Outlander’s Sam Heughan on ‘difficult’ meeting with father

Outlander: Sam Heughan teases season seven

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Scottish star Sam Heughan has detailed his challenging first meeting with his father, who left the family when he was a child. In his new memoir, Waypoints, the Outlander actor recounts how his research into his family history uncovered some startling revelations about his heritage, and also brought about an emotional reunion with his estranged parent.

Sam revealed he met his father for the first time as an adult while he was on his deathbed.

The Scottish actor is set to return to screens soon as Jamie, the Highlander husband of the time-travelling medic Claire Fraser (played by Caitriona Balfe).

While fans wait for the highly anticipated seventh season of the hit Starz drama, Sam’s new book, Waypoints, has given them some illuminating insight into his private family life.

He explained how he grew up knowing almost nothing about his father, as he had left the family when Sam was a young child.

“So I tentatively started looking into it and got a researcher to look at my family history and it was fascinating,” he recalled.

“I’d always thought I was part of this tiny family group – me, my mum and my brother – and actually I realised I’m part of a huge web of people.”

Although fans have always assumed Sam was a bona fide Scot, he discovered he in fact has family roots from all over the UK and beyond.

“My roots all went back to Scotland and New Galloway, which is where I was born and brought up, through my father’s side,” he continued.

“And my mum’s side goes all the way back to the South of England and even to France where our ancestors came from.

“So I am definitely Scot-ish, as I like to say, half Scottish and half European.”

The Heughans’ research eventually led Sam to his father, whom he and his brother finally had the chance to meet when they took a trip to Canada.

He told The Scotsman: “It’s been a really hard subject for me over the years because there was an absence of someone or something.”

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“And that experience of going to see him, essentially on his deathbed, was very difficult, very intense.”

Sam admitted his intense first meeting with his father could be used as a useful experience to tap into during some of Outlander’s more challenging scenes.

However, it also hit extremely hard on a personal level as he came to terms with how his father’s absence shaped him as a young boy.

“The actor side of me was intrigued and sort of watching myself at that moment,” he said.

“Studying myself. I thought I could use that in the future.

“Also in hindsight, I never wanted to be him but actually I realise he’s played a huge role in my life, even though he wasn’t there.”

“Certainly he’s made me the man I am today so I guess I’ve put it to rest.

“I acknowledge him and I see his journey, and I’m on a different one. It’s maybe something that comes with age and experience, but I’m thankful for it.”

Much like Sam’s own father, Jamie’s parentage has remained a mystery for much of Outlander’s six-season run.

His origins are finally set to be explored in a new spin-off, Blood of My Blood, which will tell Jamie’s family history leading up to the Battle of Culloden.

Outlander seasons 1-6 are available on Starz in the USA and Lionsgate+ via Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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