'Outlander': Sam Heughan's Jamie Fraser is this summer's sex symbol

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He may wear what some think is a skirt and live almost 300 years ago, but Jamie Fraser is the sex symbol of the summer.

If you doubt that, take a look at Sam Heughan as the fierce yet tender Scotsman in "Outlander," Starz's breathtaking series based on Diana Gabaldon's international best-sellers.

No one rocks a kilt better than Heughan. In "Outlander," he repeatedly proves himself brave. He has the skin flayed off his back in a whipping and never screams. This is the stuff of legends, and Heughan carries it off.

"I have done other projects with sword fighting," he tells Zap2it on the set in Scotland. "It's kind of more of a martial art. This is a lot faster. Warriors have so many weapons on them. They were brutal, the Highland Charge."

His character, Heughan says, "is this young Scottish stable boy, who has fought for the French and learned a lot. He is not well-off,"

Yet, "he is forward thinking," Heughan says. And he falls in love with the stranger who drops into their lives -- Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe). "They learn from each other," Heughan says.

As Balfe sits next to Heughan, she chats about how he's on the precipice of super-stardom.

"He had a screening of his latest indie movie in Inverness, Scotland, and women had flown in from Brazil, the United States and Canada and were standing there, screaming," she says.

Heughan looks down and says shyly, "It was a lovely bit of support."

"I feel so protective of him," she says. "I worry he is going to get his clothes ripped off. As Diana always says -- at least her fans are quite intelligent."

Heughan quiets momentarily, then adds, "There's a whole wealth in the books Diana has written. It's going to be a great journey."
Photo/Video credit: Starz