Pulling Focus: Sam Heughan

Sam Heughan trained at the Royal Scottish Academy and has since carved a smart career. He was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award before he had even graduated. Phil Matthews talks to one bright young thing.

Photo: Vanessa Valentine

I think it's important for drama students to go where you feel comfortable.

How did you become an actor?

I finished school and I was going to do film studies and English. It was something I really wanted to do. I used to go to the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and watch their shows. I was really interested in it but I wasn't sure if you could really make a career out of it. Then I went travelling, had time to think and came back and thought I'd give it a go for a couple of years. I joined the Lyceum Youth Theatre which is quite integrated with the main theatre with Kenny Ireland as Artistic Director. I was quite fortunate he cast me in a couple of their shows just as spear carrier in the background. So I got to learn from watching other actors. It really inspired me to apply for drama school.

How did you find your time at the Royal Scottttish Academy?

Oh I loved it. I think what is quite important for drama students to go where you feel comfortable. It felt right, a good atmosphere. It's a well supported network and well integrated with the Scottish theatre scene. So we did a lot of productions in relation to the Citizens Theatre or the Tron. I was quite lucky in my second year, I got cast in Outlying Islands at the Traverse Theatre. So fortunately I didn't actually have to do much in my second and third year because I was away doing this play at the festival.

Outlying Islands then transferred to London to the Royal Court. It was the first play I saw at the Court actctually.

Oh was it? Wow. I was quite lucky we got to go to Canada with the show and toured Salisbury Playhouse, and then back to Scotland to do a highlands tour.

Read the full published article in issue 2 of The Drama Student Magazine.

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