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'Outlander' Star Felt Betrayed After Nude Rape Scene: 'The C*ck Shot Was Unnecessary'

Actor Sam Heughan pushed back against producers on the STARZ drama.

Sam Heughan
Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

*The following article contains discussion of sexual assault.

In his new memoir, star of Outlander Sam Heughan revealed for the first time shooting a particularly difficult scene in the first season of the Starz series left him angry and traumatized.

The scene in question involves his character Jamie Fraser being tortured and brutally raped by the show's villain, Black Jack Randall, played by Game of Thrones and The Crown actor Tobias Menzies.

The shoot included a full-frontal nudity shot of Heughan in the aftermath of the sexual assault—a move Heughan found gratuitous and violating because of the way it "sexualized" a scene of sexual violence and brutality.

The show, an adaptation of the book series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon, is well known for the sort of revealing full-front nudity of its male stars usually reserved only for female actors.

In his book, titled Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, the Scottish actor writes while he agreed to nudity in his contract for the show, he felt this particular scene was an inappropriate moment for titillation.

Heughan writes he pushed back firmly about the way the scene was shot but was overruled.

As he put it in his book:

“This wasn’t a moment where I felt that being naked would add to the horror of what Jamie undergoes in that castle dungeon as a form of punishment, subjugation and humiliation."
“I pushed back, reasoning that nudity sexualised a horrific experience for my character, and it sparked quite a debate.”

Heughan's account in the book comes after a 2015 interview with Vulture in which he described feeling violated while filming the scene, during which he was tricked into portraying the harrowing scene for a second take after nobody called "cut" after the first attempt.

He told Vulture:

“They didn’t call ‘cut,’ so we had to carry on. I remember feeling so scared, and actually feeling slightly like my trust had been broken a bit because it was horrific."

Heughan echoes these sentiments in Waypoints, in which he went on to write:

“We don’t need to see the horror to imagine what the characters go through. Imagination is way more powerful. Even though, thankfully the nude shots ended on the cutting room floor. It was a harrowing, exhausting experience..."
“...The c**k shot was unnecessary and did betray my trust in the creative team a bit.”

On Twitter, many were disturbed by Heughan's account.








Heughan is unlikely to be overruled again when it comes to future concerns--in addition to being its star, he is now also a producer on the show.

If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault, help is out there. You can reach the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline by calling 1-800-656-4673, use their Live Chat tool: https://www.rainn.org/get-help, or visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

In Canada, help is available through the Ending Violence Association of Canada website.

International resources can be found through the Rape Crisis Network Europe website.