in the books. I think it makes them both complicit in the murder of Dougal, it makes them both guilty. So they’re united in their desperation of trying to save everyone and everything, and in doing that they’ve had to kill Jamie’s uncle, which doesn’t sit well with him.”
At that point, Heughan admits, “it’s about trying to save Claire — she doesn’t quite know that until they get closer to the Stones.” Their farewell scene was monumental both for the characters and the actors, he says. “We were both very aware that this is the last time they’re together, so there is a pressure, but you also don’t want to pressurize yourself as an actor, otherwise you begin to tense up – we just wanted to see what happened, and out of it came this wonderful almost choreography, this moment where it’s almost like a dance, where Jamie’s guiding Claire with her back towards the stones so she’s staring at him… it seemed to work because we couldn’t work out how to get to Claire to the stones, because she doesn’t want to go.”
The farewell at Craigh na Dun was one of the series’ most heartbreaking and evocative yet, made all the more desperate because they know Claire is pregnant again. Balfe admits that there was some debate about how Claire and Jamie’s final moment of intimacy should play out during filming.
“In the book it’s very different, because they stay overnight in a cottage and we were condensing the time and because we’d filmed things in Season 1 where there was no cottage, we couldn’t do that, so then there was a whole thing about ‘where do they have their last moments together? They have sex and where is that gonna be?’ There was a lot of talk about up against a tree and I was like ‘no, not gonna happen that way! That’s so not romantic, it can’t be up against a tree, that’s not right,‘” she laughs, recalling the moment. “I was so adamant about it, and they were like ‘well, it’s gonna be cold and wet, are you gonna wanna be on the ground?’ I was like ‘I don’t care, I’ll be on the ground, it can’t be against a tree.’ It just seemed so wrong and so not beautiful.”
Despite the need to save their baby, Balfe says, she felt that “Claire would fight towards the end and she wouldn’t want to leave, so how do we get Jamie to take her to the stones and yet how do we get Claire to go, because I just felt like she just wouldn’t want to. I know she has to go to save her child, but she just wouldn’t want to, and somehow we came up with this beautiful almost like a dance, where they’re locked together and they’ve got their heads together and they’re looking in each other’s eyes and he sort of dances her to the Stone and she’s just crying and telling him that she loves him and it’s so beautiful. When we were filming it, I feel like everyone got so swept up in the moment. It’s so sad. These characters are so much a part of us at this point, it was just heartbreaking – how do you let go, how do you say goodbye to someone? It was just awful. I think some of the crew were all misty-eyed, it was great.”
In addition to those emotional scenes in the past, Balfe also deftly managed to portray a wholly new version of Claire in the future — one with 20 years and countless life experiences behind her — while still maintaining her character’s integrity, fire and resolve.
“I went ahead and I read all of the information from [book three in Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series] ‘Voyager,’ that showed Claire in Boston, because I wanted to really get a sense of what her life had been like in that interim 20 years,” Balfe says of tackling the later iteration of her character. “I really wanted to more concentrate on ‘what does 20 years of, in some ways, a compromised existence, how does that weigh on a person?’ Claire is a survivor, we know that about her – we know that she’s a fighter, but having lived in a marriage of convenience in many ways with Frank for 20 years, that has to have had an effect on her shine in a way, on her vitality. And yet, at the same point she’s become a surgeon so I wanted her to have a bit of gravity and she carries herself very well and it was really interesting to play with all of that.”
Balfe says she looked to the work of some of her favorite actresses to inspire her performance, including Charlotte Rampling, Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep. “I watched films they did in their late twenties and then I went and watched some things that they’d done in their fifties and obviously people physically age, but how do you carry yourself?” Balfe says. “It’s always very slight, there’s a maturity but it’s more in how they carry themselves.”
Despite the tension between Claire and her headstrong daughter — who is reluctant, to say the least, to believe that her real father was a Scottish warrior from the 18th Century, Balfe notes that “a big part of Claire now is that she’s a mother, and that relationship with Brianna was very important. At this point when we meet them, they are somewhat strained, there’s distance between them, but myself and Sophie when we were talking about the relationship, [we felt that] it can’t be that this has how it’s always been. Even with Claire’s relationship with Frank, it couldn’t have been miserable for 20 years, otherwise she wouldn’t have stayed in it. So there have to have been moments where things were working, and I think always in the back of Claire’s mind, she’s never really loved him again in that way, but there have to have been good times and they co-parented and there’s joy in seeing your daughter grow up and all of these things, but it has been more compromised, so there was all of that was so interesting to play.”
We’re spared the brutality of Culloden and what happens to Jamie after Claire says goodbye to him at the Standing Stones, but Heughan promises that all will be revealed in Season 3.
As Jamie lets Claire go, Heughan says, “he knows he’s going to die, but at least she is going to be safe, and his unborn child, who will be Bree. We won’t actually see what happens to Jamie after she’s gone through the Stones until the next season – for me that’s a really big question and something that will be really interesting to look at – who is Jamie without Claire, why is he still surviving or what has he got to live for when he’s lost the woman that he loves? She will eventually return, but they’re both older, so who is the man he’s become age-wise, physically? I think that’s the joy of the show, it’s never the same thing, it’s constantly moving, so next season should be quite an adventure.”
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight’s Outlander Season 2 finale.
After a dazzling 13-episode run that saw Outlander in the 18th century salons and intrigue of Louis XV’s Paris, the Jacobite uprising and then back among the Scottish highlands, the Starz series led by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan wrapped up its second season tonight with renewed hope. It also saw the end for a major character, revelations in many eras, and a trip back through the Craigh na Dun stones from the late 1960s to the late 1740s for Balfe’s Claire.
As fans of the Diana Gabaldon books on which the sensual Outlander TV series is based know and viewers discovered in the 90-minute finale, it seems Heughan’s Jamie Fraser did not die at English hands at the Battle of Culloden, but War Chieftain Dougal MacKenzie (Graham McTavish) did meet his end tonight — at Jamie’s hand.
Deep into production on Season 3 of the series, executive producer Ronald D. Moore spoke with me about tonight’s finale, crafting the now-concluded cycle and changes it saw from the Dragonfly In Amber novel on which it was based. The show won’t be at Comic-Con this year, but the former Battlestar Galactica EP also discussed adapting Gabaldon’s 1993 book Voyager for the next season and whether the author will pen a script. Moore also sketched out plans for Season 4 of the show from Sony Pictures Television and Left Bank Pictures and how he thinks Outlander will fare in Emmy nominations this week.
DEADLINE: Season 1’s finale may have been more brutal, but this year’s ender certainly matched it for dramatic twists — especially the killing of Dougal. How do you think fans will react?
MOORE: If they don’t know the books, I think they will be surprised and shocked that we killed Dougal MacKenzie because he’s such a great character and such a powerful force. Especially since Colum (Gary Lewis) just died the week before, and you would think that there would be a long route to go with Dougal. I assume that the broadcast audience was assuming that we would see Dougal fighting to the death at Culloden, right? He would be one of the principal players in that story, so I think it will come as a pretty big surprise.
DEADLINE: Last season ended with the rape scene with Black Jack and with Jamie, about which there was a huge and shocked response from fans. This season finale had a different tone. Was that intentional?
MOORE: It was certainly intentional what we went for, but I don’t think we set out to set it apart from Season 1. It just had its own kind of organic feeling to it. It had a different rhythm and a different kind of overarching idea to what we were doing in the finale this year. Last year’s finale was a one-off, that was where that story ended. I don’t think the show or the book set out to try to top themselves each year or at the end of each book. That was the end of that story, and this one is the end of this story.
Related Caitriona Balfe On Her ‘Money Monster’ Spin Doctor, Working With Jodie Foster & ‘Outlander’ – Cannes Studio
DEADLINE: Now that you are even deeper into the series and hence the books with Outlander, how do you balance the small-screen adaptation to keep both audiences involved?
MOORE: I’m constantly trying to keep both audiences in mind. It’s a source of ongoing conversation in the writers room and in editing. It’s my job to keep my eye on both those audiences. I know the books, but I always have to try and watch the show with a mind toward if I don’t know the books, if it doesn’t make any sense to me, I have to ask, “Am I engaged by it emotionally? Is it a great piece of entertainment whether or not I’ve read the source material?”
And I always go to my own experience on Game Of Thrones. I watch Game Of Thrones. I think it’s great, I enjoy it, but I’ve never read those books, and so there are definitely times, especially in some of the earlier seasons, where I was lost. I would have to hit pause and turn to my wife and say, “OK, wait a minute, who is that and how did this happen?” and then she would explain it and I would watch the show again.
So with Outlander, I’m always remembering my own experience as viewer who doesn’t know the source material, and using that to sort of help guide me through Outlander because they are very different audiences. I think it’s easy for us to sort of start with the fan experience that knows the books so well because we know the books now. So, as we’re outlining the show and as we’re writing the show, we know what the major tentacles are, we know what the backstories are, we know the narrative, and we’re moving this around — and it’s OK because this is what happened later, so we have all that stuff locked in. It’s the other audience that you have to take a step back for. I kind of see it as my job to constantly try to keep the broadcast-only audience engaged with it.
I’ve added a few episode stills from tonight’s episode. Ugh, my heart is still reeling.