Sam Heughan’s performances on Outlander usually go unquestioned by the show’s loyal fans. But when it came to Jamie’s reaction to seeing pictures of his daughter, Brianna, many fans thought Heughan should have acted more emotional. The negative responses on social media sparked a reaction from both Heughan and Outlander writers, who seemed to disagree on how the scene played out.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the controversy started after a fan pointed out that Heughan didn’t follow the script when Claire (Caitriona Balfe) showed him photos of their daughter. The script instructed the actor to fall apart and drop into his wife’s arms after seeing images of his daughter for the first time. Heughan, however, felt it was better to perform the scene with less emotion because he wanted to avoid coming across as too melodramatic.
“I use action lines as a guide only,” Heughan shared. “Falling apart’ doesn’t have to mean tears, can be internal. Was my creative choice. Plus felt melodramatic.”
Despite Heughan’s thoughtful explanation, Outlander writers, and a lot of viewers, thought he should have stuck to the script. In Diana Gabaldon’s books, Jamie has a big emotional reaction to the photos, much like it was outlined in the original script. In fact, the writers of the show told fans on social media that they would have liked it if the action lines in this particular scene would have been acted out.
Of course, there were plenty of Outlander fans who stuck up for Heughan. Many thought the actor played it perfectly and thought it was good to see a different perspective play out on the show. There was such a mixture of comments, according to Vanity Fair, that the writers later clarified their stance and said they were not disappointed with Heughan’s interpretation of the scene. They are, however, saddened by how many fans thought Heughan should have portrayed Jamie’s reaction with a little more emotion.
It isn’t clear who runs the social media account for the writers, though clues point towards writer Toni Graphia and producer Maril Davis. Heughan hasn’t responded back to their latest post, though he has made his stance pretty clear. Given how the show doesn’t always stay true to the books, this probably won’t be the last time a scene angers fans.
Outlander airs Sunday nights on Starz, check out a preview for the next all-new episode below.
Tell us! Do you like the way Sam Heughan reacted to the photo or was the book version better? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]