As the leading man of an epic love story, in this case Jamie Fraser in Starz’s “Outlander,” Sam Heughan has more than shown viewers his romantic side. But to live a life apart from his destined love required the actor to channel grief rather than romance.
The first half of the third season of the time-traveling drama explored the two decades that Jamie and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) lived apart after he sent her to the future (the 1940s) to raise their baby. For Jamie, who was expecting to die in the battle of Culloden but didn’t, the ensuing years of coping with love lost was a battle of emotions.
Heughan, on a short break from production overseas on the fourth season, stopped by The Times studio recently to discuss the approach he took in bringing weight to the pain.
“It’s the different stages of grief, really,” Heughan said. “He goes through anger, sadness … eventually acceptance. Each episode was so strong, and he’s such a different character … but he’s still living in the memory of Claire, living in the shadows.”
Though Claire is raising their daughter in the future with her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies), viewers still got a glimpse of Jamie as a father — albeit a restricted glimpse. He comes to father an illegitimate son, Willie, who he helps to raise temporarily. And he also becomes the stepfather to two daughters.
“He’s always wanted to be a father figure,” Heughan said. “It’s something he yearns for.”