Sam Heughan is Scotland’s most popular export in the 21st century. This is not exactly verifiable or quantifiable but I must err on the side of hyperbole to keep sweet the millions of fans he has accumulated by starring as Jamie Fraser in Outlander. Trust me, I learned that the hard way the last time we featured Sam in The Rake a few years ago. Seems he has done everything to earn it, and I do not wish to belittle those who love him, and love him they do. But what is refreshing is that you’re more likely to spot him in a rickety pub nursing a pint and telling stories rather than at the latest ‘hot’ metropolitan social hangout.
We are delighted to have him back, and this time arguably more in situ: specifically, Glenelg, on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands. It is fortuitous timing to be with him in Scotland, and not for Outlander but because of a new project he has been working on with his co-star Graham McTavish. Men in Kilts is a television docuseries and book that details their travels around their native country and simultaneously serves as a cultural exploration of Scotland. It has also given Sam an opportunity to reflect on his personal heritage. “Looking further into my family, and where I am from, I found out what kind of a mix I have in my ancestry,” he says. “I have French, German and Norwegian in there. You think of all the avenues and paths your family could have taken, and I ended up being Scottish.