Outlander star Sam Heughan has recalled filming a nude scene on the show, which he felt betrayed his “trust in the creative team a bit”.
The actor spoke of the “horror” scene back in season 1 of the Starz show as part of his new memoir Waypoints: My Scottish Journey.
The moment in question saw his character Jamie Fraser become the victim of rape at the hands of Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies), Heughan writing that the show “has never turned away from sexual violence” and he was contractually obliged to film nude scenes.
“As a reflection of the era, the story can be unflinching. And with that comes a sense of responsibility,” he wrote (via TVLine and Insider), saying the scene “had to be difficult to watch, and that made it all the more challenging to shoot”.
However, he added: “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.”
“I pushed back, reasoning that nudity sexualised a horrific experience for my character, and it sparked quite a debate.
“Creative conversations are a feature of all productions, good art is made by questioning the truth and we all want to get it right.”
The actor revealed that he and the team agreed that Jamie would only be shown fully naked in the aftermath of the rape, though eventually the nude shots were removed altogether.
Heughan suggested “it would have been handled differently” had the scenes been made today, continuing: “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.”
Digital Spy has reached out to Starz for comment on Heughan’s claims.
Outlander airs on Starz in the US