Sam Heughan has played the popular co-lead Jamie Fraser on Outlander for almost 9 years, alongside Caitríona Balfe. Heughan stopped by 92nd St. Y for his book launch event for his very first memoir and third published book, Waypoints
. In the hour-long chat, Heughan teased a lot from his very personal book Waypoints, which will be released October 25.
The memoir follows Heughan on his solo backpacking journey through the Scottish Highlands, which he took after wrapping season 6 of Outlander, Heughan confessed he discovered a lot about himself, his family and his career during this difficult trip, and joked he might have also chatted with mushrooms. Yes, mushrooms. Nature is healing! He also opened up about being raised by a single mom and his relationship with his father, who left when he was only 18 months old, but later reappeared in his life.
An interaction with Game of Thrones actor Richard Madden made him realize, “I’m not doing what I want to do.” He proudly talks about his friendship and working relationship with Balfe, and why the on-screen dynamic between Jamie and Claire works so well as a result. He also speaks candidly about why he brought on an intimacy coordinator to Outlander after 6 years, when he and Balfe, and Tobias Menzies had to navigate a lot of intimate scenes on their own from the beginning. He hints at his trust being broken in one love scene earlier on.
Heughan admits he is a very private person, so writing this book wasn’t exactly easy for him. Specifically, the parts about his relationship with his father. “I always thought I never wanted to be like him, never have a family, never leave a family like he did.” Besides talking to mushrooms, Heughan told the audience other fun facts, including getting a Boy Scouts badge for knitting as a child, “It’s a very useful skill!” He talks about his earlier jobs – and recalls how a seemingly benign interaction he had with Game of Thrones’ Madden when he was a waiter left him deflated. “An ex-girlfriend of mine used to live in his house,” Heughan explained. At a party, Madden put his glass down on a tray Heughan was carrying and didn’t even recognize him. Heughan said he didn’t feel jealous, but it gave him an extra kick-in-the-ass when it came to pursuing acting as his career.
After working together for 9 years, Heughan and Balfe have catapulted Jamie and Claire into one of television’s most popular love stories. Heughan points out that the way he and Balfe treat each other is similar to the way Jamie and Claire support each other. “For me, my role was to support her, look after her, whatever she needed literally as an actor, as a friend, but also as the character,” he says of Balfe. Heughan also shared that Balfe’s recent birthday marked the 9-year anniversary of their very first Outlander photoshoot. He confesses that the celebrity and fame that has come with Outlander was something that was very jarring for both of them in the beginning. As for the future of Outlander, “People want to see the story to the end, and I want to see the story to the end!” Heughan happily admits.
Heughan’s memoir releases on October 25th and can be pre-ordered here
Before you go, check out the all-time best ‘Outlander’ episodes you need to watch.