Sam Heughan confirms he auditioned for James Bond, wants a Scottish 007 again

I feel bad for Outlander fans reading this blog, because I find that show so infuriating, so much so that I can’t even pay attention to what’s happening plot-wise. They keep changing eras and countries and it’s bonkers. Sam Heughan was filming the latest (and last) season of Outlander when he spoke to Esquire. He’s actually promoting his new British TV project, Suspect, in this interview, but he spends some time talking about Outlander and how he auditioned to play James Bond. I thought Sam was like 32? But no, he’s 42 years old. Some highlights from Esquire:

His workouts for Outlander: “I think it’s fair to say that I can’t really stop training, I just enjoy it. Before I was more into endurance sports, I did marathons, triathlons, but Outlander really got me interested in more gym-based workouts; cross-fit and free weights. I really enjoy it. The first conversation I had with the trainer at the start of the series was that Jamie’s obviously not in the gym; he’s a farmer and he’s a warrior, so that’s the type of body we tried to build for Jamie when he was younger. So there were a lot of compound lifts to strengthen and conditioning, but mostly upper body, back and shoulders. It certainly wasn’t about getting a six pack, fortunately for me so I didn’t have to worry about that too much. He’s a very capable man, therefore we had to build a body that reflected that according to the time.

Auditioning for James Bond: “I was called in when they were doing Bond 21, so before they had Daniel [Craig] again. I think they were looking into a younger James Bond, which is what I suspect will happen next. It was such a strange experience, but I enjoyed it. I went in with a script and they were like: “We might get you to read something from this scene” but they don’t tell you what it’s from. After that I was taken upstairs and I met Barbara Broccoli and Martin Campbell, the director at the time. There was a golden gun on the table – I guess from The Man With The Golden Gun? – and we sat around a very large wooden table and talked a bit about Bond. It was strange, as they didn’t want to talk about Bond, but they talked about Bond. It’s all very secret service.

Whether he thinks he has a chance as 007: “I have no idea and I think everyone is always trying to second guess them. But I think the role’s fantastic and I’d love to throw my oversized hat into the ring again if they are! It’d be nice to see a Scottish Bond again.

Who he’s dating: “I don’t really talk about who I’m dating, but that’s more for me. I’m sure there have been times when I’ve been open about it but I think it puts too much pressure mostly on your partner or yourself, but also their families as well, as fans can be pretty…intense.

[From Esquire]

It’s interesting to hear him talk about Bond because, traditionally, that’s the one way to get yourself taken off the shortlist. Maybe that’s changed in recent years though. Barbara Broccoli (who owns one half of the Bond franchise and makes most of the casting decisions) seems to be trying to figure out what’s next, post-Daniel Craig. I’ve made my peace with the fact that Idris Elba won’t be Bond and I don’t actually think Tom Hiddleston should be Bond. So why not Sam? He’s Scottish and ripped and he might actually do an okay job with it. He’s more Roger Moore than Sean Connery though. And I’m sorry but the man does not look like a farmer! He looks like a ripped gymrat.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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39 Responses to “Sam Heughan confirms he auditioned for James Bond, wants a Scottish 007 again”

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  1. Owlsyn says:

    I find it interesting that there is an article about Rege-Jean Page right below this article discussing who should be the next James Bond…..

  2. Ariel says:

    I can’t imagine ever watching another bond movie.
    Either Idris Elba or just let the franchise keep dying a slow death- which is what will happen.
    Can’t go against the powers of racism.

    • NYC212 says:

      In April, Idris said that he thinks he is too old for the part. He said that he is 50 now and if he had a three movie deal, he would look ridiculous as 60 year old man beating people up by the end of it. I kind of agree because Sean Connery looked ridiculous when he reprised the role. He doesn’t want to play Bond anymore but he said it would be “amazing” to be a Bond villain. I hope he gets to do that since it is what he wants now.

      A lot of men were the right age to play Bond during the time Daniel Craig was under contract for the role, including Idris. It’s unfortunate because he is one of my favorite actors and I would have loved to see him as Bond. 🙁

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Sean Connery spoke about his return as Bond after Moore. It’s very taxing and with more and more stunts it’s for the younger actors now. Idris is prioritizing his health and able to cherry pick his jobs. I say good for him!

  3. girl_ninja says:

    He would probably make a good 007. He’s a really good in Highlander, though I stopped watching after season 2. It’s wise for him to keep his personal dating life to himself because like Tom Hiddleston fans, Chris Evans fans and Cumberbatch before he married (and after who am I kidding) there is a certain strain that is bat-sh*t BONKERS.

    • L84Tea says:

      I feel very bad for him as far as fans go because he has really fallen into the trap of rabid, obsessed fangirls unwillingly. I watch Outlander (more out of obligation to see it through now, as it stopped being good after midway season 3) and have read all of the books. I’ll admit I used to be on an Outlander Fans Facebook page to follow news of the show. I had to leave that group though because some of the fans were off their rockers, talking about him like he’s a slab of beef and constantly shipping him with his costar Caitriona Balfe–who is married. I really hope Sam can continue a successful career outside of Outlander because he really is a good actor and seems like a very gracious man.

      • The Recluse says:

        I didn’t make it past season 1. I argued too much with the plot.
        He and a fellow Scot on the show did a fun travelogue show about Scotland on Starz. If you can find it, watch it.

    • The Hench says:

      Yes I think Outlander fans are particularly insane. Didn’t he have to make a stand a few years ago about the abuse not only he was receiving on social media but also that his loved ones were actively being stalked, harassed and threatened in real-life? Seriously, how off the charts deluded do you have to be to think it’s ok to start attacking the connections of a man who you don’t know, have never met and just watch on the telly? Terrifying.

      • L84Tea says:

        Yes, I recall a couple years back he went online and had to read the riot act to his fans about taking privacy invasions too far or something. I’m fuzzy on the details, but people were crossing some lines and he was pissed.

        I also feel bad for him because there is a certain genre of his fans that behave as if he is actually Jamie Fraser and not his own person. Don’t get me wrong, he was made to play Jamie (the author has even said that he IS the character come to life), but I’m sure he doesn’t want to be typecast as Jamie for the rest of his career.

    • DuchessL says:

      Outlander was sooo obsessive in season 1 and 2, I just had to watch season 3, but after that it’s too much adventure for me, I was there for the plots around the romance. Sam would make a great Bond. I have a hard time adjusting to sam playing anybody else than Jamie because I love Jamie so much, and i’m not THAT into bond, but i’d watch it for sam. He’s the right age for a bond. Just dont put someone like cumberbatch, I just still can’t figure out the hype around him.

      • L84Tea says:

        LOL, I never understood the hype around Cumberbatch either, until I saw him in the Marvel movies using an American accent. His voice is like warm maple syrup on a stack pancakes…Not sure if that’s what everybody else likes about him, but for me, it made me sort of get it.

      • DuchessL says:

        @L84TEA lol warm maple syrup on a stack of pancakes? lol I thought he was more of a wiggling stressed geico, but the only movie I’ve seen was “The electrical life of Luis Wain” in which he & Claire Foy were excellent.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        We should all watch Rise of the black swan on Netflix I think. He plays a great action/ special ops lead. I think he can only get better from there.

  4. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Yeah, I’ve watched five seasons, and his shirtless body reveals modern weight training lmao.

    • L84Tea says:

      I’ve seen his posts on Instagram, and yeah, he is a total gym rat.

    • schmootc says:

      Definitely not a farmer’s body. Source: Grew up in southern Idaho amongst farmers and am the daughter of one. So no.

      • lucky says:

        A modern farmer’s body is probably fairly different from outlander’s time frame, lol. I don’t think you can reference you dad when modern farmers have machinery, processed food, etc. (which is all totally fine, but not the same as ‘historic farming’). In fact, I feel like the trope of ‘big farm boys’ is exactly the broad-shouldered look they are talking about.

      • Dee says:

        I grew up with farmers who did a lot of physical labor. We all had lean muscle and the benefits of lots of cardio. We were unloading baled hay and stacking it before breakfast.
        Sam’s body is that of a gym rat. For the more historical perspective, one would have to go back to the photos taken of the early pioneers. They were mostly very lean. None were consuming enough protein to pump up muscles. But Outlander is a fantasy and fans want that bod.

  5. FHMom says:

    I really can’t see Sam as Bond. I like him better with long hair. I have a feeling that the next Bond is going to be Bond for only a few films. Therefore, I wouldn’t reach for someone too young. I think Hiddleston would be fab in the role, but I just adore him. Idris Alba would also be great

  6. tuille says:

    Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen Craig’s last one, NTTD, don’t read.
    How can they keep doing Bonds? Will they require a younger-than-Craig actor for a prequel?

    • Mädchen says:

      In the novels, 00 indicated field agent, and James Bond was a code name. So there are only a specific number of double 0’s and they can be replaced along with a new or the same code name.

    • MipMip says:

      I didn’t see the last one but 007 is just a title that’s used by whoever is in that position so the possibilities are pretty limitless. Unless the earth blew up in the last one 🙉

    • Becks1 says:

      They’ll either use a new 007 or they’ll just pick up a different part of his life story. I don’t think the entire series is linear (I’ve seen most of them but its been a while for some of the Roger Moore ones), its not like Daniel Craig was always talking about that time with Dr. No or whatever. This series of movies was a little different because it did tell a overarching story, from Bond getting that second kill (M: “I knew it was too early to promote you”) to the ending, but every time there’s a new Bond its kind of a restart.

      So they could still have Bond 007 and just act like Daniel Craig never happened.

    • TeamMeg says:

      Yes, they will choose a younger Bond, who will be at an earlier phase of his life/career. Hopefully that also means a super sexed up phase if you catch my drift. 😉

  7. The Hench says:

    Whilst I think Sam H always comes across as a nice bloke in interviews I’ve seen, I don’t buy him as Bond. Personally I think, like Hiddleston, he lacks the air of menace the character requires. Bond is, when you get into it, quite an unpleasant man. I mean, would you want your best friend or daughter dating him?? The guy is a loner who kills frequently in the name of duty and women are used as disposable distractions. Whilst later Bond films have tried to inject some kind of motivation to him, even Daniel Craig himself described Bond as ‘a misogynistic dinosaur’.

    Personally I think the Bond films jumped the shark some time ago and need either retiring or a major reworking. I could see Henry Cavill in the role but that would just be more of the same so….

    • L84Tea says:

      Yes! He lacks menace. Honestly, he’s too charming to play Bond.

    • TrixC says:

      I agree with this. He is great in Outlander (although that show was only good for two seasons) partly because of the air of vulnerability he brings to the character, but that’s the opposite of what you want for Bond.

    • ANON says:

      See, I think he could bring the menace (that’s such a great point), but also draw Bond in a new direction. ‘Cause that misogynistic dinosaur stuff ain’t it.

      Anyone else remember all the excitement after the Casino Royale reboot? It seemed to hint at a new, more emotionally intelligent Bond. A Bond who was not invulnerable, who loved a woman, and then who experienced grief. But that set-up went nowhere, and the next movies were boring as shit.

      I’m going to reveal my season-one Outlander obsession now, but the first time we see Heughan’s Jamie on screen, he looks bloody and wild and dangerous. I think he could bring the action and grit, and a needed new dimension.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Agree @ANON. I’m an Outlander fan. Started reading the books in 2004. Was very excited when I heard Starz was putting the books to film. Like Diana Gabaldon was at first, I wasn’t completely confident in Sam as Jamie. Then, Season 1 came and he knocked that sh*t out of the park. He was Jamie. Season 2, 1st episode, fireplace/treating wounds scene. Hot and cool. I love the real life relationship between him and Caitrona. They like each other as real people. I would like to see him as Bond, Rege has me too.
        It was fun seeing Roger Moore & Sam Heughan in a Princess for Christmas back in 2011.
        I didn’t know there is only one more season? Hope not. Love him and Graham in Men in Kilts. Fun watch.
        A good twitter read.

  8. AmelieOriginal says:

    Oh I didn’t realize the current season they are filming is the last season of Outlander? (Ok I just looked it up, it has not been officially confirmed season 7 is the last but the auther of the books has said it might be seeing as how many hit shows are lucky to get that many) I think I’ve watched most of the first 5 seasons, though I didn’t watch the season 5 finale and I know that’s the episode where another major character gets raped… not in a rush to see that. At this point, I don’t watch because of the amazing plot, I watch because I like the costumes, the scenery, and I like Caitriona and Sam as actors and would like to see where their characters end up. It’s a very problematic show and I acknowledge that.

    I follow Sam on social media, he has hinted not very coyly at wanting to play James Bond in the past so this doesn’t surprise me that he actually auditioned. He was in that not great action movie SAS: Red Notice (it was on Netflix last I checked) and he was alright even though the movie was pretty bad lol. I think he would be a great Bond if given the chance!

  9. Susan says:

    I’m new to the show and to Sam (just found the show in 2021) but yeah Outlander fans are notoriously crazy. The books had been around for like 20 years (also news to me lol) so I guess there was a lot of pent-up fandom and hooo boy did they ever project onto these actors all of their lust!

    I have no response to the depiction of sexual violence in the show other than it’s in the source material and I think fwiw they have been doing a better job in later seasons at not glorifying it. The Season 5 finale was one of their best ever episodes. Anyway he has a memoir coming out in the Fall I suspect he’ll be doing press about that and the 2nd season of Men in Kilts (which he did in New Zealand).

    • North of Boston says:

      The sexual violence in the show has nearly put me off it. The instances in the first 1-2 almost fit with the story … though I think the STARZ show runners fetishized black jack to the detriment of the show.

      But the repeated use of sexual assault as a plot point is lazy and awful. That, combined with the miscasting of one now main character (maybe 2) makes it a tough show to enjoy without yelling at the screen.

    • SnoodleDumpling says:

      Aaah, so a sort of a Game of Thrones/Star Wars situation, where the fans had little to no new canon coming out for so long that they become their own content creators and went mad in the online echo chamber.

  10. ANON says:

    Shallow take: it’d be fun to have a pretty James Bond again. The man brings that Brosnan hot.

  11. HeyKay says:

    He is a good looking man!
    Yes, he is working at his gym. Nobody has DNA that great, it takes continuing work.
    I say Thank You, sir 😀
    He certainly looks a good bet for Bond.
    I have not watched any Outlander.

    James Norton, and Adain Turner (Poldark), Theo James no longer seem to have the “up and coming” actor vibe needed to PR for the role, IMO. Idris, Cumberbatch, Hiddels, Hardy have all moved on and established themselves in their own status.

    Henry Cavil, IMO, has now become too successful internationally as The Witcher.
    A few years back before Cavill built himself into Superman shape, he was my #1. Bond choice.

    Sean Connery built the House of Bond.

  12. Skye says:

    Agree with many commenters that the first two seasons of outlander were compelling, but then I lost interest. I don’t see him as Bond based on that performance. Not a huge Bond fan, but there does need to be a certain swagger and intensity for it to be fun at all and I’m not sure he has that. I never hear Chiwetel Ejiofor mentioned? I think he would be fabulous. In a weird way, I also think James McAvoy could pull it off. I actually like Cumby, but NO for this.

  13. jferber says:

    Idris, always. That or no one. I don’t think it would be Rege’s cup of tea, not that he couldn’t, but that he wouldn’t want to. Just a feeling.

  14. saltandpepper says:

    Cillian Murphy as Bond, please!

    • aftershocks says:

      ^^ I think Cillian Murphy already once played a Bond villian, if I’m not mistaken.