Outlander star Sam Heughan opened up about filming for season six and revealed why it was unsettling to play Jamie Fraser.
Starz’s hit romance drama Outlander returned to screens with its highly anticipated sixth season in March, after fans were forced to wait just under two years. Although the instalment is significantly shorter than the past seasons, Sam Heughan revealed why it was unsettling to play his character Jamie Fraser.
Jamie Fraser made his first appearance on Outlander in season one as the Scottish Highlander who fell in love with a time-travelling nurse, Claire Fraser (Caitriona Balfe).
Although Claire was from the 20th century and Jamie was from the 18th, she decided to return to the past and live with him permanently.
However, this didn’t come without struggles, as Claire was faced with old fashioned attitudes and as a nurse, she had to try and heal people without the medication she needed as it was yet to be invented.
Nevertheless, the couple lived a relatively normal life on Fraser’s Ridge, where they were surrounded by their loved ones.
However, this all changed in season six when the instalment introduced a member from Jamie’s past Thomas Christie (Mark Lewis Jones).
Although the two had a hostile past from their shared time in jail, Thomas arrived at the ridge with his two children Allan Christie (Alexander Vlahos) and Malva Christie (Jessica Reynolds).
Things were also different for Claire as she was dealing with the trauma of a violent sexual assault which took place in the season five finale.
Although her attacker Lionel Brown (Ned Dennehy) was killed for his actions, the nurse was still visibly shaken.
During his interview with Men’s Health, Heughan opened up about what it was like filming for season six and admitted it was intense.
He stated: “Outlander is a pretty intense, dramatic show. But behind the scenes we do have a good time.”
The instalment was filmed during the pandemic and the star felt the full effect of this, he added: “Everyone is so good-natured. You get so close to the rest of the cast and crew, and we’re always laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
“It’s a tight-knit family. We have to be, especially this year because of the pandemic.”
However, as production took place in Scotland, Heughan was forced to face the blistering cold winds.
The 41-year-old actor shared: “We were shooting in winter in Scotland, which is freezing cold, so it was pretty tough, but a really good sense of humour gets you through it.”
He explained: “The first few days of shooting are kind of unsettling.
“It feels like you’re in this post-apocalyptic world, but to be honest, once you get on set, you just feel so lucky to be able to work and to be kept safe and to hopefully provide some entertainment.”
Heughan added: “I was actually shooting [Text for You] as well in London. To be honest, working on that movie and Outlander got me through the pandemic.”
Outlander’s sixth season is significantly shorter with only eight episodes as a result of the pandemic, which showrunner Matthew B. Roberts labelled an “unprecedented set of challenges”.
However, to make it up to fans he announced he had plans to “film an extended season 7 with 16 episodes next year as life returns to normalcy”.
The premiere of season six was also longer than average, with a run time of 90 minutes.
Outlander is available in Starz in the US and on Starzplay in the UK.