Sam Heughan’s Drama Teacher Once Told Him ‘You Can’t Act’

Thanks to Foreigner, Sam Heughan never has to worry about work again. Even after the show ends, he’ll continue to get movie offers or do his docuseries. Men in kilts. But, when Heughan was a student at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland, the teachers didn’t like his work that much.

Sam Heughan | Starz

Heughan was the guest of the Happy Sad Confused podcast on March 4 to promote Foreigner Season 6. Looking back on her acting school days, Heughan shared the story of her disapproving teacher. Foreigner airs Sundays on Starz.

‘Outlander’ Proved Sam Heughan’s Drama Teacher Wrong

To be fair, this RCS teacher only witnessed a young, untrained Heughan. By the time he played Jamie Fraser in ForeignerHeughan could act very well.

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“My freshman year in drama school, my drama coach pulled me aside after my first term and was like, ‘You can’t act,'” Heughan said on Happy Sad Confused. “And I thought, ‘I’ll just carry on then.’ It was a classic drama school. The whole part of that process breaks you. But I think that’s always been kind of true. It was about trust. In drama school, that’s why It’s failing too. It was actually my first play I did right out of theater school. The director taught me a lot.

Sam Heughan has come a long way from acting school to ‘Outlander’

Heughan’s path was not lost. He graduated RCS in 2003 and Foreigner only started in 2014.

Because we did Foreigner for a long time and even before that I saw friends in London at the premiere and invited them. We were talking about things we’ve done in the past. I was like I didn’t even remember, it was so long ago. Yeah, we’ve been doing the show for so long now that you can’t help but look at where we came from. Even go to work every day on Foreigner, when we started, we were very green. It was literally an abandoned warehouse where we filmed. There were rats and dust and it was just garbage. Now we have this amazing setup. Yeah, it’s great to be able to look back and see how far we’ve come.

Sam Heughan, Happy Sad Confused03/04/22

He gives back to drama school

Heughan doesn’t blame the professor for being hard on him. In fact, Heughan continues to give back to RCS. This year he launched the Write Start competition to give students a chance to create.

My former acting school, I decided to create a scholarship for two students to help pay for their fees throughout their years at acting school. But I also created the Write Start contest just to encourage all the students out there to maybe think outside the box a bit. I just noticed that in my career, it’s not just comedy. There are all these other opportunities or creating your own work. Especially during COVID but also when you’re an unemployed actor and you’re sitting around waiting for the phone to ring, which has been a long time for me, you have to start doing your own work and also collaborating with other people. The winners of this year’s inaugural year contest are a really interesting story of some filmmakers who want to make a play, but it’s all set in a nuclear submarine.

Sam Heughan, Happy Sad Confused03/04/22

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