Much of season three of Outlander was filmed in South Africa. Did you miss Scotland?
I wish I could say I did! But actually South Africa is just so amazing — an incredible country. The crew there were fantastic and it’s given a different look to the show and a new energy. It was sad to leave Scotland but we’ll be back.
You and co-star Caitriona Balfe have spent lots of time apart this series . Did you miss working with her?
There is a bit of time apart. The story follows both characters as they’re in different time zones and they think they’ve lost each other. You certainly notice that your co-star is not around. It’s been nice to discover who the characters are without each other but then it was nice to be reunited and I think fans will be really excited about the reunion.
Do you think they’re destined to be together or is too much separating them?
Diana Gabaldon’s written nine books about them so I think they are destined to be together, absolutely. It is a story about this long-reaching romance and they’re a better unit together. They complement each other well and Jamie certainly is a shadow of himself without her.
Did you draw on personal experience of being in a long-distance relationship?
I may have been in a few. And certainly you bring everything of yourself to the character but it’s hard, you know, because they’re not only a distance apart, there’s 200 years between them, so that’s a pretty sizeable long-distance relationship. There’s no FaceTime.
Are all actors destined to be in long-distance relationships because you travel so much?
God, I don’t know, it certainly does seem to be one of the consequences of this industry. I have been all over the world this year, in South Africa and Scotland and shooting in Europe over the summer, as well on a movie, so you do a lot of travelling. But I guess that’s part of the modern world we live in.
Do you mind the speculation on your love life? Everyone always assumes you and Cait are together…
Yeah, they do, and I think that’s just part of the show. It’s a wonderful love story and it’s great people are invested so much in the storyline, so they may believe that the actors are together. It means we’ve done our job well, I guess. But we’ve made it quite clear we are just actors in a show.
How has Outlander changed your life?
It has changed infinitely. I’ve been acting since I graduated from drama school in 2002 but this has been incredible. To find myself at my third Comic Con with thousands of fans celebrating a third season and feeling comfortable there, it’s surreal. It’s been a great ride and we’re just about to start shooting season four.
How crazy do things get? Do you have guys or girls chasing you?
Not so many guys, surprisingly! I’ve never been chased down the street but people are very excited. I’m not sure I’d say I was famous but the support we get from fans is wonderful. They get behind our charities, which is really rewarding.
How do you stay in shape?
That’s tough because I travel a lot. I’m really into a healthy lifestyle and I created a charity fundraiser a couple of years ago called My Peak Challenge. We now have raised almost £375,000 for leukaemia and lymphoma research. We supply almost 10,000 subscribers with a daily workout and meal plan.
How often do you work out?
Probably every day. The last few months I’ve relaxed a bit because I didn’t have to take my top off for the show or a magazine shoot.
Do you feel pressure to be ripped all the time?
We have to prepare for those scenes. I dread them more because I have a full prosthetic on my back which takes two to three hours to put on.
You’ve just filmed The Spy Who Dumped Me. How does it feel to get your first lead in a Hollywood movie?
I’m super excited for people to see it. Who doesn’t want to go on a road trip with Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon? They are extremely funny, a great comedy duo. It’ll be coming out next summer and it’s going to be a great ride.
Season three of Outlander is available on Amazon now