‘Outlander’ Star Sam Heughan on the Worst Part of Making ‘Men in Kilts’

Outlander stars Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish are back with a new project to help get fans through the dreaded months of Droughtlander. Men in Kilts is a travel show premiering on Starz tonight that sees the pair of actors and friends trekking across Scotland, taking in the culture and gorgeous landscapes along the way.

‘Men in Kilts’ explores the real-life setting of ‘Outlander’

Graham McTavish and Sam Heughan in 'Men In Kilts'
Graham McTavish and Sam Heughan in ‘Men In Kilts’ | STARZ

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While the trip took the two through the comfortable setting of their homeland, it wasn’t without its own pains. Speaking with Collider during a press junket, Heughan shared what was, for him, the worst part of making the travel show. It might not be what you’re expecting.

“There was a great number of [intense] things, but to be honest, it was the driving,” Heughan explained. “We were driving this quite large camper van, and it looks like it was just the two of us, but at times, we did have the whole camera crew in there. So, being responsible for that whilst also presenting a TV show and trying to follow directions was, at times, quite scary. And the Scottish weather was pretty good, but occasionally it was pretty awful. For me, it was challenging, but great fun.”

Yes, something as (seemingly) simple as driving had Heughan sweating bullets the most. Though, to his credit, his concern was mostly for keeping his crew safe. Top bloke, that Sam.

In the same quote, Heughan mentioned a few other big activities that were less stressful for him. This included cycling down the windy Quiraing roads on the Isle of Skye with bikes that lacked proper brakes and using ski lifts of dubious stability, as well as more basic activities like hiking and surfing.

McTavish had a more straightforward answer

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McTavish, best known as Dougal MacKenzie from the first two seasons of Outlander, had an answer to the same question that was more along the lines of what most would expect. It was posed to him as the “scariest thing” that “Sam made you do” on Men in Kilts, so the outlet was seemingly angling for some lighthearted drama.

“For me, without doubt, rappelling off the side of a 300-foot cliff was definitely taking me out of my comfort zone,” McTavish said. “When you’re told that you only need to remember two things — walk backward and don’t let go of the rope — these are not words that you’re designed to hear. It doesn’t make sense. Walk backward, don’t let go of the rope? That was pretty scary.”

“And then, we’d rappelled down to a ledge, still a couple of hundred feet off the ground and we were told to unclip ourselves and climb back up,” Heughan added. “We had a safety rope on, but it’s the most unnatural thing to do.”

Men in Kilts airs its premiere episode later tonight, Feb. 14, and will continue to air weekly. Outlander finally commenced filming earlier in the month on its sixth season, almost a year since Season 5 premiered. Based on prior production timelines for the show, fans can expect the series to return in late 2021 or early 2022.