Wednesday 24 January 2018

Catching On

Actor Sam Claflin has tied the knot and tied down some lead roles

It is all kicking off for young English actor Sam Claflin. This year, the 27-year-old has celebrated his marriage to fellow rising star Laura Haddock and has snaffled a major role in The Hunger Games, the popular film franchise drawn from Suzanne Collins' best-selling teen novels.

"The next couple of years should be an exciting time," begins Claflin who plays the heartthrob character Finnick Odair in Catching Fire, the second instalment in The Hunger Games film series.

"Not only with The Hunger Games coming out and getting married, but I have a film Posh coming out next year, and also The Quiet Ones and Love, Rosie and then another Games coming out.

"It is a very exciting time and one that I am embracing. Honestly, it is rare that I have the opportunity to really reflect what is going on in my life."

He tied the knot with his fiancée – who is best-known for her roles in the TV comedy How Not to Live Your Life and The Inbetweeners Movie – in July this year.

"I knew that I wanted to get married and have a family at some point but I never thought that I would know that so quickly, but she is the one.

"Like I have with my career at the moment, you just have to ride the wave and enjoy it while you can. We both want to be young parents but who knows?"

Claflin first rose to prominence on the back of his role in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides where he played Phillip Swift, before he was cast opposite Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth in Snow White and the Huntsman.

His casting in The Hunger Games, however, will really thrust him into the spotlight. His character is a firm fans' favourite. "There are so many good words to describe Finnick Odair.

"He is a very complex, three-dimensional character like all the others in the books. He is so far from me that it is a challenge!

"But, somehow, there must have been something that I did to turn it in my direction and they gave me the opportunity. It was a very challenging few months and I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself due to reading a lot of feedback from the fans and seeing that they were disappointed that I got the part."

He should take solace from the fact that fans of the Twilight saga bemoaned Robert Pattinson's casting as Edward Cullen, yet they loved his performance. Claflin will win the fans over, no problem, says Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence, who also directs the sequels Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2.

"He is a very handsome, charming guy," says Lawrence, "and he beefed up for this, got some muscles and did a great job. What I really responded to was Sam's warmth and this character really opens up from what we presume him to be in the beginning and really changes."

He is a supporting character in The Hunger Games, as he was in Pirates and Snow White, but Claflin will be seen in his first leading roles next year when he appears in the horror film The Quiet Ones, from Hammer Films and then in a romantic drama Love, Rosie, which he recently wrapped in Dublin.

Born in Ipswich he studied Performing Arts at Norwich City College before going on to attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

"I come from a very humble upbringing and I would not change it for the world because it has got me to where I am today," he says.

Irish Independent

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