Sam Heughan may be the only actor whose back requires more time in makeup than his face.
As Jamie Fraser in the Starz series “Outlander,” whose next eight episodes launch Saturday at 9 p.m., Heughan has a back that’s craggier than the Scottish countryside where the show is filmed. Basically, Jamie gets whipped a lot, which hasn’t prevented him from marrying Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), who puzzlingly time-traveled from 1945 England to 1743 Scotland.
That’s her big secret. He has secrets, too.
“Jamie’s very guarded,” says Heughan. “We never see more than he wants to reveal.
“There’s another life to Jamie. He can’t go back home. He has a sister with whom he doesn’t see eye to eye. We’re learning more about his relationship with Claire. He says he loves her, but she’s tearing his guts out.”
We also may learn why he’s gotten whipped so much, which would at least explain Heughan’s preparation schedule.
“It’s ridiculous,” he says. “I’ll get into makeup at 4 a.m. and be there until 8 or 9. And you have to be standing for most of it. But there was a lot of makeup time on ‘Game of Thrones,’ too, and fortunately the makeup team and I get on well. We play music. I also know a lot about prosthetics.”
Jamie, meanwhile, must navigate his attachment to a clan that seeks independence for Scotland. This clan also ordered him to marry Claire, which wasn’t the worst fate in the world, but did complicate both their lives. Between Claire’s hope of returning to her 1945 life and Jamie’s concerns about his own, nothing is easy.
“Jamie’s looking at his life,” says Heughan, “and wondering, ‘Is this my destiny?’
“It’s a marriage that’s constantly changing, because they need a lot from each other.”