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This Sam Heughan throwback photo from his 20s will leave you stunned – see his very different look

The Scottish actor now plays rugged Jamie Fraser on Starz' Outlander

Sam Heughan at Esquire event
Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
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Sam Heughan has come a long way since the start of his professional acting career  – and he's changed a lot too. 

The dashing Scottish star is adored for his role as Jamie Fraser in the television show Outlander, but more than 20 years ago, Sam took on a very different role. 

Pre-fame, the now 43-year-old was fresh-faced on the stage in the award-winning production of David Greig's Outlying Islands. It was in 2002 and premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe. 

WATCH: Outlander stars test their knowledge on the hit show

The Traverse Theatre Company shared a promotional poster featuring Sam, and he was almost unrecognizable. He bore a striking resemblance to a character from the Twilight vampire series, sporting pale skin, red lips and bright blue eyes. 

The actor was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer for his performance in the stage show. The role was two years before Sam appeared in his first professional television role in the miniseries Island at War in 2004.

No it's hard to believe that it has been 10 years since he was cast as Jamie in the time-travel drama Outlander. He was the first cast member officially announced and he and his co-stars, including his onscreen wife, Caitriona Balfe, have earned legions of loyal fans since. 

Season seven of the popular Starz show aired in June 2023, and Sam and Caitriona delighted fans with a sneak peek BTS moment at the time.

MORE: Sam Heughan joined by After Life and Fleabag stars for new thriller

MORE:  Outlander: when will show return for season 7 part 2?

Many followers of the show are looking forward to the next series with some trepidation after its most recent trailer release which seemed to hint at a potential tragedy for the Fraser family.

sam heughan catriona balfe couple© Photo: Getty Images
Sam and Caitríona share a close off-screen friendship

Reacting to a post on Sam's Instagram, which showed a slow-motion video of Claire and Jamie running through the battlefield before embracing, many fans shared their fears about what may come to pass in season seven. "I don't know if I'm ready yet," one wrote, before elaborating: "I have a bad feeling it's going to be so sad. When I watch the trailer over and over again, I get goosebumps and think of the cliffhanger [at the end of] the first half of season seven."

MORE: Sam Heughan shares moving message with fans

Sam and Caitriona have also forged a real life friendship after working so closely on the show. 

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in season seven
Sam and Caitriona in season seven

He previously confessed he doesn't like it when they wrap filming or spend time apart as he misses their friendship. "Having scenes away from her, and time apart from her, is kind of like losing someone in your family, a loved one," he said of their adorable partnership. 

"It's very strange, and I don't enjoy it. Whenever we're together it feels right, and I look forward to the days when we get to work together again."

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