Sam Heughan has stated that he felt misled by the “Outlander” production team after a “superfluous” shot of his penis was used in a rape scene he filmed.
Since 2014, Heughan has portrayed the 18th-century Highland warrior Jamie Fraser in the Starz series.
While the program recently aired its sixth season, the Scottish actor confessed that a season one episode in which his character is sexually attacked by his rival Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) was uncomfortable for him.
Heughan remembered in his biography “Waypoints: My Scottish Journey” that he was aware early on that the series, which is based on a series of best-selling novels by American novelist Diana Gabaldon, was driving his character to a “dark, gloomy, and hard place.”
Noting that he was legally compelled to record nude scenes and that the drama has “never shied away from sexual violence,” Heughan said that he strongly thought it was unnecessary for him to disrobe for the savage attack scene that finished the first season of the show.
Heughan wrote, “There was never a time when I felt that Jamie’s nakedness would add to the agony of what he endures in the castle prison as a kind of punishment, submission, and humiliation.”
Caitrona Balfe, Sam Heughan, and Tobias Menzies in the season one conclusion of “Outlander.”
“I fought back, arguing that nudity sexualized a harrowing experience for my character, and it prompted a lively discussion,” he continued. “All productions involve creative conversations, good art is created by questioning the truth, and we all strive for accuracy.”
Heughan and the creative team eventually reached an agreement that Jamie would only be seen naked after the incident. In post-production, it was determined that the explicit shots would be placed “on the editing room floor” and not displayed to the public.
Heughan continued by stating that if the sequence were to be filmed today, it would be different “It would have been dealt with differently, but times have changed. The cock shot was superfluous and rather undermined my faith in the creative staff. We can envision what the characters are through without seeing the horror. Imagination is considerably more potent.”
Heughan’s statements echo those he made to Insider in early 2022, prior to the debut of the sixth season of the drama.
Reflecting on the same moment, he told entertainment reporter Libby Torres, “In retrospect, I did not feel really supported.”