Outlander's Sam Heughan Explains Why Jamie Fraser Is Such A Babe

Photo: Courtesy of Starz.
Pictured: Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser.
It's a very cold, very wet January day in Touch, Scotland, and everyone on the Outlander crew says I should be covered in head-to-toe waterproofs. Instead, my very permeable Uggs are damp and splattered with mud. Episode 12 of season 2 is filming on location in Touch House, part of an estate that dates back to the 1400s. Cameras and lighting equipment fill every corner as the crew sets up a scene, and I find myself pinned against a wall to stay out of the way. I hear some shuffling and cast a glance to my right, where a dramatic circular staircase takes up much of the space. That's when I see him.

Sam "Jamie Fraser" Heughan is slowly making his way down the grand staircase, dressed in his signature kilt. He sees me, flashes a winning smile, and says hello, to which I garble something vaguely audible. With Duncan Lacroix (who plays Jamie's best pal, Murtagh) following closely behind, Heughan stands in front of me and takes his sword from the prop guy. Caitriona Balfe (i.e. Jamie's time-traveling wife, Claire) is the picture of 18th-century Highland elegance as she makes her way down the stairs in her muted tartan frock. She spends the rest of the day cutting up with the cast and keeping warm by a space heater in a tiny room designated as the cast's "green room" for the day. Graham McTavish (Dougal MacKenzie) is in there reading a book on Jack the Ripper, while the rest of the actors pounce on a stash of granola bars brought in as a mid-day treat.

Later, talking to Heughan as he eats salad from a Tupperware container between scenes, the Scottish actor shrugs off his new status as a heartthrob. The real babe, he told Refinery29, is Jamie.

"I guess I’m doing well and they [fans] like the character Jamie, and I’m just lucky to play that character," he demurred, his accent much softer in real life than Fraser's thick burr. "Yeah, I’m lucky because he’s a great character to play. He’s admirable, isn’t he? He’s a bit of a hero, but also has this sort of sensitive side. We get to see the size of him in season 2."

The last time Outlander viewers saw their beloved Highlander, he was battered, bruised and bound for France. Though still struggling to recover from his brutal rape and torture by Captain Jack Randall, he remains determined to help Claire rewrite history by infiltrating the Jacobites and stopping their rebellion in Scotland.

"Jamie is saved, but he’s not cured," Heughan said, situating his character this season. "He still definitely is battling the trauma and probably the psychological effects of what happened to him. The psychology certainly does come into play. Jamie and Claire are in Paris for a reason. They’re there to change history and they have a mission. Jamie throws himself into that wholeheartedly to take his mind off things. He’s working on the mission in the day, but also going out drinking at night, not really addressing the problem, which then creates yet more problems."

And what of those steamy sex scenes between Jamie and Claire? We've been assured there's more to come, but the couple will also be experiencing some growing pains.

"The show isn’t about sex," Heughan said. "It’s about the relationship, and in season 1 we saw the young couple learning about each other. They were very naive, and it was about discovery. In season 2, they are now expectant parents, so more adult and richer. I guess season 1 was the honeymoon period, and season 2 would be marriage."
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