A Minute With: Sam Heughan on being an 'Outlander' heartthrob

Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:12am EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As one of the leading actors on Starz's new time-travel romance series "Outlander," Scottish actor Sam Heughan suddenly found both himself and kilt were under scrutiny.

"I always find it quite strange when people want to know more about the actor than they do about the show," Heughan said of his recent U.S. tour to promote the show.

"There were a lot of questions about the kilt and what's under it," he added with a laugh.

The premiere of "Outlander" last month drew 5 million viewers, the largest multi-platform audience in Starz history. The genre-bending series based on Diana Gabaldon's book series follows a woman named Claire, who is swept back in time to the Scottish Highlands in the 1700s.

Heughan, 34, plays Jamie, a Scottish clansman who becomes embroiled in a star-crossed romance with Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe).

The actor spoke to Reuters about what drew him to Jamie, how the show plays into the upcoming Scottish independence referendum, and how he feels about being a pin-up.

Q: Why does a story set in 18th century Scotland resonate with a contemporary U.S. audience?   Continued...

Actor Sam Heughan, who plays the role of Jamie Fraser in the television show "Outlander", is seen in an undated handout photo. REUTERS/Ed Miller/Starz Entertainment/Handout via Reuters