Sam Claflin Talks About Finnick and Catching Fire On Future Radio
Would you like to listen to Sam Clafiln discuss Finnick Odair and the upcoming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for a full seventeen minutes? Of course you would! Sam talked to Future Radio 107.8FM and the station has released a director’s cut podcast of the interview. Sam talked about how he had never heard of Finnick before auditioning but after gaining the role soon became a lover of the books (“I read them in 5 days”):
Beth: He was one of my favourite characters and he has one of the biggest arcs. Was he one of yours? Did he stand out while you were reading, like you struck gold that you got the good part?
Sam Claflin: I mean for me, I was already kinda cast! He definitely stuck out somewhat but for all the wrong reasons. Very selfishly, that was the only character I really cared about [laughs]. But the great thing about the books is that Suzanne Collins created these great arcs for each and every character, no matter, I mean from Katniss all the way down to her sister, to her mother. You know, each character goes on a journey. And I think that’s what’s so riveting about the books themselves.
Forrest: On the subject of Finnick, he’s quite a significant character in the story and he’s one that all the fans of the original literature are gonna have a mental picture of in their mind … So you’re gonna have this already well-established picture in people’s minds of what Finnick should be. How do you approach portraying a character like that with such expectations already there?
SC: I mean I have to say the pressure is on. I mean, I’m a member of Twitter and especially when it was first announced there was a huge backlash. Some positive and some very negative. You know people were sort of saying they wanted to kill themselves and that I wasn’t anywhere near good-looking enough. Everyone has their own perceptions of what a good-looking person is and basically all I can do is do my best and you know, you have to kind of not read the bad press or whatever. You have to keep focusing and working hard and the moment you channel that out I just had fun really. And it was hard work, it was definitely, definitely hard work. I was eating chicken and asparagus twice a day, every day. Not including all the other meals I was forced to have each day. And then working out two or three times a day. I didn’t really have a life but when I was on set there was a great dynamic between the cast and crew and when you’re on a set in the middle of Hawaii, you don’t really care about what other people think [laughs]. I enjoyed the moment when I was in the moment. You know, I’m still reading negative feedback but what can I do – I can’t change my face! [laughs]
Sam also talked about sitting down with director Francis Lawrence and discussing where Catching Fire was headed after the first film (along with a hint of Finnick’s wardrobe):
He was one of the first people I met when I arrived in America. And we had a sit down, we talked through the script, about the novels, about the previous film. I know he wasn’t the director on that but we talked about the flaws and ways of improving or developing the characters’ arc. And obviously the unfortunate thing about a film version is that they are trying to make this accessible to a younger audience, therefore there are certain aspects that you can’t include. One being Finnick Odair wearing just the net or just a knot covering his crotch. That was something that we couldn’t, unfortunately, include. But, you know, I’m scantily clad and hopefully people will still be happy!
The British actor told tales of getting his American accent right, getting Collins’ tone right, “mischievous” days on set with the cast, the transition from drama school to Pillars of the Earth to being in blockbusters – “I was eating beans on toast one day and the next day I was in Budapest,” and being freaked out by his talented co-stars:
It’s one of these things that gets through you, goes straight through you. I mean, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, even with Jennifer Lawrence who’s just won a Golden Globe and what have you! I am lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the best actors that are living.
To round off the interview, Sam joked that his apparent clumsiness on the set of Snow White and the Huntsman was still present during Catching Fire filming:
Forrest: … you’ve been using a trident for the role of Finnick. Have there been any close calls or horror stories whilst you’ve been filming?
SC: There really has. This is a question I don’t really know how much I can talk about. I was specifically asked not to mention some of the accidents that happened on set. All to do with me, I have to say… Let’s just say I am a very, very clumsy person. There was fall, after fall, after fall, after fall. We basically, me and Francis the director, we were laughing that there would be a DVD extra, a whole DVD on it’s own for the blooper reel – just for me! Because every time he’d say action, just before we had to a fight, I would flip over or fall. And even when I was standing still I’d manage to fall over. There were plenty of accidents.