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Sam Claflin opens up about 'Catching Fire' casting backlash

Movies News / Elizabeth Darrell

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Sam Claflin opens up about 'Catching Fire' casting backlash

  • Sam Claflin was cast as Finnick Odair in 'Catching Fire'
  • He received backlash from fans for not being good looking enough
  • He also talks about keeping an American accent during filming, and working with film legends on 'Catching Fire'
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Sam Claflin has a new interview with Norwich Future Radio about his experience on ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’.  When asked whether he had read the books before he got cast, Claflin replies, “Before I got the part? No, no. Funnily enough, when I first went to see the first The Hunger Games, the original, I had no idea that it was a trilogy. I had no idea it was based on books. I just knew there was a big hype around – you know it was being called the new Twilight. And what have you. So I think I was curious as to what this big thing, this… You know, I was very curious. And kind of got the audition for this part of Finnick Odair. I was in Los Angeles. I remember saying ‘Who the hell is this Finnick?’
Sam Claflin with Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence filming 'Catching Fire' in Hawaii
 
He adds that he did as much research as possible before his audition, saying, “And I tried to go on Wikipedia and do as much research as possible prior to my first audition, and luckily I was kind of steered in the right direction by the casting director and the director himself. Between the moment that I was sort of offered the part and I was kind of trying to work out the smaller details as the contracts and what have you, I read the books and I read them in five days. Couldn’t quite help but turn the page and keep reading, you know, you can’t just put it down.”
 
He also talks about the initial reactions of fans when he got cast, saying, “I mean, I’m a member of Twitter and, you know, specially when it was first announced there was a huge backlash. Some positive and some very negative, you know, people were like saying they want to kill themselves, that I wasn’t anywhere near a good looking Finnick. Everyone has their own perception of what a good-looking person is. And basically, all I can do is do my best and you know it’s – you have to kinda try not reading the bad press or whatever, you know?”
Sam Claflin at the premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman
Sam Claflin at the premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman
 
Claflin also adds that he made a conscious effort to keep an American accent during filming, and working with such an incredible group of actors on ‘Catching Fire’ ‘freaked him out’.  He says, “You can’t help but let it, you know – it’s one of those things that go through you, it goes straight through you. I mean, Stanley Tucci, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Even Jennifer Lawrence is just, you know, one golden girl and what have you. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the best actors that are living. You know, from Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz to Ian McShane. It’s ridiculous the list of names that I have worked with. But you know, I know I’m very, very lucky to be in the situation that I am. Some of my friends in drama school haven’t worked since drama school, and you know, you kind of just have to put it down to luck really.” 
Sam Claflin is Finnick Odair in 'Catching Fire'
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