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Actor Sam Heughan has become synonymous with Scottish hero Jamie Fraser in Outlander. From his very first scene, Jacobite Highlander Jamie was often landing himself into dangerous and ofttimes violent situations involving the Redcoats. This hasn’t changed over the seasons with Jamie constantly thrown in harm’s way time and again albeit with new foes.
Does Sam Heughan do all of his own stunts?
But how much does actor Heughan do his own stunts and how much of what viewers see is a stunt performer?
Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Mark Slaughter, who has stood in for the actor on a number of occasions, about working on the Starz series.
Slaughter worked on Outlander from the start back in 2013 when the little-known Starz series, based on the works of American author Diana Gabaldon, was being shot.
He was brought on board by the show’s stunt co-ordinator Dominic Preece with whom he’d worked with before.
Slaughter explained: “He just got me in to double for Sam for a small fight scene and that was it.
“[Preece] kept calling me throughout the rest of the seasons. Whenever Sam needed someone I would come in and do a little bit there.”
Slaughter added: “But he does a lot of his own stunts.”
He would have to prepare for the fight sequences by trying to make sure he physically matched Heughan as closely as possible.
They would also go over the scripts and break down the fights, looking at what was required for the scene.
Slaughter and Heughan would also examine the “key elements in the fight” as they referred to the script before the sequence was then put together.
Most recently, the stuntman stood in for Heughan during a scene in season four, which saw Jamie grappling with a Native American down the side of the hill and next to a fire no less.
While Slaughter stood and was tackled by a Native American stunt double and did the roll, Heughan then jumped back in.
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He said Heughan was a “quick learner” and had “brilliant fighting skills” which made his job as a stunt performer easy.
Speaking about working on the earlier seasons of Outlander, Slaughter said: “There was a fight on a boat. But the earlier seasons, I lined up most of it.
“Although I’m in costume and in make-up, I go in to line up the fights and if there’s any reason that the actor is struggling or there’s another issue or something like that, then I’ll step in to actually do it.
“But he’ll do most of the fights in the earlier seasons, that would have been him.”
So, while Slaughter did some of the sequences, a lot of it would be Heughan on camera.
Slaughter was unable to work on season five because he was undergoing surgery but could be back for the sixth outing.
He said: “I hope so. I haven’t been in touch with the coordinator for it, but I really hope so. I would like to.
“There seems to be some good action in it now, so they will require a few more stunt people running around.”
Season six has yet to commence filming but there are hopes the shoot will be getting underway very soon with the producers looking carefully at the coronavirus restrictions in place.
Outlander seasons 1 to 5 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video now
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