Why Outlander’s Sam Heughan Says He Felt Betrayed by the Show During Its First Season

In an excerpt from his new book, Outlander star Sam Heughan said a difficult scene during the show's first season "would have been handled differently" now. Find out why he was disappointed.

By Daniel Trainor Oct 27, 2022 9:44 PMTags
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Sam Heughan is speaking his mind.

The 42-year-old actor, who has played Jamie Fraser on all six seasons of the Starz historical drama Outlander, said the show's creative team managed to "betray his trust" during the show's first season. 

In his new memoir Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, Heughan referenced a particularly brutal scene between his character and Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) in the season one finale, in which Jamie is sexually assaulted by Black Jack. Heughan said he didn't think it was necessary for his character to strip naked for the scene.

"This wasn't a moment where I felt that being naked would add to the horror of what Jamie undergoes in that castle dungeon as a form of punishment, subjugation, and humiliation," Heughan wrote, according to Insider. "I pushed back, reasoning that nudity sexualized a horrific experience for my character, and it sparked quite a debate." 

The Outlander team was willing to listen, as Heughan wrote, "Creative conversations are a feature of all productions, good art is made by questioning the truth and we all want to get it right."

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Ultimately, they came to an agreement to only show his character naked in the aftermath of being raped and that the most gratuitous shots would be "left on the cutting room floor."

Still, Heughan's opinion on the matter never changed.

"The cock shot was unnecessary and did betray my trust in the creative team a bit," he wrote. "We don't need to see the horror to imagine what the characters go through. Imagination is way more powerful."

Andy Kropa/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Heughan acknowledged that "times have changed" and if the same scene was filmed today, "It would have been handled differently."

The seventh season of Outlander, starring Heughan, has begun filming. His book Waypoints: My Scottish Journey is available now.

E! News has reached out to Outlander producers for comment and hasn't heard back.

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