Sam Heughan And Graham McTavish Explain How Their Outlander Characters Inspired Men In Kilts

Men In Kilts Sam Heughan Graham McTavish

The long-awaited Men in Kilts finally hit Starz this weekend, reteaming Outlander leads Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish for a food-filled journey across Scotland. The first episode of the new series featured some ribbing, some eating and an explanation from the two leads about how their Outlander characters are a lot like themselves in real life, and one of the driving forces behind why the co-stars wanted to create Men in Kilts.

At the start of the series, before talking Halibut, looking for shellfish and explaining to viewers what the heck Fife is (it’s a place and not a food in case you are unfamiliar with all things Scotland), the two men also spoke out about their working relationship, the passion present in their Outlander characters and how that ultimately came together to form the idea for Men in Kilts.

Sam Heughan: We were lucky enough to work together on a show Outlander.Graham McTavish: You are the interloping nephew who is just a bit of a pain. I am the war chief.Heughan: I love Scotland and I’ve obviously spent a lot of time here shooting Outlander. Along that period I’ve seen some amazing, incredible places, experienced some great things and I kind of wanted to share it with everyone.McTavish: Yeah I feel that too. You and I, we’ve got the same thirst for adventure as our characters. Outlander is a wonderful show, but what is portrayed in the show is truthful in many ways but it is still ( I wasn’t necessarily thinking of the time travel bit) but the truth about Scotland is so much more interesting I think and more exciting than anything that could be portrayed in any fiction. For example, on Outlander, we didn’t tap into the more distinguished portion of our pallet.

Eight episodes of Men in Kilts were produced by Starz and if you liked what you saw in the first episode -- or are intrigued by the premise -- future episodes will look into aspects of the Scottish culture outside of the food. Episode 2 will focus on “Scottish Sports,” while future episodes will touch on topics including song and dance, witches, culture and traditions, tartans and, of course, the famous Battle of Culloden, which Outlander itself explored.

Of course, Outlander is the ghostly presence in the background of Men in Kilts. As much as we all love the fun relationship between Graham McTavish -- a bit of a fan-favorite on the series -- and Sam Heughan, there’s always the lingering feeling we should be gearing up to actually be watching Season 6 of Outlander on TV soon.

The main reason Sam Heughan was even free to film Men in Kilts in 2020 was because Outlander had to pause production due to global events early that year. In its place the Scottish road trip series became one of the first shows to film in Scotland or the U.K. with Covid safety protocols in place. Months later, Sam Heughan and the Outlander cast were still missing their coworkers and the set, and it was only recently that the series actually got back to work to even begin filming Season 6.

So, it’s been quite the Droughtlander, even for the cast and crew, this time around. Meanwhile, Men in Kilts will hopefully also get the greenlight for Season 2 and we'll keep you updated as the Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish series continues airing Sunday nights on Starz at 9 p.m. ET.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.