Outlander’s Sam Heughan has admitted he wasn’t sure the second season of Men In Kilts would ever get made.
After travelling through Scotland with Dougal Mackenzie star Graham McTavish in the first outing on Starz, the follow-up was severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Honestly, it was a real saga and I think it’s amazing that we even made it,” Heughan recalled.
“It was towards the end of the Covid situation and we’d been talking about where we want to go for the next season and also the book.”
Heughan and McTavish ultimately decided on New Zealand for season two, but they had an array of options to choose from.
“We’d talked about Scandinavia, we’d talked about the North of Scotland, the islands, the Highlands. Maybe even Ireland,” he told the Silence on Set podcast.
“But New Zealand was the place. It had no Covid and was relatively open at the time. So, we planned on that.”
Unfortunately, despite New Zealand seeming like the ideal location for the follow-up series, getting there wasn’t going to be easy.
“But, of course, all good plans go awry,” he went on. “I got Covid, I had an injury.
“Then there was a lottery system to get into the country. We couldn’t get in, I couldn’t get a ticket. Eventually, I did and I had to go into quarantine when I was there.”
Their adventures were eventually released on Starz in August 2023, and are also available in book form, titled Clanlands in New Zealand: Kilts, Kiwis and an Adventure Down Under.
Heughan gave a shout-out to Starz and the book’s publisher, (Octopus Publishing Group) and credited their “determination” for getting them through the challenging production.
Still, even while plans were being finalised for season two, it was never a guarantee that the shoot would be a success.
“There were many times where I thought, ‘I’m not sure this is gonna happen’,” he admitted.
“But also, I’m not sure if I even want to go through this. But I’m so glad I did because we had such an incredible, amazing time.”
Heughan’s biggest role, as Jamie Fraser in the hit Starz drama Outlander, was also hit by delays when the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA went on strike earlier this year.
The strike is now tentatively at an end after 118 days, meaning the Scottish star and his on-screen partner Caitriona Balfe are able to return to set for the eighth and final season of the popular drama.