Outlander: Why did fans originally not want Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser?

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Outlander season five recently saw Sam Heughan return as Scottish heartthrob Jamie Fraser in the time-travelling drama. However, the star recently admitted how when he was first cast in the show, some fans were not as convinced he was right for the part.

Why did fans originally not want Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser?

Now Outlander is heading into its sixth season, it might be difficult for viewers to imagine anyone but Sam Heughan playing Jamie Fraser.

He first cast back in 2014 when the creators were quickly convinced he was the perfect person to play the lead role.

However, fans of Diana Gabaldon’s series of novels did have some strong views about who should play who in the series.

This was partly because the first book was released way back in 1991, leaving fans to imagine what he looked like for some time before he was actually cast.


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Ahead of season five launching on Starz and Amazon’s Prime Video, Heughan opened up about how they initially felt.

When asked if he remembered fans’ initial impressions, he told the IMDb show, he said: “Yeah, I think I was an inch too short.

“And obviously I’m not a ginger really so there’s a problem. Caitriona [Balfe who plays Claire Fraser] my co-star, had the same as her eyes were the wrong colour.

“But [it was] absolutely correct for the fans to be that passionate about the content and the story.

“And I think every season, we’re in anticipation to see what they make of our adaptation of a book.”

Heughan was then asked if he now felt the change from fans who wouldn’t have anyone else play Jamie in the show.

He replied: “I’m still ready for them to turn and say he’s not good enough, let’s get someone else.

“But I just think we’re lucky that I think they still love what we do and as long as we still keep pleasing our fans, we’ll continue.

“It’s a great story, they’re great characters and each season is a different challenge.

“So we’re just very thankful that they’re there and they support us.”


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However, the fans were not the only ones who had some initial doubts about Heughan’s casting in the show.

Speaking at Stirling Castle back in 2015, author Diana Gabaldon revealed she had some initial doubts about Heughan as well.

She explained: “I was on the road and I couldn’t look at the casting tape until that night, so instead I googled him and looked at his IMDB page.

“At this stage he had a limited filmography, with some very odd-looking stills, so I said, ‘He’s grotesque what are you thinking’.”


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However, the author then admitted how when she actually sat down and watched the audition, she was sold.

She added: “I was looking through my fingers, but five seconds later I thought he doesn’t look anything like his photos, he looks great.

“And five seconds more he had gone and it was just Jamie Fraser – I was astonished.

“He was wearing a grey T-shirt, his hair was four different colours and he weighed 40 pounds less than he does now, but he was just Jamie.”

Outlander seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Amazon’s Prime Video now.

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