Sam Heughan has admitted he would “jump” at the chance to play James Bond, but said the character in his new movie was a “more authentic” version of 007.
The Scottish star, 40, plays special forces operator Tom Buckingham in SAS: Red Notice, an adaptation of former SAS soldier Andy McNab’s novel of the same name.
The film finds Buckingham on a train to Paris in the Channel Tunnel when it is hijacked by heavily armed mercenaries, who hold all the passengers hostage.
Heughan, best known for his role as Highland warrior Jamie Fraser in the historical drama Outlander, told the PA news agency: “It was very physical. It is an action movie and there are a lot of fights but strangely I loved it. It was exhausting and fun.
“Every day I loved going to work and playing a new character, and of course I love action.
“And then you have Andy McNab who is this relentless ball of energy. He just doesn’t sleep. Well he does, but he only sleeps enough and then he’s just go, go, go and it was fun to try and keep up with him.
“I feel so fortunate to be able to do other projects with my other job on Outlander and I think it’s actually been a great place to learn the skills that I’ve needed. A lot of the physical side has been really useful to then take it to other projects.”
Discussing the similarities between his film and the Bond franchise, Heughan said: “It’s hard not to look at this movie and compare the two. They are kind of in the same world.
“Obviously this is based on the authentic actual reality of how the military and how the government operate as well, and all the experiences were based on Andy McNab’s experiences so I would say this is, dare I say it, more of an authentic Bond than Bond is. Bond is a lot more heightened.”
Asked how he feels about rumours he might replace Daniel Craig as 007, he said: “I don’t know if there is a conversation being had apart from in the media, but I think it’s an incredible franchise and a great character, so of course I would jump at it.
“But I feel like Tom Buckingham is equally as interesting and, who knows, maybe this could be the new franchise.”
SAS: Red Notice is available on Sky Cinema from March 12.