Sam Heughan Talks Jamie’s 5 Stages of Sadness

Sam Heughan had a big part in determining how to portray Jamie Fraser’s different stages of sadness and grief over losing Claire. There is already strong talk of an Emmy campaign for Sam and I personally agree. The angst, sadness and overwhelming grief that Sam is able to convey in Jamie is amazingly well played. He sat down with the directors to go over the stages of sadness and thanks to Elle Magazine Online, we get an inside look at the process.

Who is Jamie Fraser now? The man we knew from seasons one and two of Outlander has gone through a monumental shift after losing the love of his life, and in every episode of this season so far, he’s almost been a different character, with a new name and a new life. “I really feel like every episode has been a mini-movie,” actor Sam Heughan told ELLE.com, “and episode four is like Downton Abbey.” When we caught up with the actor in his trailer on the Outlander set in Cape Town, South Africa, he took us through his process of portraying Jamie Fraser as the Dun Bonnet (the rebel outlaw), Mac Dubh (the leader of men in Ardsmuir Prison), and Alex MacKenzie (the groom at Helwater). Yet while he may take on different guises, he’s always a wanted man—in more ways than one.

Here, find out how Heughan took on the challenge of an ever-changing Jamie.

Nice costume! Are those satin boots?
Yes! It’s nice to be wearing something more genteel than a kilt. [Laughs]

For someone who is supposed to be 20 years older, you’ve aged well.
I disagree with you, actually! On screen, obviously, Jamie does age very well, but I could show you a list of everything we’ve done to him, everything the make-up artists have done. A little gray hair, prosthetics on my forehead, a little eyework. But it’s more his journey, what’s happened to him, about what he’s gone through. It’s really hard to lose someone and find a way to go on.

From what I understand, you modeled Jamie’s journey on the stages of grief?
Yes! It’s a whole journey in the first few episodes, where he comes to terms with the fact that Claire’s really gone, and finds a will and a way to live. He actually doesn’t want to be Jamie Fraser anymore, and so he creates all these different personas for himself, in each town, in each episode. It’s actually been fantastic. It’s been a real gift, this season. I wrote it down with the directors, all the stages of grief, and we tried to figure out where they all factored in.

It’s a great read and you can read the whole article on Elle Online, plus watch a hilarious video of Sam reading tweets about him!

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