There are few things in this world that grown women are willing to camp out for: the arrival of a royal baby, Beyoncé, probably, Hamilton tickets, in its Lin Manuel-Miranda heyday. After last week, add Outlander actor Sam Heughan to the list.
In New York on a quick break from shooting season three of the Starz show that some have called a feminist alternative to Game of Thrones, Heughan announced he was doing an appearance at the uptown Barbour store, and the first 20 in line would have the opportunity to take photos with the actor.
People started lining up the night before the event.
“Can you believe it? They’ve been there since midnight,” Heughan said, clearly bewildered by his own stardom, as we sat down to breakfast. “I was terrified that no one would turn up, and that I would have to fly my family out to pretend that they want to come and see me. It’s magnificent.”
In person Heughan’s Scottish accent is much softer than that of his character, Jaime Fraser, and, of course, he’s sporting a Barbour plaid button-down instead of the show’s 18th-century period garb.
Heughan was recently named Barbour’s global brand ambassador, and we were there to talk shop about the partnership he calls “a perfect fit.” After all, he grew up in the same part of Scotland as the company’s founder John Barbour, an area called Dumfries and Galloway in the southwestern part of the country.
“Barbour is a brand that I have grown up with and been associated with since I was living near the borders of Scotland,” he said. “I was brought up in a very rural area on grounds of a castle. It was a working farm, and I even remember the local shepherd wearing his Barbour jacket.”
So what does being a global brand ambassador entail, exactly? Doing promotional events like the one at the store and appearing advertisements—like these ones for Barbour’s shirt department which debuted earlier this summer—are a given. But what’s most intriguing to Heughan about the role role is the opportunity to design a collection for the brand.
“I’ve been working with their whole design team and Gary Janes, who is just this fascinating designer. And we’ve had many discussions and meetings about the line, and what we want it to represent, and how we can marry some of my ideas with their great heritage. We talked about everything that I love and then they made the prototypes.”
And while he’s never done anything related to fashion design before, Heughan wants to make sure he gets this right, visiting the brand workshops and the company’s archives to look at old catalogs, and jackets from the early 1900s, which helped to inspire the line.
“It’s completely new. Growing up as an actor, [fashion] isn’t something you ever think is going to be part of your job description, but it’s been great fun. This family at Barbour they’ve made me feel very welcome. And it’s been great to go down and see their workshops and see the people that work, and the community that they’ve got,” he said.
The collection is slated to launch with a collection of pieces for men and women for Fall 2017, but for now the vintage-inspired prototypes are being kept tightly under wraps.
No stranger to spoilers, Heughan was also tight-lipped when asked about Outlander season three, which will follow Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager novel. In fact, a siren roared the second I asked my question—even the city wanted the show’s secrets kept safe.
“I’m extremely excited about it. I feel already it’s a very strong season, and I think people are really going to enjoy it,” he said.
As for what’s next? Something tells me there could be a Barbour kilt in Heughan’s future.
“Actually, we’ll see. It might be in the pipeline,” he said of the prospect. “I love wearing them, and I think it would be really interesting to see a Barbour kilt, with all the different elements of what Barbour could bring with its wax or herringbone, and all these different materials and all these different fabrics. We may have talked about it. Who knows?”
Outlander fans can only hope.
En garde, Outlander fans: When the time-traveling series (and recipient of EW’s Poppy Award for Best Drama!) returns for a third season on Starz next year, the action will begin with the historic Battle of Culloden – a significant departure from the start of Voyager, the third book in Diana Gabaldon’s book series from which season 3 is based.
“It just felt like for the TV show, we’ve been promising this for a while and it just felt like we should have something,” executive producer Ronald D. Moore tells EW of the conflict that was first teased in the season 2 finale between the French-backed highlanders and the British army. “We should give the audience some sense of what happened on that moor.”
In the latest issue, EW offers an exclusive first look from the premiere episode when Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) goes mano e mano with his archenemy Jonathan Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), the British soldier who raped him in prison back in season 1. The two will engage in a dramatic duel, a detail that may throw fans of Gabaldon’s best-selling books. (Voyager starts with a battle-weary Jamie having almost no recollection of the 1746 battle that marked the end of the Scottish Clan system).
“We’re playing it out more,” promises Moore, who says the epic shoot in Scotland in August was “easily one of our biggest set pieces.”
There are plenty of other big developments planned for the new season – like Jamie’s romantic reunion with Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and their much-anticipated adventure on the high seas (we’ve got details on that, too!). Even better news: Sophie Skelton will reprise her role as Brianna, the daughter of Jamie and Claire, while Richard Rankin will return as Roger Wakefield for the drama that’s already been picked up for a fourth season.
“It’s daunting,” admits Balfe, who used her time off after season 1 to costar in this year’s Money Monster for director Jodie Foster. “Actors are completely neurotic people. It goes from ‘I would love a steady job’ to ‘Oh God, I have a steady job!’ But to have that stability, and to continue our lives with these characters, is really exciting.”
Wait, there’s more! Join in on the season 3 fun on Oct. 3 by tuning in to a special edition of Outlander Live! on EW Radio. Lynette Rice and Amy Wilkinson will interview executive producer Maril Davis, give away an Outlander Season 2 Collector’s Edition DVD, and take your calls! Outlander Live! airs at 2 p.m. ET on Sirius XM 105.
For more scoop on the new characters joining the Outlander action this season, plus a special treat from Gabaldon herself, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here now. And don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
And if that’s not enough, Gabaldon will also be at EW PopFest to talk all things Outlander on Sunday, Oct. 30. She joins a growing roster of guests, including Jennifer Aniston and the cast of Office Christmas Party; the casts of the CW’s Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow; Gilmore Girls creator/executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino and executive producer Daniel Palladino; Supernatural stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles; the cast of Happy Endings; “Three Rounds” with the Grey’s Anatomy doctors, and many more. Plus, Eddie Redmayne will be taking the stage to reveal a sneak peak of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and we’ll be kicking off the festivities with an advance screening of Marvel’s Doctor Strange.
Currently only have the cover image. Will add scans when I get my copy.
“It’s pretty ridiculous, isn’t it?”
I know I’m at the right place when I hear the screams. As I approach the Barbour store on NYC’s Madison Avenue, a man who seems handsome even from 100 feet away steps out of a car and the decibel count immediately goes up. Way up.
There’s a crowd behind a barricade on the pavement. One woman has been waiting there since midnight. Another arrived at 4 A.M., all the way from Washington, D.C. Another says she’s from Norway.
They’re here to see Sam Heughan, Outlander’s Jamie Fraser. He waves at the crowd cheerfully and poses for a couple of photos before striding through the doors, an admiring “He’s so nice!” wafting in after him. In a kind of echo, Heughan approvingly calls, “This is a nice store!” Everything definitely feels nice right now.
Among the storied tartans and jackets of the classic brand, I spoke to Heughan about his role as Barbour’s global brand ambassador, what we can expect from the third season of Outlander, and what he would be doing if he weren’t portraying an 18th-century Scotsman.
How did you come to collaborate with Barbour?
[Vice chairman of Barbour] Helen [Barbour] and I realized that I come from the same village that her ancestor John Barbour came from, who created Barbour. It just seemed like such a great connection. I grew up in Scotland, and everyone wore Barbour. It’s very practical, it’s very outdoorsy. It’s what the gamekeepers and the fishermen and the farmers would wear.
Do you have any particular outdoor memories of your childhood in that village?
It sounds almost unreal, but I was born and raised on old castlegrounds—Kenmure Castle.
That does sound made up.
It’s pretty ridiculous, isn’t it? But it was also a working farm, so we used to go help the local farmers dip the sheep and round up the sheep. The local shepherd, I vividly remember his old Barbour jacket, with a hipflask in the pocket. It just feels very familiar—like part of my childhood. The smell of the wax. Whenever I put one on now, it just feels comforting.
Sheep dipping—what is that?
It’s to cleanse the sheep of any pests. It’s an annual thing, before they shear the sheep.
So you’ve created a capsule collection with Barbour. What inspired the pieces?
They have this great archive where they have jackets that date back to when they first began in 1894. They’re still wearable; they’ve been so well maintained. That’s what inspired me. To see how, over the years, the jackets change to suit the purpose—for the Second World War, or for motorbike riders. It’s all practical.
So that’s what I wanted to reflect in my collection. I love the outdoors, I love climbing mountains. But I also like to walk down the street in New York in the fall and go to a bar. So what I require of a jacket is different, but it still has that heritage.
I read that you’re a fan of Bear Grylls. If you had to head out on an adventure right now, what would it be?
I’ve always been into endurance sport, which I think is more about your mind pushing your body, which is definitely why that Bear Grylls book sung to me. I’m kind of obsessed by Everest and all those men that mountaineer and take themselves to extreme limits. Having gone back to Scotland to work on Outlander, I’ve been climbing a lot and getting out in the Highlands.
I imagine it’s pretty cold in Scotland while you’re filming.
I came from Scotland this week—I’m filming now, and just finished the first two episodes of the third season. It’s freezing cold. It’s raining.
Isn’t it summer?
Yeah. It’s Scotland. It’s always wet. Scotland is about layering. The weather changes every 10 minutes.
Harper’s Bazaar went live with the Outlander star and Barbour brand ambassador Sam Heughan.
We're live with Outlander star and Barbour brand ambassador Sam Heughan. Leave all your questions in the comments!
Posted by Harper's Bazaar on Thursday, September 22, 2016
As you may recall, Season 2 of Outlander was heavy — especially when Jamie and Claire were living in France.
Their marriage was tested time and time again. Between trying to stop the Jacobite rebellion, dealing with great personal loss, and Jamie’s hair choices, they were really put through the wringer.
And in an exclusive look at a deleted scene from that dark time, we see them — once again — remember how much they love each other, even when Jamie’s headed to a brothel.
As Jamie’s leaving their ritzy Paris abode, Claire overhears him asking Fergus about a specific lady of ill repute. Which, like, come on, Jamie. Fergus is 11.
But it is, per usual, all Bonny Prince Charles’ fault. And Claire, knowing how high the stakes are, sends her husband off with love. Because, as you may also recall, they always find their way back to each other.
For more deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes extras, check out Outlander Season 2 on digital release Oct. 31, and on DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 1. And for book readers, the Amazon Exclusive Collectors Edition will include a new excerpt from Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, the upcoming ninth book in the Outlander series.