Outlanders Sam Heughan details surprising career before becoming an actor

Outlander’s Catriona Balfe discusses parenting during filming

Outlander’s Sam Heughan wasn’t always going to be an actor as he had another job in mind that he wasn’t very good at. 

Starz subscribers best know the Scottish star, who has admitted to going “commando” while on set with his Men In Kilts co-star Graham McTavish, for portraying the heroic Jamie Fraser who has been in Outlander for nine years. 

Before the romantic time travel drama, Heughan – who was forced to give up acting and sign on at the Job Centre before he scored his breakout role – did have roles in other projects like A Princess for Christmas, Island at War, Young Alexander the Great and Doctors. 

Long before any on-screen credits though, the Outlander actor had a completely different career in mind. Opening up on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Heughan talked of wanting to be a magician growing up. 

Read more: Claire Fraser been married three times in Outlander

“I probably wanted to be a lot of things growing up but I think I did give it a go for a little while”, Heughan said. 

“But I realised… I didn’t want to put in the work, you know? 

“I wanted to put on the outfit, the hat and the cape and the wand and all that stuff but actually learning the tricks, I was just rubbish at it.”

Fallon joked: “So you’d just show up and go ‘Aha’ and then ‘watch me disappear’ and then leave yeah, that was your only trick.”

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“I could juggle a little bit but I mean, come on, that’s something”, Heughan added. 

“I think that’s why I became an actor, so then I could put on the clothes, pretend to be someone and then not do any of the work.”

He then listed some of his other career paths over the years, including delivering sandwiches by bicycle, selling women’s clothing in Harrods and working in an Irish pub. 

Luckily, Heughan was able to give all that up so he could pursue his true passion of acting, bringing to life the iconic Jamie Fraser in Outlander. 

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Outlander returned for the first half of season seven in June 2023 with the first eight episodes airing weekly. 

There are still another eight instalments to look forward to in this seventh outing but no release date as of yet. 

Subscribers also have season eight to look forward to which was confirmed earlier this year. 

Outlander is available to watch on Starz.

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