Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser!

Meet Sam Heughan (pronounced "Hew-en"). He's Scottish, 33 years old, 6'3" tall -- and he's just been cast as Jamie Fraser in the upcoming OUTLANDER TV series!!

The news got out a little earlier than they'd planned -- someone at STARZ apparently let it slip prematurely on Twitter on Friday afternoon -- but Diana Gabaldon has been talking about him quite a lot on her Facebook page since the news broke, and it was confirmed officially on July 9, 2013, that Sam Heughan is going to play Jamie!

The photo above comes from IMDB. Of all the Sam Heughan photos on IMDB, I think this one is my favorite.

Here's Sam Heughan's showreel on YouTube, a 7-minute montage of scenes from his previous roles.  Definitely worth watching!

I'm sure we will be hearing much, much more about Sam Heughan in the coming days. His Twitter id is @SamHeughan. My own first impression: His height and build are exactly what I pictured, I love his Scottish accent, and I think his eyes are gorgeous! <g>

And finally, here's what Diana Gabaldon had to say about Sam Heughan on her Facebook page on July 6, 2013. (I'm going to quote it in its entirety, for the benefit of those of you who aren't on Facebook.) Please take the time to read the whole thing.
A few thoughts. <cough>

Do you, um, _know_ what it is that an actor does?

No, really. Do you? They do what I do—they make magic happen. They do it with their faces and bodies, while I do it with words, but it’s essentially the same thing. They create something that wasn’t there before.

Granted, sometimes it helps if you have the rough physical outline for a particular role. MOST of a physical resemblance, though, is really not necessary, and for two reasons:

1) Physical appearance is _very_ mutable. Hair and eye color are so simple to change that I’m amazed _anyone_ is carrying on about what color Mr. Heughan’s hair _is_. (For the record, he’s blond. Like any other actor, he dyes his hair as needed. It’s dark in these photos; it could be red within half an hour.)

2) Much more importantly—beyond very basic things like height and general build, physical aspects are just not that important, provided that an actor can _act_.

As one of the producers said to me—anent the auditioning process—“We were hoping that somebody would just walk in and _be_ Jamie.”

OK. Now, I got the word about Sam Heughan (it’s pronounced HEW-en, btw, in case you were wondering. He’s Scottish, and it may well originally have been a Gaelic name) while I was driving to Santa Fe with my husband; they thought they’d found Jamie and were sending me the audition videos a little later. Well, naturally, I spent the next hour Googling “Sam Heughan” on my iPhone. <g>

Now—I think this point may just possibly have escaped a few thousand of you, so let me restate it: Jamie is TWENTY-TWO in OUTLANDER, and a virgin. And as the producers do understand and respect the story very much, they wanted a guy who could believably _be_ a twenty-two-year-old virgin. (Yes, I know half of you are thinking of him as he is in the later books and thus “see” him in his 50’s. That doesn’t mean the producers should cast someone in his late 40’s and ask him to play a 22-year-old virgin. Am I right? Yes, I am. Now that _that’s_ settled...)

So I’m lookin’ at some of Sam’s photos and sayin’ to my husband, “Yeah, I buy him as a virgin…but I think Claire’s going to get done for statutory rape!” You know, a bit apprehensive. He’s quite big, but a very chiseled face that makes him look a good bit younger than he is, at least in stills.

(Husband approved of the stills from “First Light,” btw (where Sam is playing a Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain)—“He looks good beat up,” he said. “A good thing for playing Jamie.” <G>)

So anyway…we get to Santa Fe, let the dogs out, air the house, go have dinner… And _then_, I sit down at my computer, in a lather of trepidation and excitement, to watch the audition tapes.

First five seconds, I’m interested—he looks totally different than he did in _any_ of the stills—and five seconds later, Sam Heughan’s GONE, and so am I. It’s Jamie Fraser, right _there_ in front of me, moving, talking. One of the biggest thrills ever.

And that’s what actors do. Good ones. They can “be” someone else, totally.

Now, I saw him do two scenes: the confrontation between Jamie and Dougal, after Dougal exposes Jamie’s back in a tavern. Ferocious, explosive, a glimpse of the warrior. And he…freakin’ _exploded_.

And then…the scene in which Jamie explains to Claire exactly why he intends to punish her for disobeying his orders to stay hidden, thus nearly getting them all killed.

OK. This is arguably _the_ most controversial scene in all the books. And I’m not about to go into the scene itself—not the point here. The point is that that’s one heck of a complex scene, emotionally, and _could_ be read/performed in a lot of different ways. Now, I happen to _know_ <g> exactly how Jamie acted and spoke during that scene…and that’s…exactly what Sam _did_. Thoughtfulness, intimacy, fair-mindedness, annoyance, firmness—and quite a lot of humor. One of Jamie’s hallmarks is the ability to be threatening and funny at the same time—and Sam pulled that off.

So, yeah. I’ve watched those videos a couple dozen times, just to be sure I wasn’t imagining things. I wasn’t. <g>

Now, fwiw—the necessary physical aspects are all there. Sam’s big—my head would hit about the middle of his chest (he’s only an inch shorter than my husband)—and _very_ well-built, in terms of what Jamie actually looks like. Tall, lean (not burly), rangy (not bulgy)*, broad-shouldered, muscular (but a _young_ muscular. Young athletes look way different from gnarly middle-aged ones). Face…chiseled, striking—but looks different in every single role.

And the bottom line is simply this: He showed up and he _was_ Jamie.

*(You know something? I don’t really _care_ if you, personally, have been imagining Chris Hemsworth as Jamie. You’re wrong; he doesn’t look like that at all. <g>)
Diana Gabaldon is clearly delighted with the choice of Sam Heughan, and so am I. Kudos to the STARZ casting people, and let's hope they do as well in casting Claire and all the rest!


Jo said...

So relieved. I think he's wonderful!

Zan Marie said...

You took the words right out of my mouth, Karen. ; ) I think Sam Heughan is perfect and if Diana thinks so, he's more than perfect, he's Jamie!

Kathi Alexandra Malcontent MacKenzie Fraser said...

I was not expecting to like anyone they chose, but I am thrilled! I can definitely see glimpses of Jamie in him. And so happy to read Diana's comments about his audition performance.

Anonymous said...

Please please tell me that we in Britain will get to this too please tell me.....

LeslieJPinkie said...

I think he will be a great Jamie! As soon as I saw his face I almost gasped, as he is closer to what I pictured than any other so far.

I just visited his Twitter page and it seems he's in the Artic Circle right now filming "Heart of Lightness". Enjoyed looking at his photos, especially the ones that were taken here in L.A., including under the Endeavor shuttle and on a yacht in Santa Monica!. I wonder if this was the trip for the audition? LeslieJPinkie

Anonymous said...

So pleased! Sam will be great!

Unknown said...

If Diana thinks he's Jamie - I am excited beyond words to see this series!!!! I've always hoped Diana would have a say in the casing - whom better? BRAVO, I know Sam will be amazing!

Unknown said...

~Breathes HUGE sigh of relief~!!Thank gawd someone chose well~~

Anonymous said...

I think he's a great actor and will play Jamie well! Diana's saying...he's Jamie is all I needed to read!!!

Unknown said...

Yes, yes, we have our Jamie.
Finally we can put a real face to it and not thousand upon thousand of imaginary ones.

Anonymous said...

I love that Sam Heughan has been chosen to play Jamie Fraser. It's a verra, verra good choice and I'm a happy lass!

Laura Doll said...

!!!Sam, no signing contracts in Mercury retrograde, lad. July 20th you're clear, but I'm really not kidding about this. It fails every time. The casters won't want it to fall through either. Neither will Diana, neither will we. No signing until Mercury goes direct!!!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you, Karen, for spreading the good news and for helping to quiet the naysayers! Having them actually casting people is making it seem so much more real. Getting so excited!!!!

Elizabeth Girard

Kari G said...

I am delighted with the choice for Jamie. I never had an extremely clear thought of what he looked like but new it'd be important that whomever was chosen be a lesser known actor (I've not seen Sam in anything and for the sake of keeping him "pure" I think I won't watch the reels or any of his other work). Most important for me is that Herself so completely believes in Sam & sees Jamie in Sam. You can't argue with that... ;-) Now I can only hope we get a similar reaction from Herself on the choice for Claire...

Anonymous said...

Check out this pic - it IS Jamie (in Outlander - ie young virgin)

Anonymous said...

Ooooh i like him!!!! I cant totally imagine Jamie looking at him.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a link to the said audition tapes?

Karen Henry said...

About Sam Heughan's audition videos - no, they're not publicly available anywhere. Diana said she asked the STARZ people for permission to post them and was told she couldn't. Maybe at some point in the future they'll be available, but it doesn't look like that will be soon.


Anonymous said...

In the scene where the man mounts Jamie does he actually enter him.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 11/14/15 9:21 PM - NO, actual sex does not take place when actors/actresses film sex scenes. It’s called *ACTING*.

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