The Hunger Games‘ Finnick Odair actor, Sam Claflin, reflects on his breakout role nearly 10 years after his franchise debut. Based on the best-selling young adult dystopian book series of the same name by Suzanne Collins, the Hunger Games films were groundbreaking successes, not only launching Claflin’s career but also catapulting his co-stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, and Amandla Stenberg to immense international fame. Playing the arrogant yet lovable winner of the 65th Hunger Games, Claflin first appeared in the 2013 sequel Catching Fire.
Over a decade after being cast as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games series, Sam Claflin is reflecting on his experience of playing the former champion who went on to become a fan-favorite of the hit franchise. Speaking to Variety, the Daisy Jones & The Six actor explains just how different the character’s cool exterior was from his own lack of self-confidence as a rising performer. Check out what Claflin had to say below:
“I feel a little more confident in myself and comfortable in myself. Especially with a part like Finnick, where he just exudes charisma. At the time, I was shitting myself — the first topless scene I’ve ever done, you know? Oh, my God. Also, I didn’t have an accent coach in ‘Hunger Games,’ and I fucking needed one. I look back and listen to myself like, ‘God, that’s terrible.’”
Why Claflin Was A Controversial Choice to Play Finnick Odair
As Claflin himself has acknowledged, when he was announced to play Finnick in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, many fans of the book series were quick to voice their disappointment. Despite Claflin’s good looks, initial backlash to his casting stemmed from those who had imagined the character to be even more conventionally attractive. Before even seeing him in the role of Finnick, pressure was mounted on the actor by those presumptuously claiming he was unfit for the part.
However, Claflin successfully proved cynics wrong, and even has his detractors to thank for the overwhelmingly positive reception of his portrayal of Finnick. The actor has said before that he used the negative comments to push himself and prove them wrong. When The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released in 2013, critics and viewers alike met Claflin’s performance with praise.
Claflin’s ability to add humanity and heart to the conceited District 4 champion added a depth to the character that enhanced his presence on the sceen. For this reason, Finnick’s death in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is still considered one of the saddest of the entire series. Over a decade after starring in The Hunger Games series, Claflin seems to have built up his confidence considerably and now headlines notable projects regularly, with his latest, Daisy Jones & The Six, arriving on Prime Video Friday, March 3.
Next: Hunger Games: Why Finnick’s First Win Is Secretly Even Sadder