Sam Heughan, as "Outlander" hero Jamie Fraser, was at the center of one of TV's most talked-about moments last season.
The Starz drama went to its darkest corners in its finale when sadistic Capt. Jack "Black Jack" Randall tortured and raped the Scottish warrior multiple times—it was a turn that drew some criticism and spawned numerous think pieces and essays on TV's depiction of rape. Others praised Heughan's performance during the violent scenes, and the nuance he brought in the aftermath as his character dealt with its effects.
Heughan took part in The Envelope's Emmy Contender chat series on Monday and said he had expected the scenes to spark attention.
"If it spawns debate about gratuity on TV, I think that's very important," he said. "I was very aware that at the same time another TV show, 'Game of Thrones,' had also featured something similar."
Production on Season 2 of "Outlander," which sees Jamie and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) head to France after having escaped the British soldiers in Scotland, is well underway. Heughan said he re-watched some episodes from the first season to get re-acclimated to where the characters had left off.
"I kind of forgot how intense it was ... and to what extreme these characters went to," Heughan said. "It really does feel like a journey of discovery this second season."
And it feels "very different," he added.
"There's definitely a hangover from Season 1 of the events that happen toward the finale there," he said. "But it feels like a very new world ... it's like an alien world almost for these characters to fit into."
To learn more about the filming of the hard-to-watch finale, Heughan's thoughts on Jamie's journey this season, or our attempt to get him to sing, check out the video above.