Diana Gabaldon takes a look back at Sam Heughan’s casting

Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room
Photo credit: Outlander/Starz Image acquired via Starz Media Room /

In this week in Outlander history, casting for the series began. Five years and four seasons ago, Sam Heughan became Jamie Fraser. Diana Gabaldon has celebrated this anniversary in style.

What were you doing when Sam Heughan was first cast as Jamie Fraser? You’re forgiven for not quite remembering. This was five years ago. What I will ask is what you thought when he was cast. Diana Gabaldon shares her thoughts in a Facebook post, as his casting anniversary comes up, and there are some fun memes to go with it.

Many people took an instant look at Heughan and instantly complained. Oh, how things have changed now! It couldn’t have been easy for Heughan at this point in his career. All he heard from book fans was how small he was for the role or the lack of red hair. Gabaldon reminded everyone that fans said this–it’s still going on, such as with Caitriona Balfe’s lack of whisky-colored eyes–and what really is important when it comes into casting.

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It’s not about the looks. Appearances can change; actors can dye their hair and eye color can sometimes be ignored. What’s more important is the fact that an actor can act. Sam can act circles around many others. He’s a chameleon when it comes to roles, taking on the character each and every time. From the moment Gabaldon saw the casting tape, she was hooked; just like the rest of us were when we saw him on our screens for the first time.

This week is the five-year (four season) "castiversary" for Sam Heughan–the anniversary of his being cast to play Jamie…

Posted by Diana Gabaldon on Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Regardless of what you thought of Heughan when he was first cast, he is now the embodiment of Jamie. He is this character we’ve all come to love. And this is a good chance to celebrate that.

Next: #TT: Sam Heughan's transformation throughout the series

What did you think when Sam Heughan was first cast? Do you enjoy reading Diana Gabaldon’s opinion on the casting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Like Claire and Jamie on Facebook for more insights into Outlander casting.