Outlander star felt ‘betrayed’ after sexual assault scene

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Jamie Fraser’s (played by Sam Heughan) horrific clash with Jonathan ‘Black Jack’ Randall (Tobias Menzies) formed a key part of the earlier seasons of Outlander. While the Starz drama’s leading man agreed to the show’s nude scenes when he first signed up, Sam admitted in his memoir he felt “betrayed” when the producers tried to push the limits of his contract.

Sam has criticised Outlander’s producers for trying to showcase his genitals following a scene of sexual assault between Jamie and ‘Black Jack’ Randall.

When he was cast in the series in 2014, the actor’s contract stated he would be comfortable performing nude.

However, in his new memoir, Waypoints, Sam wrote about feeling betrayed when a shot of his penis was filmed after Jamie was assaulted.

Capping off the end of Outlander’s first season, Jamie is kidnapped and tortured by Randall, the ancestor of his time-travelling wife Claire’s (Caitriona Balfe) husband.

The actor told the showrunners he thought showing his genitals would sexualise the scene, and wouldn’t add anything to the already horrific moment for Jamie.

“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 wrote.

“I pushed back, reasoning that nudity sexualised a horrific experience for my character, and it sparked quite a debate.”

The showrunners eventually agreed to change the scene, and Jamie was instead seen sprawled over the dungeon floor after the assault.

Despite the amendment, Sam still found the sequence one of the hardest things he has ever had to film for Outlander.

He continued: “Creative conversations are a feature of all productions, good art is made by questioning the truth and we all want to get it right.

“Those closing scenes were incredibly challenging to film.

“Even though, thankfully the nude shots ended on the cutting room floor. It was a harrowing, exhausting experience.”

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To this day, Sam still believes the debate which was sparked by his complaints betrayed his trust in the show’s creative team, and he maintains the shot wouldn’t have been filmed today.

“Times have changed,” he continued. “The c**k 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.”

He has previously opened up to Vulture in 2015 about how uncomfortable he felt filming long nude sequences for the first season.

“They said, ‘We’d love one more wide shot of it, the whole thing,’” he recalled.

“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.’”

However, the scene’s director and production team failed to call “cut”, so Sam felt forced to carry on the challenging sequence.

“I think they did it to me on purpose, just to go there,” he went on to admit.

Outlander’s sex scenes are now filmed with an intimacy coordinator, and there have been no complaints from the stars for the show’s more recent instalments.

Outlander seasons 1-6 are available on Starz in the USA and Lionsgate+ via Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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