- Sam Heughan has discussed his role on “Outlander” in his memoir, “Waypoints: My Scottish Journey.”
- In the show’s first season, he filmed a scene that included an “unnecessary” shot of his penis.
- While the shot “ended on the cutting room floor,” Heughan said it left him feeling betrayed.
Sam Heughan has said that he felt betrayed by the creative team behind “Outlander” after filming a rape scene in which an “unnecessary” shot of his penis was included.
Heughan has been playing the role of Jamie Fraser, an 18th-century Highland warrior in the Starz series, since 2014.
While the show recently aired its sixth season, the Scottish actor admitted that a scene back in season one, in which his character is sexually assaulted by his nemesis Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), pushed the boundaries of what he was comfortable with.
Writing in his memoir “Waypoints: My Scottish Journey,” Heughan recalled that early on in the show’s filming, he was aware that the series — which is based on a series of bestselling novels by American author Diana Gabaldon — was leading his character to a “dark, bleak and challenging place.”
Noting that he was contractually required to film nude scenes and that the drama has “never turned away from sexual violence,” Heughan wrote that he strongly felt it wasn’t crucial for him to strip down for the brutal attack scene, which concluded the show’s first season.
“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.
“I pushed back, reasoning that nudity sexualized a horrific experience for my character, and it sparked quite a debate,” he continued. “Creative conversations are a feature of all productions, good art is made by questioning the truth and we all want to get it right.”
Eventually, Heughan and the creative team came to an agreement that Jamie would only be seen naked in the aftermath of the rape. It was decided in postproduction that the explicit shots would be left “on the cutting room floor” and not shown to audiences.
Heughan went on to write that if the scene were to be filmed today, “it would have been handled differently,” adding: “Times have changed. The cock shot was unnecessary and did betray my trust in the creative team a bit. We don’t need to see the horror to imagine what the characters go through. Imagination is way more powerful.”
Heughan’s remarks echo comments he made to Insider in early 2022 ahead of the release of the drama’s sixth season.
Reflecting on the same scene, he told entertainment reporter Libby Torres: “I didn’t feel that supported, looking back at it in hindsight.”