Outlander star Sam Heughan has garnered a passionate fanbase since he first appeared on screens as Jamie Fraser in the 2014 pilot episode of Outlander, and now he's lifting the lid on his experience of making the show, including some of the challenging aspects of filming so many scenes of a sexual nature.
In his new memoir Waypoints, in which he also opens up about his struggles with body image as an actor, and the pressure that led to him developing "low-level body dysmorphia," the Scottish actor reveals that shooting the scenes in which his character is sexually assaulted was made incredibly difficult by the fact that full frontal nudity was a requirement in his contract, even though he felt it would be gratuitous in this context.
"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. "The cock shot was unnecessary and did betray my trust in the creative team a bit. We don’t need to see the horror to imagine what the characters go through. Imagination is way more powerful."
"I pushed back, reasoning that nudity sexualised a horrific experience for my character, and it sparked quite a debate," he continues. "Creative conversations are a feature of all productions, good art is made by questioning the truth and we all want to get it right."
Heughan has spoken about the process of filming nude scenes before, including the importance of working with intimacy coordinators, which has become more of a commonplace practice even in the six years that Outlander has been on the air. In a recent interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, he revealed that he was actually the one to suggest bringing in an intimacy coordinator, saying: "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."
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