Over these past six seasons of the hit STARZ drama series Outlander, actor Sam Heughan has not only become a household name for many, but also the object of affection across social media with his growing base of vocally loyal fans & followers. The best news is that there seems to be a whole lot more ahead, both for Heughan and for his beloved television character Jamie Fraser.
“The popularity is just something we never thought we’d imagined could ever happen,” Heughan tells me when discussing Outlander’s continuing run. “I think when we first started the show, I remember saying Oh, we’ll probably be on maybe two seasons or something and then it will be over. Here we are season six, going into season seven. It doesn’t feel like it’s waning. You know, of course every show has a heyday, but it definitely got a sort of bit of resurgence or second life when it went onto Netflix. I think people find the show, as well, especially with Covid and lockdowns. People are like Okay, what can I watch now?”
As much growth as his Outlander character Jamie has had throughout his whirlwind love story with Claire (played by Heughan’s co-star Caitríona Balfe) and their turbulent life together on-screen, Heughan says that he also has noticed personal growth within himself off-screen over these recent years.
“When I first started, I was pretty ‘green’ and I think just the experience and I guess not only acting – I’ve been able to do other projects, other movies, but also creating my own projects, you know Men In Kilts and my business ventures, as well. I guess it’s confidence it has given me and experience. It has been such a journey.”
Speaking of Men In Kilts, Heughan’s globe-trotting Starz reality series alongside his close friend and Outlander familiar face Graham McTavish just recently finished filming its second season, with no official release date announced quite yet. While speaking with me over pizza and beers at a restaurant in Beverly Hills, Heughan reveals, “I just got back from New Zealand two weeks ago and were shooting all over it. We were exploring the culture of New Zealand, the Scottish heritage, like there’s the connection there with the immigrants. And then, we were looking at the food and drink, we’re looking at the activities you can do. It’s very much an outdoors country, the wildlife. And of course, lots of torturing Graham (laughs).”
One of those dedicated business ventures that Heughan mentioned earlier is his Sassenach Spirits brand, a rapidly expanding company that Heughan and his business partner Alexander Norouzi founded back in 2020.
When asking Heughan how he feels about the ongoing consumer demand for Sassenach products, he says, “I’m very, very happy. We started off with the whisky and it was extremely successful. It’s my passion – I haven’t just gone and bought a brand. I invested in it myself, it’s all self-financed. We designed everything from the logo to the bottle to the juice inside. The idea is to find unique spirits to promote and we did the Double Wood [Reposado tequila]. It was a collaboration with an incredible spirits maker [Tony Salles of El Tequileño] and I’m excited to see what else we can find.”
Even with the many projects already on Heughan’s plate today, I wondered if there are any other roles or industries that he has yet to tap into and hopes to have an active hand in soon enough.
“Ooh, yeah. Good question. Well, I suppose you know, creating Men In Kilts – really enjoyed that process. We’ve been working on a couple other producing projects, so I’d like to do more. We’ve got a couple documentary ideas that we’re working on. And actually to be honest, directing – I’d like to direct something. There’s a project that I’ve been working on for awhile. I’m like Should I direct it? I’m still not sure. It’s something that I think once Outlander is ever-over, maybe that’s a good time for me to step aside and think of something else.”
An area most likely not in Heughan’s future is the world’s latest digital currency trends like Bitcoin. “If I’m totally honest, I’m really not bought into it. I really dislike the environmental impact of mining for something that has zero value. I think it’s completely ridiculous and I know money is, we attribute value to money and it actually has no value. I just dislike the way that it’s generating. I know it takes vast amount of power and energy to create these Bitcoins. I’ve looked multiple times in like podcasts about it and whether I should invest. I think it can obviously be a short-term thing. You can make some money on it, but I don’t think it’s a stable investment.”
One place you can in fact bank on Heughan investing his time and energy in is with his My Peak Challenge mission. What started as just a challenge that Heughan created for his fans in 2015 as a way to raise funds for charity has blossomed into a full-fledged global community that empowers its members to achieve improved health, wellness, and mindfulness.
“It really was something that I wanted to create because of my love of the outdoors and fitness and it’s about providing a platform where people have information,” Heughan continues. “It is ultimately a community and they support each other and give each other advice and I think that’s where it’s the most successful, is on that forum. Every time I go on it, I’m just inspired because they share their stories or their struggles, but also their achievements. It’s just really inspirational stuff.”
Circling back to Outlander, which is currently in the midst of debuting new episodes every Sunday on STARZ network and on the STARZ app, Heughan wrapped up our conversation by expressing the importance of Outlander fans and how the power of social media today plays a major role in the phenomenon that this series has most definitely become.
“It has been really pivotal,” Heughan says of the support of Outlander fans. “Interestingly, I don’t know why but on Twitter, that’s their platform that they like to use. And I think, myself and Caitríona both, when we started the show were on Twitter quite heavily and I think that really helps build excitement, build anticipation. I think fans also want to be able to have access to the actors or just to feel like they’re a part of it. I very much feel that our fans feel like they’re on this journey with us.”
original source: ‘Outlander’ Star Sam Heughan Discusses Plans Beyond Season Six, Teases ‘Men In Kilts’ Season Two