Entertainment"The intimacy coordinator of 'Outlander' has given us ideas...

“The intimacy coordinator of ‘Outlander’ has given us ideas to make scenes more passionate”

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When he auditioned for Outlander, Sam Heughan (Balmaclellan, Scotland, 42 years old) didn’t even know about the books with which Diana Gabaldon had already sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. So Heughan got his act together, bought the first novel, and read it.

At that time he was an unknown actor who had done mostly theater, but his plant and his Scottish roots helped make him the one selected to play Jamie Fraser, a young 18th-century Scottish warrior whose path crosses with that of a 20th-century nurse. who has traveled in time. “I remember that the first day of filming, the driver who was taking me asked me how long I thought the series would last. I told him that one year, maybe two… We are now going for seven seasons, eight years. It’s been an incredible journey and it’s flown by.”

The actor has traveled to Madrid taking advantage of a few days off filming the seventh installment of the series, which will premiere in 2023, will have 16 chapters and can be seen on Movistar Plus+. In Spain, in fact, Heughan has continued to work, with a fan meeting on Tuesday in which he took a mass bath, round of interviews the next day and collecting a man of the year award from a magazine. Fame—and the passions that he raises wherever he goes—does well. “Actually, I wouldn’t consider myself famous. But I was surprised by the enthusiasm of the fans on Tuesday and their excitement. The series is still very popular and it’s always nice to see people’s excitement and meet the fans.”

He can reveal little about the plot of the new chapters, despite the fact that the continuation of the story of Jamie and Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe) is already written and published in Gabaldon’s books. Now, the couple, not so young anymore (they even have a grandson), have settled in America before the War of Independence (1775-1781) with the advantage that Jamie’s wife, their daughter and their son-in-law come from the future and know what will happen, at least what the history books collect.

Outlander is one of the series with the most dedicated followers —followers for the most part—, a phenomenon that the protagonists themselves have a hard time explaining. “I wish I knew why it is so. I suppose we have to thank Diana Gabaldon and her books, who have recounted this wonderful relationship located in Scotland, of course, but also in the United States, ”says the actor, who highlights the great family they have created in the filming. “We have been working together for eight years and we are already close. I don’t think you could shoot a series like this without having such a close relationship.”

Although the action is now located in what will be the United States, filming for Outlander takes place in Scotland, at Cumbernauld Studios, a 20-minute drive from Glasgow. There, the team builds new sets between seasons and works on the props, costumes, hairdressing, makeup and everything necessary to recreate 18th century America, but also, when necessary, 20th century Boston or French high society. of the XVIII. Shooting in Scotland allows the series to film in unique locations, although it has its counterpart. “I would say the worst is shooting at night in Scotland during the winter,” says Heughan. “Some of the team that has been recording right now have night shifts, and there now it is minus 12 degrees at night…”.

Outlander has adventure, fantasy, history…and romance. For the recording of the erotic scenes, the series now has an intimacy coordinator, but this was not always the case. Heughan has explained that, in the first season, he did not feel comfortable with a nude of himself being shown on screen that he did not feel was necessary for the story. “I would say we were very inexperienced then. As a young, very green actor, he didn’t know where the limits were. We were all exploring, not just the actors, but also the directors and producers, we were trying to find the limits and establish a safe place for everyone,” the actor now explains. “It has been great to bring an intimacy coordinator on board. Not only does it make it easier for us, because it’s always difficult to shoot those kinds of scenes. It also gives us more tools, more ideas to explore those scenes and make them even more intimate or more passionate. It helps us a lot, not only the actors, but also the rest of the crew.”

Being Jamie Fraser has totally changed Sam Heughan’s life. “I worked as an actor, I had some successes and many failures. This really changed my whole world, it is giving me a lot of opportunities, I have been able to create my own projects, write, produce…”. It even allowed her to reconnect with his Scottish roots and make his land a constant in his professional life. In parallel with Outlander, Sam Heughan shares the limelight with Graham McTavish, a co-star in the series, in the documentary series and the book Men In Kilts (available on Movistar Plus+), where they take fiction as the common thread to tour the country and show their customs and culture. In addition, Heughan has written a memoir, Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, and has even released a whiskey called Sassenach,

“All my projects celebrate Scotland, that’s true. We have a lot to offer, a very, very small country but one that has a great identity. I feel like a bit of an ambassador for Scotland,” she laughs. “Obviously, it has incredible scenery, plus its history is very tangible. She’s always been the underdog, the little one fighting the big one. But you walk through Scotland and you see castles, ruins… And it has had a great influence on the rest of the world, especially because of immigration to America, New Zealand and Australia. For such a small country, it has an enormous reach”, reviews Heughan.

If we stick to the books, taking into account that the series reflects one volume, approximately, per season and that Diana Gabaldon has just published the ninth and penultimate book, Sam Heughan could still have several years ahead of him with Jaime Fraser. And then? He thinks for a few seconds: “Whew, there are a lot of characters that I would like to play, possibly they are not written yet. But if I wanted to go back to the theater. I love Shakespeare and it’s where I started a long time ago. I would love to go back and do some Shakespeare, Macbeth, which is set in Scotland. Or Hamlet.”

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