The Outlander star Sam Heughan, in his published memoir, Waypoints: My Scottish Journey in October 2022, discusses a violent sequence he filmed in the first season of the Starz show and how it impacted him badly. This is a subject that he has mentioned explicitly. A subscription to Starz will allow you to see all of the seasons of Outlander as well as a great deal of other programs.
However, the scene in question occurs when the character of Sam Heughan, Jamie Fraser, is brutally raped and tortured by his adversary, Black Jack Randall, who is portrayed by Tobias Menzies, who is famous for his role in Game of Thrones.
The image above shows a full-frontal photo of his character after he had been raped, during the filming. Heughan reveals in his biography that he had committed to nudity in his contract. Still, he didn’t think that this amount of nudity was acceptable for the scene, and he declared it inappropriate.
“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,” he writes in the book.
“I pushed back, reasoning that nudity asexualized [sic.] a horrific experience for my character, and it sparked quite a debate.”
The act of rape first appears in the source material, which is a series of best-selling books written by Diana Gabaldon. Outlander is based on these works.
In 2015, showrunner Ron D. Moore said about the scenario to Vulture, “We’re not playing around here.” Adding further, “This is the story. There’s a book that we’re following, and this is part of the story that is absolutely necessary to that book. There’s really no way not to do it. This is a horrific situation, so it should be horrific.”
During an interview with Vulture, Heughan said that there was a moment in the production when he felt like he was tricked into performing the taxing sequence one more time.
“They said, ‘We’d love one more wide shot of it, the whole thing.’ And I was like… [groans], ‘Oh God.’ I thought I’d gotten it all out of the way. And they said, ‘We’ll only do it up to a certain point, just before it happens.’ “
But, as Heughan said, the director never yelled “cut,” so the actors repeated the rape a second time.
“It got up to that point, and they didn’t call ‘cut,’ so we had to carry on,” he explained. “I remember feeling so scared, and actually feeling slightly like my trust had been broken a bit because it was horrific. Great to play, but horrific.”
After further discussion, the cast and crew of the production decided that the actor’s role would be seen without clothes, but they left out the part that the actor believed was needless.
“We don’t need to see the horror to imagine what the characters go through. Imagination is way more powerful,” he writes in Waypoints. “Even though, thankfully the nude shots ended on the cutting room floor. It was a harrowing, exhausting experience.”
Want to know more about the awful offences committed on stars during filming?
As a direct consequence of this development, Heughan disclosed on an episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast that Outlander’s upcoming sixth season would include the addition of an intimacy coordinator. If you like the Starz Outlander series, you can also catch up on the fifth season on Netflix, as well as a wide variety of the best TV series right now on Starz.
“It’s important that everyone is protected, but also we find a way to explore these scenes and actually maybe get something more out of them,” Heughan said, saying that he felt “just thrown in the deep end” at the beginning of the series.
“Times have changed,” he writes in the book. “The c**k shot was unnecessary and did betray my trust in the creative team a bit.”
The actor detailed his experience of having a nudity scene turned into a asexualized one, as well as the creative team’s betrayal of him. Upon which he said that he had just been flung down quite far. He brought attention to this matter in order to emphasize how critical it is that everyone be protected.