This August, Sam Claflin officially beat out every other young actor in Hollywood to score the role of Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Now, with filming nearing completion, the 26-year-old has opened up for the first time about the cool character, his physical preparation and hopes for the cinematic sequel!
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Claflin says that it took him a hot minute after landing the role to feel like Finnick. "They decided to go with me as opposed to any of the other young, hot, good-looking actors out there," he laughs. "I have a tan and a six-pack now after four months of hard work. I feel slowly but surely like I am Finnick Odair."
Finnick's physicality is hugely important as he is not only one of the most lusted after Victors in Hunger Games history, but, as Claflin says, "I spend a lot of the film carrying an old lady on my back, as Finnick carries Mags for the majority of the arena scenes. From the moment I set foot in Atlanta, they had me at the gym, working out twice a day. And then stunt training, it's nonstop." And that includes once action is called.
"I feel like every day of filming is a workout, running around Hawaii with little old Lynn Cohen on my back. As for my diet, I think I've eaten more chickens than there are in the world. [laughs] I would eat chicken and asparagus for lunch and dinner, and for breakfast I'd have an omelet and oatmeal. And I had that every day for four months. I've talked to my friends and said, 'Oh my God, I'm so depressed, I just want a burger.' And they're like, 'You don't know how lucky you are to be doing what you are doing.'"
Of course Claflin is keenly aware of how lucky he is to be playing this role. "There are so many complexities to this character," he says. "Finnick has a tempestuous relationship with Katniss -- she trusts him one minute, and the next she doesn't. I love their relationship. Together they eventually realize they need each other to survive, and that is beautiful."
An apt description for his relationship with co-stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutchinson as well. "Jen is the most talented actress I have had the pleasure of working with," Claflin says, adding that he and Josh hit if off from moment one. "It's a definite bromance."
As for Catching Fire, Claflin is excited for the fans to see his incarnation of Finnick and hope he lives up to their lofty expectations. "All I can say is I try very hard and hopefully I won't disappoint people. He's a very charming physical being, and hopefully he will be exactly what people read in the book and I won't be doing an injustice. I hope people enjoy my interpretation. Hopefully we'll make a bigger and better one this time around."
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22.