Some Like It Scot
“Claire has finally come back to him,” Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser) says of his on-screen wife, played by Caitriona Balfe. “This season is definitely the beginning of a new world and a new hope for them.”
Too Scot To Handle
Jamie and Claire enjoy the fine things that come with staying at Aunt Jocasta’s plantation. But how she runs her property is a big NOPE. “It’s a very beautiful place, and it has this great wealth and opportunity,” says Heughan. “But Jamie certainly doesn’t agree with the sort of politics or the slave trade.”
Scot and Bothered
“Of course there are moments of problems, of trials and tribulations, but overall I would say it’s much more hopeful this season,” says Caitriona Balfe (Claire).
Feeling Scot, Scot, Scot
“There’s a stability and a sense of calm between Jamie and Claire that we probably have not seen before, but obviously the price that she’s had to pay for that is not seeing her daughter,” says Balfe of her character.
“I think there’s something of a likeness between Claire and Aunt Jocasta,” Balfe says of the character played by Maria Doyle Kennedy. “But I think for Claire it’s very hard to get past the fact that she’s a plantation owner and that she owns slaves.”
In Scot Pursuit
“In many ways Claire’s function is very much the wife and the homemaker this season,” explains Balfe. “That is very different from the character that we’ve seen throughout the seasons before. I struggled with that a little bit in the beginning. Is this the same woman? What are we doing? How are we portraying this woman?”
Scot and Spicy
“They’re both still stubborn,” says Balfe of Jamie and Claire. “That’s never going to go away. I’m sure there are things that will come up and they’ll butt heads, but I think this is definitely the most in sync they’ve been in a while.”
Scot as Hell
“Sam has always been the greatest guy,” says Balfe. “He’s created this incredible career. He does so much. I just am so proud of him.”
Scot to Trot
“We were just overjoyed that they gave us a couple more seasons,” says Heughan. “It feels like there’s a new life and new energy this season as well as how it will be different because we’re in America. I think it’s going to be good. It’s going to be really refreshing.”
Heughan plays a spy alongside Kate McKinnon and Mila Kunis in “The Spy Who Dumped Me.”
It’s often said that the best place to hide is in plain sight, but for Sam Heughan, that advice might not hold true. The actor has been palling around New York to promote his latest project, a comedy spy film, and it’s difficult to remain incognito when you have a dedicated fan club waiting outside each stop (a contingency that calls themselves — wait for it — “Heughligans”).
But the Heughligans are at bay for the moment. Making his way up to a photo studio near Bryant Park, Heughan browses through the passport of one of his team members, taking in the stops stamped in her booklet.
The Scottish actor has been putting his own passport to good use recently. After wrapping press duties in America for “The Spy Who Dumped Me” — which took him to Budapest, Berlin and Amsterdam while filming — Heughan will head back home to Glasgow for 10 days to arrange for a visa for South Africa, where he’ll next film a comic book-based feature with actor Vin Diesel in Cape Town.
“[Cape Town’s] such a great city, it’s everything I love — it’s the outdoors, it’s very good food and good wine, people,” says Heughan, who’s also a global brand ambassador for Barbour. “I hike a lot there, cycle; I just passed my motorbike test so touring my bike around there. Not surfing — I don’t want to go in water full of sharks,” he says, listing off his downtime plans while in South Africa. “It’s an amazing country. You can do so much.”
Heughan is clearly devoted to a regimen of physical activity, so much so that it led him to develop a charitable initiative, My Peak Challenge, rooted in promoting an active lifestyle. “When I moved back to Scotland for ‘Outlander,’ I was rediscovering my country and going hiking and climbing and cycling and all of these things,” says Heughan, who spent his teenage years near Edinburgh. “And I was like, I really want to share my love of the outdoors and also challenge myself to do different things, and that’s sort of how My Peak Challenge was born.”
The initiative, which encourages goal-setting and provides around 10,000 members — “Peakers” — with video workouts and nutrition plans, benefits various charities, including Bloodwise and Marie Curie. An upcoming prize connected to the challenge is a trip to Scotland, but not just any trip to Scotland: “It’s like a date with me, but at one of our charity galas,” Heughan says, his cerulean eyes ablaze.
With his schedule pretty much mapped out through 2020, after filming the Vin Diesel movie “Bloodshot,” he has another project in October followed by picking back up with 10 months of filming for season five of “Outlander” early next year. He credits exercise, and quiet time at home, as grounding forces.
“Exercise really helps me. It provides structure and to be honest, just being home, like in your own bed and a quiet evening. It sounds really boring, but actually it’s the moment when you can switch off and kind of regroup,” he says.
Heughan, who came up through the theater world and trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, has been in New York making the rounds for the female-led comedy “The Spy Who Dumped Me.” “It’s almost like the traditional Bond films have been flipped. You have female Bond roles, and I’m kind of like a bimbo really, I suppose,” he says of his character.
(Speaking of James Bond, Heughan is the latest name rumored to be in the running for the iconic role after Daniel Craig relinquishes his duties next year.)
In the film, Heughan plays a spy who provides contrast for the kookiness of leads Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. “The comedy for me was to play the straight guy and be a sort of bouncing board for them — they’re zany, and [my character] is like ‘what the hell is going on?’ It was fun to do that,” he says. “I’d never been a part of that, really; I come from a classical drama training of Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky and Chekhov, and then I was watching these women work, and there’s a real technique to it; it’s incredible. It’s not just like they’re funny people — they are funny — but it’s more about how hard they work.”
Says the film’s director and cowriter Susanna Fogel, “He’s very warm and level and played a good foil for [McKinnon]’s craziness, because he played the buttoned-up guy very well, but not in a cold way. He can go from being intimidating and scary to being somebody that you’re rooting for because he has that innate warmth.” And like a true shape-shifting undercover agent, he can also be funny.
“Comedy is kind of exciting because it’s very alive, there’s some energy to it and you have to keep it alive. It’s amazing when it works, and when it doesn’t you can feel it. So I can see how it can be addictive,” says Heughan, who doesn’t have any other comedic projects on the horizon — well, unless you count “Outlander.” “I think there’s always a comedic element, even actually to ‘Outlander.’ It’s the situations and how characters react to situations,” he says.
Heughan just wrapped season four of the Starz show, which has helped generate his dedicated fan base. He describes filming the upcoming season as having been tough and crazy, but adds that he thinks they “ended on probably the strongest finale of any season.”
In the new season, the cast is headed to America circa the 1700s. “It’s very much the pioneers and settlers, so it’s a lot of time spent in woods, and building and in the mud,” Heughan says. While that part of the season is set in North Carolina, Heughan got to stay local for the shoot. “We had to find specific locations in Scotland that look like North Carolina. It’s remarkable — it really does, we have these great forests in Scotland, and these incredible trees that are so old, and mountain ridges. I went to North Carolina to see where we were supposed to be set, and it does look remarkably similar.”
It’s a good thing that Heughan likes to spend so much time outside. During his recent time spent in New York, he has seen a few shows, including Armie Hammer’s “Straight White Men” (he liked it), and he has been training with Ed Naper. “I spend a lot of time here – I love walking around the streets. And [the city] is so easy to walk,” he says. “When I was here last week, I had a meeting just off Central Park, and then I walked all the way down to SoHo. It’s just such a nice walk.”
So if you’re trying to find him, just look to Broadway. If nothing else, you’re bound to see him up on a billboard along the way.
Sam was at AOL Build today promoting The Spy Who Dumped Me. Check out clips from his interview (I will add the full interview soon) as well as photos from the event and recent photo session additions. Enjoy!
July 30 – Arriving/Leaving AOL Build
2018: Photo Session #05
2018: Photo Session #04
2018: Photo Session #03
I’ve added a bunch of new photos to the gallery from Sam’s recent appearances, missing scans, and photo session additions. Check out the list below! I’m so excited Sam is getting so much press at the moment.
2018: May 15 – This Morning TV Show
2018: May 15 – This Morning TV Show: Stills
2018: May 13 – BAFTA – recent additions
2018: May 13 – BAFTA: Inside & Backstage – recent additions
2018: May 5 – Harry Josh Pro Tools Anniversary Party
2018: May 5 – Stirling Scottish Marathon
2018: Photo Session #01 – recent additions
2016: Backstage – recent additions | PLEASE CREDIT IF YOU REPOST
2017: TV Guide – recent additions
2018: Entertainment Weekly
2018: GQ (UK)
2018: The Scots
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.”
Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve been preoccupied with other things. I have sooooo much I want to add to the site. I have a “to be sorted and added folder” with well over 1,000 photos to add to the site as well as a new design I am working on. I’m getting there! In the meantime, check out some new (old) photo session additions I have added to the gallery. I’ve also added new outtakes to Caitriona as well on Caitriona-Balfe.com if you’re interested in seeing those head on over there.
Sam Heughan has super fans. They’re not casual admirers; they don’t just ask for autographs and snap selfies. They’re on the popstar level—not just fans but fanatics. They camp out on the sidewalk overnight; they dedicate their free time to making hyperactive social media fan pages; they hyperventilate at the mere sight of the guy. Justin Bieber might understand.
The actor has the incredible success of his show, Outlander, to thank for his fame. The time-traveling drama has crafted a unique cult following and reawakened the lust for romanticized love in modern television. (And if you think it’s not for you, you should probably reconsider.) As Jamie Fraser, the fiercely loyal husband to costar Caitriona Balfe’s Claire Fraser, he’s not only a principle mover of the plot, but a lightning rod for audience obsession.
Of course, bedroom eyes and tortured love aren’t the only defining features of Outlander. It’s also set in Scotland, where Heughan was born and bred. The setting is the perfect background for the show, and the style influence that comes through on screen is one that tracks through to Heughan’s personal life as well. We talked him about the success of the show, his Scottish upbringing, and his own style evolution.
On his personal style
My personal style is a mix of of practicality, functionality, but also classic and high-quality fabrics as well. I’m a big fan of Scottish tweed and herringbone—a lot of my kilts are herringbone. Tartan as well. I think I look for something quality and something that’s maybe handcrafted. It feels good, it’s comfortable, and also the quality of the texture—it feels good, it’s comforting. A lot of the detailing in the jackets [Heughan has a capsule collection with iconic UK outerwear brand Barbour], there’s Scottish tartan or tweed on the cuffs. It’s about fine details and practicality. It’s about layering, about being cozy, and about being stylish as well.
On working with Barbour
We’ve been working on this collection for almost a year. They’ve taken into account all the things I love about Scotland, and about clothing. I think they’ve incorporated it beautifully. Barbour has this great tradition of manufacturing. It’s all handmade, and it’s a great investment. If you buy one of these jackets, it’s going to last you a lifetime.
On his Scottish influence
I’ve got three formal kilts and two less formal, for when I’m drinking beer. A lot of the landscape of Scotland and the weather and the fibers and fabrics—it’s all reflected in the Barbour collection, especially the tartan element. Scotland is always with me; I’m a proud Scotsman. I think when you wear a piece of this collection, you have a bit of Scotland with you.
On cutting his long hair from the show
I like [my grooming] slightly rugged, slightly loose. I’m a guy; we want to just throw it in and be done. I use Kevin Murphy products. I was desperate to have my hair short, but I kind of miss long hair. You might see it again.
On the success of Outlander
We’ve been working on it for four years, and it’s just amazing. This is my favorite season, probably because there’s a lot of Jamie in it. But every episode is different. It’s given me so many great opportunities. It really comes down to the fans; they’ve supported us, they’ve guided us, and they’ve given us their opinions. It’s amazing.