Outlander: Did Sam Heughan nearly miss out Jamie Fraser role? Star opens up

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Outlander has made stars out of Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe for their stirring performances as Jamie and Claire Fraser. The pair have been recognised for their work on the Starz series with a slew of award nominations and the like. However, it could have been a completely different story after Heughan recently opened up in a recent interview about his struggles when he was starting out in his career before winning the part of the 18th century Highlander.

Did Sam Heughan nearly miss out Jamie Fraser role in Outlander?

Speaking to Doctor Who star and the acclaimed writer, director, actor of Kidulthood Noel Clarke in a recent interview, Heughan reflected on his career and how tough he had found it as a jobbing actor.

Heughan revealed he’d been close to penniless and living in a flat in North London for a time prior to landing the part which sent his career and acting profile skyrocketing.

Heughan explained: “I’d been in America. I had some relative success and failure and came back and spent all my money.

“I was 34-years-old. I didn’t have any money and I was like, ‘God, I’m going to have to sign on again.’ And at 34 years old, living in a bedroom shared apartment, no real prospects of being able to support myself.

“I was really having to consider, ‘What am I going to do? Am I going to continue like this? Am I this dedicated that I’m going to dedicate my life to this?’ But I think I was prepared to give it another couple of years and see what happens.

“But I think that probably ignorance or stubbornness is so important in this industry.

“It was then I got this audition for this little-known show Outlander. I didn’t know it was a series of books. I went out and bought the book and the rest is kind of history.”

He added: “It changed my life. It’s given me so much opportunity. I’ve learnt a lot and here I am now. I couldn’t be more thankful.”

From the star’s words, it’s clear Heughan’s dogged determination and passion for the craft kept him going despite the odds of success.

The actor went on to reflect about the future of the series, saying it could go on for a while yet with Jamie now 50.

He said: “We’ve finished season five. We’re waiting to go back for season six. Diana Gabaldon has written almost 10 books now.”

Heughan is now working non-stop and doing other projects when Outlander is off-season.

Among his non-Outlander roles are action movie Bloodshot and romantic action comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me.

He will also be appearing in a factual series called Men in Kilts, which reunited Heughan with his co-star Graham McTavish as they ventured through the wilds of Scotland exploring the country’s history and culture.

The show started off as a podcast series but was quickly picked up by Outlander network Starz with the actor also producing the show.

Heughan’s strong work ethic means fans can expect a slew of other projects including the star taking on the lead in the Paul Newman biopic An Unquiet Life, SAS: Red Notice and Mr Malcolm’s List.

He admitted he wanted to become more of a creative behind-the-scenes as well as continuing to act.

Season six saw both Heughan and Balfe getting producer credits for their work behind the camera.

Heughan explained: “As an actor, you kind of spend most of your life begging for a job or trying to find a job and suddenly you get in a position where you begin to start getting offered stuff and you can begin to forge more of a defined career. I’m enjoying the different projects I’ve done.”

The star continued: “To be honest, for me, it’s now about looking for projects which are challenging in some way.

“Whether the character or people you get to work with or inspiring people you learn from.

“As I said, creating my own content. It’s about now, about, ‘Let’s find some really interesting stuff that we can learn more and grow as actors.’”

Outlander seasons 1 to 5 is streaming on Amazon Prime Video now

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