Sam Heughan, the actor who plays the delectable Jamie Fraser in hit TV show Outlander talks to Scottish Field about filming, keeping fit and his passion for whisky… and avocados.
I’ve wanted to act since I was a child. My parents took me to the theatre a lot after we moved to Edinburgh from Galloway when I was 12. The Lyceum had a free ticket system for previews and it was a great insight into the world of acting. When things went wrong you would see ‘behind the curtain’. I realised how much hard work goes into every production.
I had lots of jobs before I went to drama school and when I was a jobbing actor. I worked in cafes and bars, as a theatre usher, reception work, worked in Harrods, delivered sandwiches by bike and served whisky in a sushi bar.
I’ve been filming Outlander in Cape Town. It’s beautiful with so much to do. I hope to leave with a better understanding of the culture. I think travel is very valuable.
Scotland is undoubtedly the star of Outlander. I’m so proud of the country and all it has to offer. I’ve learnt so much about it and fallen in love with it even more while filming. Most recently we were at Dunure harbour as the sun came up, looking out at the snow-capped peaks of Arran. We are so lucky to have this beauty on our doorstep.
I won’t tell anyone where my favourite place in Scotland is. It’s mine … but it might be somewhere on Skye.
Working out is my way of switching off. Playing Jamie requires me to be in good shape so I train regularly. Hiking, climbing and cycling are a great way to clear my head after filming, especially certain difficult scenes. I did the LA marathon and the Great North Run this year. I recently created a healthy lifestyle charity fundraiser called My Peak Challenge (www.mpc2017.com). It’s a lifestyle and fitness challenge for all abilities and it raises funds for Bloodwise, for blood cancer research.
I can’t bear it when people talk on their phones when they are in the company of others. How rude is that?
I’ve started collecting memorabilia from various jobs. Just a few props and interesting pieces. I collect whisky too, but it keeps depleting. I like Japanese whiskies and I have a special edition Talisker from 1980.
Whisky is my guilty pleasure. It suits any occasion. It can bring people together and there’s nothing I like more than sharing a dram with friends, or making new ones. I’m a huge fan of Islay whiskies. We shot some scenes for Outlander in the Balvenie distillery and it smelt amazing.
I play a few brass instruments, but not very well. I love alternative Scottish music too. Bands like Frightened Rabbit, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Mànran and Martyn Bennett.
I’m a big rugby fan. That’s why I love Edinburgh so much, it’s a great rugby city.
I lived near Arthur’s Seat when I lived in Edinburgh. It was a great house and Arthur’s Seat was the perfect playground as a child. I always have a wee run up there when I’m back in the city. It’s a great place for a walk with amazing views of the city.
Outlander has the best fans. They are the most dedicated group of people who really support the show. It’s humbling how generous they can be and we love interacting with them. I’ve been sent lots of lovely gifts. Everything from candy and peanut butter, to hand-made quilts, pictures and clothing. I was once sent a crate of avocados. Fortunately I love avocados.
MORE: Sam Heughan backs tartan weaving enterprise – click HERE for more details.