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'Outlander' star Sam Heughan: Jamie has flaws – really he does.

As Starz drama returns, the man playing one of TV’s most dashing heroes insists his character is far from “Mr. Perfect.”

Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe’s characters move to France in the second season of "Outlander," which launches Saturday on Starz.
Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe’s characters move to France in the second season of "Outlander," which launches Saturday on Starz.Read moreSTARZ

It's a wonder Sam Heughan's Outlander character, Jamie Fraser, doesn't sometimes make him jealous.

A rough-and-tumble Highlander with a first-class education, the Scottish hero of Starz's drama and Diana Gabaldon's best sellers is a devoted husband to his time-traveling wife, Claire (Caitriona Balfe), whose tales of the future he believes enough to try to change history.

He's also a man struggling with horrifying memories, as well as an action hero in a kilt (and out of it).

And, as we learn in Season 2, which premieres at 9 p.m. Saturday and takes the Frasers to Paris, he's fluent in French.

"Well, yeah, he does seem to be Mr. Perfect," Heughan said in an interview in January.

"But he's not, you know. He has so many failings. He's stubborn. Very stubborn, actually. In fact, that's probably his biggest failing," said the actor.

"It's also a good thing. He's so stubbornly in love with Claire, and so stubbornly loyal, but also, you know, when they go at loggerheads, that's when the fireworks happen."

Heughan, who remarked he felt a little dazed after flying from Thailand to to a rainy Los Angeles the day before ("It felt like Scotland - cold and wet"), conceded his 18th-century character's ability to hit the ground running.

"It always makes me slightly laugh. ... In the first episode [of Season 2], they get to the harbor, and they're sort of runaways from Scotland and on the run, and yet in a short space of time, they've managed to acquire a whole new wardrobe, new premises in Paris," he said.

Jamie's also acquired a veneer of sophistication, in part attributable to Claire, who's still very much a woman of the 20th century.

"The more time he spends with her, the more he's becoming modern," Heughan said.

Jamie and Claire's mission for Season 2 will be to try to prevent the 1746 Battle of Culloden, whose loss by those attempting to restore the Stuarts to the British throne led to a crackdown that had disastrous consequences for the Scottish Highlands.

It's a history the Scottish Heughan grew up with.

"Culloden, and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and that sort of thing . . . it's in our heritage, it's in our blood," he said. Heughan was brought up singing the "Skye Boat Song" (a version of which was adapted for the Outlander theme).

That Stuart, the prince who originally escaped "over the sea to Skye," doesn't come off too well in Outlander didn't surprise Heughan.

"I think we all knew he was an absolute idiot. But a very dangerous one, very dangerous," he said.

"We've got Andrew Gower, who's playing Bonnie Prince Charlie and . . . it's an incredible performance. You just see so many layers to him. You understand why this young man believes he's the rightful king."

Heughan was disappointed in the results of a more recent uprising, the failed 2014 vote for Scottish independence, but happy to see so many of his countrymen engaged in politics, he said.

"There was a real buzz about the place."

He's happy, too, to have an occasional say in how Outlander depicts Scottish culture, describing the show's writers as open to changes if something strikes Heughan as not quite right.

"There was always concern that the show is being made by American TV," he said, "but it's great to be able to bring our culture and our race and our music to the rest of the world."