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Sam Heughan reveals heartbreaking family loss while filming Outlander

The TV star opened up during a podcast with Jackie Bird

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Megan Bull
Megan BullTV Writer
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Outlander star Sam Heughan joined Jackie Bird for the Love Scotland podcast this week, and in an emotional moment, he opened up about a heartbreaking family loss that occurred during the filming of season one. 

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Speaking about his new book, Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, the TV star explained his own surprise at just how honest he was during the writing process.

WATCH: Outlander's Caitríona Balfe makes heartfelt tribute to co-star Sam Heughan

"Well, it's two things, the book. It's a love letter to Scotland, you know the West Highland way, it's the walk that I did and the other half of the book is a memoir," he said.  

Sam then reflected on one of the more personal and poignant experiences of his life. 

MORE: See the stars of Outlander and their real-life families

READ: Sam Heughan sends heartfelt message to Outlander co-star Caitriona Balfe for special reason

"The loss of my father, actually during the beginning of season one of shooting Outlander, was a big moment in my life," he explained. 

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Sam Heughan appeared on the Love Scotland podcast

"I didn't know him, he left when I was eighteen months old but going to see him in his last moments and visit him and learn a bit more about it definitely had an effect on me, and I think just writing about that has been quite cathartic." 

During the podcast, Sam also spoke about his childhood, which in many ways mirrors his role as Jamie Fraser. 

outlander jamie claire

Sam Heughan spoke about how his childhood mirrors his role as Jamie Fraser 

"It is a very strange one. I don't know if I believe in fate or destiny or anything like that, however, it does feel right," he said. 

"I was born and brought up in southwest Scotland on the grounds of an ancient castle. I used to play in there and imagine myself in this castle, and I certainly was obsessed with the Arthurian legends and [Robert] the Bruce, and here I am essentially playing a Scottish highland warrior, a king of men." 

Speaking about how important it is for children to explore the outdoors and experience historic sights, he added:

"We're so lucky in Scotland, we have so many great sights that you can take children – or adults that like to pretend they're children – to explore." 

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