hundreds of thousands of women around the world is no easy task. Just ask Sam
Heughan, who plays 18th-century Scottish Highlander Jamie Fraser in "Outlander," the much-talked about hit show on Starz based on a series of best-selling novels by Diana Gabaldon.
Heughan, 35, plays The King of Men, Jamie
Fraser, a 23-year-old-virgin who married the older Claire Randall in
order to save her life. Filled with love, drama, adventure, a cast of strong
women and potent sex, the period piece wraps up its first season on Starz, May 30.
At first, the naïve,
23-year-old virgin, Jamie, "doesn't know very much about sex," admits Heughan. But he is a
quick study—experimenting in various ways over the course of the season from straight
up missionary, to sex in the wild, on a chair, on the rug, orally and, as
viewers discover at the end of Season 1, well, other ways with other people.
You have to work out where the camera is going to be and where you are going to put your body parts. It's very strange and completely takes away all the magic.
sex scenes that bare almost all are not new to Heughan, who has performed
intimate scenes on stage in his native Scotland and in London. But
shooting scenes for "Outlander," he says, was another level entirely.
probably the most intimate of anything I've done on camera," he says of scenes opposite
gorgeous ex-runway model and co-star Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire. "It's
very different for camera. There are 18 hairy crew members watching you, and it
can be quite intimidating. I feel bad for the cameraman, he knows more about me
than anyone else in the world."
One episode, "The Reckoning," contains the
famous leather strap spanking scene, that, while controversial for a 21st-century audience, ultimately serves the story and brings the characters closer, Heughan said.
to punish her for doing something wrong, and it creates a rift between them," he
Claire gets her revenge later in the episode, when Jamie learns
one should never leave his dirk nearby when engaging in makeup sex with an equally
aroused, yet enraged, wife.
was the first sex scene we shot, and it's pretty intense," he says. "Sex is a
major part of their relationship. They are very physical people and strongly attracted
to each other. I love that moment. It shows his level of respect [for
Claire] and shows that they are equals."
Shooting was very physical and very dark. It's pretty horrific.
very careful about what we want the audience to see and not to see," he
explains. "You have to work out where the camera is going to be and where you
are going to put your body parts. It's very strange and completely takes away
all the magic."
also creates millions of fans—those college girls who grew up dreaming of the
red-headed Highlander and new fans of the books and show. Heughan is one of
Hollywood's rising stars, with "Heughligans" creating Twitter accounts that follow
his character's kilt, hair and even his ass—for which there is no butt double ("vicious rumor!").
only two episodes left, there are brutal confrontations ahead for Heughan's
character opposite actor Tobias Menzies' Black Jack Randall.
are some of the most intense scenes I've ever worked on, really full on," he
says. "But for Tobias [Menzies, who plays Jack Black Randall] and coming from
a theater background, we felt we have done this before and we could really go
for it. I had a hell of a lot of prosthetic work, beginning at 4 a.m. for four
hours, and then a couple of hours to take it off. It was all very tiring, but
kind of helped me get into the mindset of Jamie, to knuckle down and stay
mentally strong. Shooting was very physical and very dark. It's pretty
really putting yourself out there, asking yourself whether you can do something
like that or not," he says. "Asking yourself, 'Do I want to do this?' I have to
break it down to the character and where he's at. If you approach it from that
side, there is a real sense of achievement when you shoot something and put
yourself into it whole heartedly."