Intense Oxford student. Chunky but cuddly pirate. Post-apocalyptic titan. Since 2013, hero first, tormented later. Black and white. Surface and depth. All and all of this are Sam Claflin (United Kingdom, 1986), a 26-year-old who joined the saga The Hunger Games in its second installment, On fire. The concept of his career is clear. He knows which way he wants to go and every day he makes the decisions that he believes will lead him there.
“I don’t want to be pigeonholed. I want to make different characters, different movies, different themes. For me the challenge is to always do something new,” he exclaims as he rotates one of the rings that cover his hands, almost half a dozen. This Friday the third part of that adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ book opens in theaters, The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part I; and he knows that he runs the risk of being trapped in one name, that of Finnick Odair. A character who, without being an empty shell and with a slight background, does not have the strength of the one she played for the Danish director Lone Scherfig in The Riot Club, an independent film released in 2014 only in the UK and Ireland.
I don’t want to be pigeonholed. For me the challenge is to always do something new
Enjoy this costume as much as any of the others, you are aware that it is one more step, one step from so many others that you will have to keep climbing. And he claims to feel privileged to be part of the blockbuster franchise directed by Francis Lawrence that has caused fervor among young people around the world. “It may seem that he is an easy character. But he is not like that. He is dark, he has a difficult character and he was a new challenge, which is what I like.”
The challenge was not just professional, but personal. “At first I felt that I did not deserve to be part of this team. I found a series of tremendous success to play a character loved by the fans; and when they cast me for the role, I knew they had doubts about my ability to rise to the challenge”. Claflin dived into work to show that he could be up to the task, an attitude that generated some anxiety, he says now with a slight smile. “I began to read all the information I found, I read the specialized opinions and 95% did not agree with my choice. That only made me work as hard as I could to measure up, to prove that they were wrong.” It did not disappoint within the set. Nor was it.
Fans adore Odair, a hero in the second part who becomes one of the secondary tributes in the third. Immersed in himself, unable to communicate what he feels to others, empty. “The strength of the character in the previous film was just a mask, he was playing a role for the cameras that recorded him all the time. Now he can show himself as he is, insecure, sensitive, without family or friends, like some kind of wounded bird. He is totally lost, although he will end up finding himself, “says rogue. The end of the more than two hours of this part of the tetralogy has the answer to that wink. A fiction that runs parallel to a dystopian present in which reality is broader than invention; although it has lost steam in the drama of the narrative.
“There are many parallels between the 13 districts and today’s society, especially when it comes to privacy, the intrusion of the media into everyday life and the technological battle,” Claflin argues. On Mockingjay Part I –produced simultaneously with the second and last part—, the revolution of the districts against the Capitol is launched, the people gain strength through their insignia, the sinsajo incarnated in Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), and combat breaks out. Claflin, prudent, claims to try to stay away from politics: “That world does nothing but harm, over time you realize that the vast majority of politicians lie, although it is precisely politics that keeps the world running.”
His is now focused on enjoying the premiere of this penultimate chapter of the Panem world. “And keep working, always try to get out of your comfort zone, take advantage of every opportunity you get.” That opportunity has already materialized in a new project in which he will live in a wheelchair: “My next self will be a man who, after an accident, becomes quadriplegic. An incredible and exciting story in which the character loses everything” . Little to do with Finnick Odair’s armor; “And that’s what I like.”
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The Hunger Games: Sam Claflin, the lost hero | Culture