Outlander fans can't imagine anyone else playing the role of Jamie Fraser other than Sam Heughan. But, it appeared that it wasn't the case at first and even series author Diana Gabaldon had her doubts about the actor too.
Outlander is heading to its sixth season already. After five installments, fans of the book series and the TV adaptation are convinced, more than ever, that Heughan is the perfect actor to play the hunk Highlander.
However, Heughan said, back in 2014, when the production of the Starz series was just getting off the ground, there have been second thoughts about his casting. The doubts were not from the creators of the TV adaptation but from the fans and the author of the series herself.
Express quoted the Bloodshot actor saying fans of Gabaldon's novels, in particular, have strong views about who should play Jamie Fraser in the small-screen version. They have in their minds how Jamie should look like based on his description in the book.
Gabaldon described the character as a handsome and unusually tall Scottish man with distinctive wavy red hair, deep blue eyes, and fair skin. He is also muscular and strong.
Though Heughan checked some boxes on the list, he was not quite sure about the main feature of Jamie: the ginger hair. He said he is not really red-haired.
Sam said he understands why fans are passionate about Outlander and its story, and they have the reason to be critical on who should play their favorite character. When asked if he feels Outlander fans have already changed their opinions about him, the actor said they are lucky to have fans who appreciate their work and love the way they portray the characters. He, however, admitted that he is still on guard if one day fans would say he is not good enough for the role.
Meanwhile, it appeared that fans were not the only ones who had some initial doubts about Heughan playing the role of Fraser patriarch. Gabaldon also opened up about her first impression of the actor when he was cast as Jamie.
The author explained that, when she was informed about the casting, she was on the road and couldn't get hold of the casting tape right away. Instead, she Googled Heughan and found his IMDB page.
At the time, Heughan had very limited projects under his name and, according to Gabaldon, Sam had some "extremely bizarre" still photos at the page. However, once she sat down to watch Heughan's audition tape, she was convinced that the actor was tailored to play Jamie.
Gabaldon said it only took five seconds for Heughan to transform as Jaime Fraser and she was stunned. The author also described the actor in his audition tape. Heughan wore a plain gray shirt, his hair was four different colors and weighed 40 pounds less than he does now but, according to Gabaldon, Sam looked exactly how she imaged Jamie once he delivered his lines.