Describing his second Comic Con experience as insane but wonderful, Sam Heughan opened up about filming those incredible Wentworth Prison scenes (which garnered Emmy buzz in response to his performance) and the journey Jamie and Claire will be on in season two.
How did you mentally prepare and get into that specific mindset for the Wentworth Prison scenes? How were you able to take yourself there?
Sam Heughan: “We knew it was coming up. I was excited by it, nervous, but we knew it was going to be challenging. We wanted it to be a challenge for the actors but for the audience as well. We approached it like any other theater piece; myself and Tobias [Menzies] started from a theatre background. We sat with the director and the writer for about a week worth of rehearsals. Discussed the scenes, sort of cut it down a bit. We worked on what we wanted the audience to feel, what we wanted them to see. Pretty much set the guidelines, set the boundaries of filming the scene. And then we filmed it over a space of 10 days, two weeks. It was pretty intense stuff, primarily because of the content, but also there was a lot of prosthetic work. I’d be in at 4am and not finish until 10 at night or something, so they were long days. But in a way that was perfect because it got me into that mindset of I had to work three or four hours in the morning to prep, to stand there as someone painted something on your body. Then in the evening taking it off was a good way to lose the day’s filming, but it was heavy stuff. We knew that we were doing something quite bold, so I was excited to see the end product.”
How do you play a damaged character without playing him as a victim?
Sam Heughan: “Jamie did get some resolution at the end of season one. I mean he was not cured in any way, but he’s looking forward. I spoke for hours with some doctor about the medical conditions and what happens with the psychology as well. But, ultimately, everyone is different. Everyone deals with torment in different ways. Jamie is very particular in the way he deals with things. Before we’ve seen when he got whipped or other scenarios in season one, he lets it fall of his back. But this has certainly affected him. But he’s not a victim; he’s moving forward. He’s got this mission. He’s there for a purpose and it’s not weighing him down or incapacitating him. But he has things that he’s got to deal with and we’ve just finished filming for the moment. He maybe finds some resolution and that’s kind of nice to see. I’ve discussed that and we see that in a lot of cases where people had some sort of trauma it would be something really random that would trigger that moment of healing or moving forward. I’m very lucky to be able to play that part of the character.”
Jamie begins season two in a completely different place than season one. What did you feel were the specific challenges of this season?
Sam Heughan: “In a way I suppose it’s more of a challenge actually because the first season Jamie’s got no responsibility. He’s out looking after himself. He’s reacting to every moment. And, yeah, in season two it’s completely different, you know? He’s got the trauma of season one and also the responsibility of having a wife, being a father, of becoming a parent. So he’s had to grow up, and in season one he certainly did. Continue reading Sam Heughan talks Wentworth Scenes, Season 2 and Jamie & Claire