Mockingjay.net Staff React to Sam Claflin as Finnick
It was all the way back on July 17 when we heard the first rumor that Sam Claflin had been offered the role of Finnick Odair in next year’s ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.’ After weeks of rumor after rumor from various sources, Lionsgate finally announced on Wednesday that Sam has, indeed, been cast as Finnick.
Even though we’ve all had five weeks to imagine Sam as Finnick, reactions from the fandom were still very varied last Wednesday. Read on to see what the Mockingjay.net Staff has to say about Sam Claflin taking on the role of our beloved Finnick.
One thing is for sure: I did not jump up and down in excitement when I saw this official announcement. I have nothing against Sam. I’ve only ever seen him in SWATH. There’s a scene in there where he’s ʺpossessedʺ by the evil queen, and he rocked it. But for Finnick? I’m wrapping my head around this one. This is the one character that everybody loves – myself included. Naturally, I was always going to be really picky with whoever they decided to cast. I’ve even had several weeks of speculation to get used to it, but I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it.
I’m sure I’m coming across as super unfair, and feel free to tell me, ʺhaters gonna hate.ʺ It’s really not hate, though! I don’t hate Sam. I’m sure he’s stoked about this, as he should be, and for that, I’m happy for him. In my eyes, he’s just not necessarily Finnick, yet. Emphasis on the yet. I know a lot of people weren’t thrilled when Jen was cast as Katniss, and she proved everyone wrong. So fingers crossed that Sam kicks some major ass and puts everyone at ease. The producers know what they’re doing, okay? Let’s enjoy it.
I feel like I’m in the rare few that is super duper happy about Sam as Finnick. I think it’s because I saw him in ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ and he really showed off his acting chops, and when I saw him in interviews he really just has that ‘Finnick’ charm. It’s not like me to discount appearance entirely, since obviously he doesn’t look like a bronzed California looking male model, but I just think he’s going to nail the sassy, adorable side of Finnick’s character that made us all fall in love with him. Which is the most important, in my opinion. Plus, I think he’s really attractive! His face also just looks so….Finnick to me, and I don’t know why.
Sam is not who I first pictured to be Finnick. But I saw him in ʺPirates of the Carribeanʺ and I really really liked him in it. I trust that they chose him because he was the best. So welcome Sam, and please be the best Finnick we could ever wish for!
I’m totally cool with Sam Claflin, from what I’ve seen him in (even though ʺPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tidesʺ was a bit pants) he wasn’t half bad in it. I really can’t explain this, he wasn’t my first choice, it’s got nothing to with his looks but something about Sam just feels… right. Maybe it’s because he seems like such a nice guy and so thankful for the opportunities he’s had, I know he’ll work hard and pull this off. And he’s pretty easy on the eyes. Plus Nina Jacobson was part of this casting process – if anyone can cast Panem, she can. I’m glad this leaked early on, I’d already accepted him a few weeks back. Sam, you’ve got my thumbs up and can’t wait to see you at your trident wielding best.
People who read the comments on this site know my feelings on the matter and I’m still not completely convinced. He just is not Finnick to me yet. It does, of course, help that he’s a real sweetie because I’d take him over Alex Pettyfer’s attitude any day of the week and twice on Sunday. However, that doesn’t mean I’m confident he’ll do the role the justice it deserves and I’m pretty sure he must know what a awful task he was taking on trying to please every Hunger Games fan in the world, so kudos to him for doing it anyway. He’ll have a long road ahead of him, but if he does well, it will for sure be amazing for his career.
One problem I’m having a hard time with is Sam just seems way too ʺnice guyʺ to fill both sides of such a complicated character. Regardless of my feelings on the matter though, I remain an unflinching supporter of the novels and while this announcement may be a disappointment for me since I was really heavily entrenched in the Garrett Hedlund camp, I will continue to support Sam and this film in the coming months and I sincerely hope that I’m pleasantly surprised next November.
If I’m completely honest with myself, there’s not a man alive that would make me happy as Finnick (except for maybe Chris Hemsworth, a couple years younger, long hair, cleanshaven, and a chest and abs like he had in ʺThorʺ). That being said, I was still let down when they made the official Finnick announcement. I’ve only seen Sam in SWATH, and while I thought it was a pretty good movie, I wasn’t wowed by what little screentime they gave to Sam’s character.
However, I have always claimed to have 100% faith in Nina Jacobson and Suzanne Collins, and if they okayed this decision, then I’m sure I’ll come around. I truely believe that there’s something in Sam that I just haven’t seen yet, and I’m starting to allow myself to get a little excited about watching him become Finnick. It will be a tremendous job to please all the rabid Hunger Games fans and Finnick lovers, and I hope he’s up for the challenge. But, more than anything, I hope his performance in ʺCatching Fireʺ sends me straight to my computer, where I will compose a heart-felt apology telling him ʺI’m so sorry I ever doubted you!ʺ
To be totally honest, I feel like whoever was selected for this role was going to be scrutinised and hated by die-hard Finnick lovers because, lets face it, I can’t think of one actor on this planet that everyone would be 100% happy with playing him. When it comes to casting for a film which is based on a beloved book series such as this one, you form your own personal ideas of the character and have certain expectations which can perhaps never be met. We all have different ideas of our perfect Finnick, if they were going by what the fans wanted I think they’d struggle immensely.
Although I am a Finnick lover myself, I wasn’t too shocked or disappointed with the casting of Sam Claflin as our Finnick. I’ve maintained ever since he was rumoured to be cast that at least if he gets it, he’s a genuinely nice guy which is better than certain others that were rumoured for the part. I think that, as he hasn’t flexed his acting chops very far as of now, we might be very pleasantly surprised by his performance. I stand by what I’ve always said regarding casting for these films (and I’ve never been disappointed yet), if he’s good enough for Nina (and I’m guessing Suzanne, but we’re still waiting for her opinion), well then he’s good enough for me.
I will be honest and admit that Sam was not my first choice for Finnick, but he was not my last either – there were far worse possibilities. I made a promise to myself that I would be positive and supportive of all castings (which is going to make the next year much easier to cope with!), so I am welcoming Sam with open arms. He is certainly not unattractive either, and I would much prefer that they get the other aspects of Finnick right (the charm, bravery, love for Annie, strength, inner turmoil and so on) than just focus purely on his looks, and I’m sure that is what Nina and co saw in the audition room. I can’t wait to see the first shots of him in character as Finnick, and for him to make me go ʺWow, that’s Finnick!ʺ, so it’s up to Sam now to be the best Finnick possible. Oh, and to get a haircut too please.
Now that you’ve had time to think about it, what do you think of Sam as Finnick?