Outlander star reveals all about first day on set ‘nothing could prepare you’

Outlander: Sam Heughan demonstrates how to speak Gaelic

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Scott Kyle, who portrayed clansman Ross the blacksmith, was part of the show in season two and spoke about working on the Starz historical drama.

In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Kyle said the show “nothing could prepare you for that” when he first saw the expansive set in Scotland for the filming of the Battle of Prestonpans.

The actor said: “I think we were quite lucky going in so early into the series, nobody was really a big star, if that makes sense.

“It was still very much, ‘This is what we’re creating, we don’t know how it’s going to land yet. So the hierarchy – on a Tom Cruise movie, Tom Cruise is the star – that kind of hadn’t happened on Outlander because it wasn’t as big yet.

“So, it was nice to go in and meet the guys and the cast before it exploded, if that makes sense. They’ve now got so many more commitments, sponsorship deals, things that they’re doing outside of just acting in the show.”

Kyle had unsuccessfully auditioned for Angus in season one with actor Stephen Walters cast as the Highlander.

However, his chance came along in season two for Ross and Kyle prepared to shoot by watching the first series with his wife.

At the time, he’d remarked about how “amazing” it would be if he could appear in Outlander riding a horse and landing a part in the show.

Kyle added: “Then there we were, sitting watching the premiere of Outlander in Glasgow with the rest of the cast. And here I come in on a horse, here are come in and I’m doing my scenes. So, just pinch me moments.”

For the part, Kyle listened to the audiobooks of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander novels to really immerse himself in the world rather than doing too much historical reading.

“You’re trying to go with the source material that’s there,” he said with a “fictional element” to it which was going on as well as the historical events.

Filming the battle scenes proved challenging with Kyle revealing a dramatic scene involving Ross raging over the murder of his beloved friends on the battlefield got delayed as the filming schedule shifted.

He revealed: “I’d been pumped up for 12 hours and they eventually came to me. It was the last scene of the day but I’d been ready from the first scene of the day. So trying to keep yourself in that mental state was a bit mad.”

Some of the lengthy and complex battle scenes could take up to a week to film and 12 hours a day, saying the “bigger things” could take weeks but said it was a “dream come true”.

Kyle is now performing on stage the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as Mark Renton in a new production of Irvine Welsh’s Porno with performances every day.

The star said it was “emotional” returning to the theatre after the coronavirus pandemic saw the industry grinding to a halt and huge losses with many workers left unemployed.

“The Fringe is back. We’re back and the Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world,” he said. The first preview night for Porno was sold out with the venue packed out with 500-odd theatre-goers, something Kyle found heartening after such an uncertain time during lockdown.

There are also hopes the success of Porno could see the production touring around the globe with Kyle continuing to star in the play.

Speaking about his forthcoming projects, Kyle said: “The next role I’ve got lined up is in a movie called One Thousand Flames and it’s playing the manager of a band.”

The film was one of the films delayed by the pandemic with lockdown coming two weeks before he was due to start filming.

He also recently finished starring in the play One Mississippi which focused on male suicide, which was again was pushed back due to COVID-19.

Kyle added: “I’m busy working on my book. I’m working on my life story. I’ve been working on that the whole of the pandemic as well. I interviewed my mum and my dad. I was in foster care homes as well. A lot of stuff on that.”

The memoir called It’s Not Where You Start has already finished 15 chapters so far, saying: “It’s to do with trauma and things that come from that.”

Irvine Welsh’s Porno will be running at the Pleasance Courtyard until August 28

Outlander season 7 is in production now and seasons 1 to 6 are streaming on STARZPLAY now

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