Sam Heughan details ‘challenging’ new role in move away from Outlander

The Couple Next Door official trailer

Actor Sam Heughan has opened up about his steamy new project, the Channel 4 thriller The Couple Next Door and the more challenging aspects of the role.

The 43-year-old Scottish actor is most familiar to audiences for his part as 18th-century Highlander Jamie Fraser in Starz’s historical series Outlander.

However, his new role set in modern-day Leeds is a world away from Outlander with Heughan portraying police officer Danny, who is in an open marriage and harbouring some dark and dangerous secrets.

Speaking to media including Daily Express at a recent screening in London for The Couple Next Door, Heughan addressed some of the tougher aspects of taking on the role.

He said: “I guess, for me, the accent was a new one and doing a Northern or Leeds accent.

“And we were filming in Belgium and the Netherlands mostly, so you heard a lot of very different accents in your ear. So, for me, that was quite challenging.”

Heughan went on to say: “We just worked very closely, so everyday we would just sit down and work through the scenes and overcome those challenges and I think that’s perhaps why [the cast] enjoyed it so much – just very collaborative.”

Co-star Alfred Enoch, who plays investigative local journalist Pete, also shared some of the hardest aspects to filming the drama.

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He said: “I think I would say it was a very enjoyable process but that’s not to say it was easy necessarily.

“I would say there were lots of challenges but I’m not saying that was a bad or a negative thing.

“Quite the contrary, if there hadn’t been it would have been much less interesting and less rewarding.

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“But, for me, one the big challenges was the journey the character goes on and I think it’s something I certainly imagine can be said about all of the characters, who end up in a very different place to where they are in the beginning.”

The Couple Next Door is loosely based on the Dutch television series New Neighbours with Marcella and Hollyoaks writer David Allison adapting the scripts for Channel 4.

Other cast members include Australian actress Jessica De Gouw, Eleanor Tomlinson of Poldark fame, Kate Robbins and Outnumbered’s Hugh Dennis.

The Couple Next Door starts on Channel 4 on Monday, November 27 at 9pm. All episodes will be available to stream as a boxset.

Outlander seasons 1-7 are available to stream on Starz in the USA and on Lionsgate+ in the UK

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