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Sam Heughan was ‘hurt’ after Richard Madden ‘snubbed’ him when he was working as a waiter

Sam Heughan recalls the moment where fellow actor Richard Madden didn’t recognise him at an event leaving him “hurt” and “embarrassed”.

The Scots actors, who both studied in Glasgow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, attended an event in London where Heughan, 42, worked as a waiter after being unsuccessful in finding acting jobs.

Heughan, who is best known for his role as Jamie Fraser in Outlander, graduated from RCS in 2003 was left reeling after the awkward encounter with The Bodyguard star.

In his recent memoir, Waypoints: My Scottish Journey, Heughan reminisced about the incident and noted that Madden, 36, was at a very different point in his career. Madden graduated from the same drama school in 2007, and had reportedly met Heughan previously as the two had mutual friends – including his ex girlfriend, who had lived in the Eternals actors flat in Glasgow.

At the time of their encounter, Madden had started his role in Game of Thrones and was one of the guests in attendance at the event at London’s V&A Museum. Heughan recalled: “I’d been tasked with holding a tray of the guests’ drinks while they nipped out for a puff, and I was gossiping with a colleague when I looked up and saw Richard Madden walking over to place his gin and tonic on my tray.”

Heughan went on to write that he was about to greet Madden when he realised that Madden hadn’t remembered him. “The words caught in my throat. He hadn’t recognized me, even though we had met a few times. My ex-girlfriend had lived in his Glasgow apartment,” he wrote.

Richard Madden attending the UK Gala screening of Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” at BFI IMAX Waterloo on October 27, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney)
Richard Madden named one of Scotland’s sexiest men
Heughan didn’t reveal what year the encounter took place, but since Game of Thrones didn’t air until 2011 and he didn’t land his Outlander role until 2013 – it likely took place between those two years.

Since then, a lot has changed as Heughan’s role as Jamie in Outlander catapulted him into worldwide stardom and has since starred in The Spy Who Dumped Me, SAS: Red Notice, and Love Again which will be released in 2023. The Dumfries born actor doesn’t have any ill feelings towards Madden for failing to recognize him but that it left him feeling “hurt” nonetheless.

“It wasn’t Richard’s fault, he’s the loveliest fellow and we’ve met since, but the fact that he was my peer and I wanted to be on the other side of the serving tray hurt,” he continued. “The whole time, I just gripped tightly to the tray, my knuckles turning white, hoping the ground would swallow me up.”

Heughan wrote that afterward, he immediately “headed for the closest exit” as he was left feeling “ashamed and embarrassed”. Reflecting on it, he acknowledged that the experience made him “more resolved” to continue with his acting career.

Outlander seasons 1-6 are available on Starz in the USA and Lionsgate+ via Amazon Prime Video in the UK.

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