Sam Heughan goes commando on a glacier in New Zealand
Sam Heughan became a household name after impressing Outlander fans with his moving role as the fierce Highlander Jamie Fraser.
As well as his ferocious determination, patriotism for Scotland, and unwavering loyalty to Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe), viewers agree he’s also easy on the eye.
In 2014, Jamie was introduced as an athletic young soldier with curly, red locks who often appeared on screens topless.
While the actor quickly became a fan-favourite for his looks and skills, Heughan revealed he was pleasantly surprised to learn he didn’t have to take his top off during the audition.
In an interview with Backstage from 2020, the 43-year-old admitted: “I’ve been in many auditions thinking, God, do I have to take my shirt off? It’s quite a physical role.
Read more: Outlander’s Sam Heughan hints at ‘young Claire’ in future episodes
“It’s quite exposing, actually,” he added: “But no, they didn’t [ask]. And at the time, I was keeping quite fit. So it was all right.”
Although Heughan’s physical appearance is a bonus for fans, the star previously opened up about body image standards and its effects on mental health.
Heughan also struggled with this early in his career and underwent drastic diets and exercise regimes to stay slim.
“I very much felt the pressure of having to have a certain body type,” he revealed.
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“Early on I didn’t really know what I was doing. So I would literally starve myself.”
“And I forced myself to do crazy amounts of cardio to sort of lean down as much as I could.”
He told Audible: “Looking back on it now, it really wasn’t healthy but it’s been a good process for me to then educate myself about a healthy lifestyle.”
Thankfully for Heughan, nine years later his character has drastically aged and the topless scene has considerably reduced providing him the confidence to maintain his body on his terms.
Outlander seasons 1-7 are available to stream on Lionsgate+.
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