Sam Heughan opens up about the latest season of his hit TV show “Outlander” and shares his fondest memories from working on “Bloodshot.”
Scottish actor Sam Heughan is known primarily for his portrayal of Jamie Fraser, the male lead and one of the most intriguing characters from “Outlander.” As a historical drama series based on the novel series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon, “Outlander” follows Claire Randall (played by Caitriona Balfe), a married former World War II nurse, who in 1946 finds herself transported back to Scotland in 1743. There, she encounters a dashing Highland warrior, who is, of course, none other than the aforementioned Jamie Fraser.
Being a part of “Outlander” has had a huge impact on the Heughan’s life. Of course, the same can be said for some of the other projects that he’s involved with this year, from a line of Scotch whiskies called The Sassenach to the multiple movie projects including “Bloodshot” and also “An Unquiet Life.” DA MAN caught up with Heughan before the release of the latest season of “Outlander” to discuss some of the ins and outs about the show, as well as his experience working with Vin Diesel in the aforementioned “Bloodshot” and what drew him to the world of acting in the first place.
DA MAN: Hi Sam, it’s great to have you with us. How are you doing these days?
Sam Heughan: I’m doing very good, thank you. Right now, I’m currently stuck in America due to the Coronavirus and pretty much unsure whether to return back to the United Kingdom, as it also looks bad down there. However, I’ve been working on various projects and looking forward to release a free fitness program, with my charity fundraiser MPC (My Peak Challenge) to promote a healthy lifestyle. Aside to that, we will also be auctioning some of my new whisky “The Sassenach” to support World City Kitchen and the great work that Chef Jose Andres is doing.
DA: Many of your old and current works caught our attention, but one: “Outlander.” What is it like being part of this series?
SH: It’s been six years of my life and “Outlander” has changed my whole career. It’s brought opportunities and I’m so thankful for that. I have a film career, several movies coming out this year, a TV show which I produced, directed, financed and, of course, I am now a producer on “Outlander,” too. I’m also thankful for the fans and their generous support.
DA: “Outlander” season five. How do you feel right now?
SH: I’m excited. Everyone does amazing work this season. It’s definitely a strong season.
DA: On a more personal note, what’s your favorite part of “Outlander” season five?
SH: For me, the story line of my character Jamie Fraser having to side with the British, fight against his godfather and support everything that he has previously fought against was a terrific and conflicting storyline. Aside to that, personally, episode seven is my favorite.
DA: What would you say is one of the most memorable or awesome parts of working on the show? Something that has really stuck with you long after filming wrapped up?
SH: Definitely the fans. The commitment, the respect, support and excitement. We are so lucky to have them. I feel their involvement on a daily basis.
DA: On that note, what do you think will fans find most memorable from the new season of “Outlander”?
SH: This season finale is the most challenging one. I think the fans will be shock about this one.
DA: In your opinion, what are some of the biggest factors behind the success of “Outlander”?
SH: The fans and Diana Gabaldon’s writing are the biggest factors behind the success of “Outlander.” Both the fans and also her support is priceless. We are so fortunate to have great material to draw upon. We are currently preparing for next season and Gabaldon will be writing for next season, too!
DA: Looking back, do you still remember the moment you saw the “Outlander” script for the first time? What’s the one thing that crossed your mind then?
SH: I felt overwhelmed and excited. Even now, I’m lucky that I still get excited each time we get a new script.
“As a Scottish person, I respect and love our culture and history. It was an honor for me to be able to bring that to the world”
DA: In playing Jamie Fraser, what kind of ideas did you incorporate into your depiction of him? How did you prepare to step into the shoes of a man like that?
SH: As a Scottish person, I respect and love our culture and history. It was an honor for me to be able to bring that to the world.
DA: Your character has gone through a lot of development throughout the show’s run. Was it a fun role to play?
SH: To be honest with you, I’ve never lived a character this long. It’s been a great journey to see him grow and so on. In some ways, he’s not that man he was. He’s more experienced right now; yet at the core, he’s still the Jamie Fraser we all love.
DA: Moving on to movies, this year you’re delving into the superhero genre through “Bloodshot.” What can moviegoers expect from this action title?
SH: I’m so proud of this movie. It was unfortunate as it was released during the Corona pandemic. Obviously, I’m glad people are staying safe and I’m so happy it’s about to be release online. It is a terrific, engaging superhero action movie that is based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name. The characters are real, broken and fascinating at the same time. I know moviegoers will love the twist.
“The Royal Lyceum Theater in Edinburgh, ‘Macbeth’ and the silence of an audience listening”
DA: Can you tell us a bit about how you ended up being cast for this film project?
SH: I really loved the script. I talked with [director] Dave Wilson and after that I just knew that I had to work with him. He’s a complete talent; driven and really focused on what he wants. He created a fully realized world and I know the fans will love that. It’s so badass!
DA: What can you tell us about the character you’re playing? His powers and so on…
SH: Valiant comics are never based on superheroes. They’re real people. These characters are enhanced by technology, much as we are now. They’re all ex-service men and women, which are the best, but slightly broken. My character is a brilliant ex-Navy SEAL. He’s a paraplegic and has been admitted to a new secret program. He’s not a bad guy… he’s just angry at the world.
DA: What, would you say, is the number-one reason to go out, or stay in, and watch “Bloodshot”?
SH: It’s an intelligent, engaging new comic book movie which will reveal something new each time you watch it!
DA: In this movie you played together with Vin Diesel. What are some of your fondest memories of working with him?
SH: I worked with one of the biggest and most successful action heroes of all time. It was an honor and I learned so much. Vin Diesel’s work, his precision, respect and sense of family was unique. I respect him greatly.
DA: You also have “An Unquiet Life” coming out this year if we’re not mistaken. What can you tell us about this one?
SH: Yes. It’s about Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal: Their journey through the grief over losing a child and the creativity that comes out of coming to terms with it. It’s a beautiful and heartfelt piece. My character is Paul Newman. He’s an icon. A genuinely decent human being, generous and a terrific actor. It was a great honor.
DA: When you’re considering potential film projects, what do you look for at first?
SH: Something challenging, and different. You got something good for me?
DA: Do you have anything like a dream project? Or perhaps a bucket list of stories and people you really want to work with?
SH: I grew up and fell in love with theater primarily. I’d love to go back and intend it. Maybe Shakespeare or some new writing.
DA: Looking even further ahead, what are your long-term goals?
SH: I also have some great projects I’m working on at the moment. Producing a TV show, my new spirits company and some other things I’m invested in. It all reflects my heritage and passion.
DA: On the flip side, if we go back to the very beginning of your journey, what was it that first drew you to the world of acting?
SH: The Royal Lyceum Theater in Edinburgh, “Macbeth” and the silence of an audience listening.
DA: If there’s one lesson you’ve learned about making it as an actor, what would it be?
SH: Definitely patience.
DA: And outside of the realm of acting and filmmaking, what else are you most passionate about?
SH: Wow, there’s a lot of them, from Rugby, running, cooking alone, whisky, working out, mountains and also preserving this planet for future generations.
DA: Last question: What was the most inspiring, badass or otherwise awesome line that you ever had the pleasure of saying in front of a camera?
SH: “Kill them all” from “Outlander” season five.
PHOTOGRAPHY MITCHELL NGUYEN MCCORMACK
STYLING MONTY JACKSON AT SWA
GROOMING DAVID COX AT ART DEPARTMENT
PRODUCTION JUSTIN KAPPENSTEIN
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