InStyle Magazine Interview

BOH SAM 2

With huge thanks to @captainswanftw on Twitter, we are able to bring you a transcript of Sam’s wonderful interview with InStyle Magazine. Please credit us if using our transcript and @captainswanftw if using their scans.

***Spoiler alert for Mockingjay Part 2 – don’t read if you don’t want to know a major plot spoiler***

The sky hangs heavy and sullen on a muggy day in London. But Sam Claflin looks positively breezy. Sporting a pair of light blue jeans, a white linen shirt with its two top buttons undone to reveal a polite amount of chest hair, a tussled mane, and day-old stubble, he could be one of the more suave guests at a summer pool party. And he does, indeed, have a swashbuckling air about him. As Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games and Philip Swift in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the 29-year-old Ipswich-born actor has the swagger, skill set and sexiness of a young Errol Flynn.

But right now, in the low light of the Hoxton Holburn Hotel’s lounge, Claflin sinks into a slouchy chair to sip a cappuccino and admits, “In general, I’m very feminine, much more of a darling than a – ” he pulls his chin to his neck and affects a gruff voice: “-mate.” Then he adds chirpily, “If you know what I mean.” His smile is wide and bashful, with dimples halfway up to his cheeks. And then he tells me – spoiler alert – how he dies.

So, Sam, let’s cut to the chase. As anyone who has read the trilogy of books knows, in the next instalment of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II [out this month]  your character gets “decapitated by a lizard muttation.” How do you even begin to prepare for that?
That was the hardest day of work I’ve ever done. I was continually fighting, killing one stunt guy after another, and all for a grizzly end.
But that’s why one goes into acting, right? The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.
Weirdly, yes. I was very sporty growing up, and through drama school I focussed more on fight choreography and stage combat and less on Shakespeare. My dad and I enjoyed watching action films: all the Bonds, Braveheart, Gladiator. Lots of epic historical films. But The Goonies was and is my favourite movie.
And what about your mother?
She hates those sorts of movies. Homeward Bound was a big favourite of hers.
In your next film, the heartstring tugger Me Before You, you play Will Traynor, a paralyzed man. You’re also in talks to play Robin Friday, an English soccer player who died at age 38. Even Finnick, though superheroic, is human in the end. You seem attracted to the mortal in an age when so many actors are donning capes and masks.
I’m open-minded. If the right script came along, I would happily jump aboard. But the main thing is, I want to be challenged in new ways & work with interesting people. I’m not in a rush to win an Oscar or even try to go down that route.
You’ve got a bit of a tween fan base. Do you feel pressure to act in a certain way? Is it something you discuss with your wife, who is also an actress?
I suppose I have a certain following that my wife, Laura [Haddock], doesn’t. But in general, she’s much more publicly scrutinized – for everything from how she behaves to what she wears – than I am. As we’re both actors, we don’t talk much about it. To us, it’s just normal. As for my fans, I’m respectful of the age group that’s interested in me. I try not to swear too much, and, well…it’s a difficult balance. I like to drink, and I have a tattoo, but I keep it quiet. I don’t want kids saying, “He’s got one, so I’ll get one.”
What’s your tattoo of?
It’s a red and black swallow on my inner left bicep.
Who did you look up to as a kid?
That’s easy – David Beckham. I’ve played football every day of my life.
Oh, he has a ton of tattoos. You guys could bond over that. Have you met him?
No. I was at a party and he was there, but I was too nervous to approach him. It’s the second time I’ve really been quite speechless and giddy and childish. I hate the selfie things, but I saw Paul Rudd in a hotel in New York, and I have a secret man crush on him. I wanted to take a picture with him, but I said to myself, “I can’t stoop to that level”. I wish I had, though. I was telling my wife, who knows I love him, that I saw him and she said “Prove it,” and I couldn’t.
What’s your issue with selfies?
I was in the gym the other day when these two women arrived in their gym gear. After taking 10 minutes’ worth of selfies in front of the mirror, they went to every machine in turn and took more, with that little duck face people pull. It really bothered me. Their workout consisted of them taking photos of themselves on equipment. It’s a vanity the world has taken on. I don’t feel like I’ve worked out unless I’m dripping with sweat and probably looking my worst. Why do people want to see that? I think it’s part of a larger issue of how much we rely on computers. Even in my work, I worry about how much we rely on CGI. Animation is getting so good that soon we’ll just be voices, then manufactured voices and out of a job.
Would you prefer to be in another era, doing the lo-fi epics Errol Flynn did?
Yeah, I think I would. They literally slap their thighs and the music comes in at exactly the right moment. But I don’t know if people back then took those action films seriously.
Is being taken seriously a big concern?
It’s quite low down [laughs]. I think there are parts of me that would like to be taken seriously. But a lot of roles are offered to someone who’s better or more handsome.
Can anyone really be more handsome, Sam?
There’s a Hollywood hierarchy, and the same parts are offered to the same people. There’s a pool, and I’m on the outskirts trying to get in. I’m very lucky though. I have friends who would happily do the script I’ve just said no to. It’s a first world problem, but it is a problem I’m having.
Scans – credit to @captainswanftw (Twitter)

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