Sam Claflin: ‘I hate being offered heart-throb after heart-throb’
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Sam Claflin: ‘I hate being offered heart-throb after heart-throb’

Actors like to talk about their years in the wilderness before fame hit. Harrison Ford was a carpenter. Jon Hamm spent decades waiting tables. Channing Tatum stripped. It gives them some regular-Joe mass to weigh against their new celebrity. Sam Claflin, 29, star of The Hunger Games and Pirates of the Caribbean, is no different.

“Everyone has their struggles, I think. After I left drama school I had six months of rejection after rejection,” he says, sipping on a pint in Kentish Town, north London, in unseasonable autumn sunshine. “I thought about a plan B.”

Wait a second… Six months? Six months isn’t a period in the wilderness. In acting terms that is a mere long weekend of unemployment. After which Claflin was cast in Pirates of the Caribbean, Snow White and the Huntsman, then The Hunger Games and The Riot Club, the film version of the play Posh, a fictionalised version of the Bullingdon Club. This was in addition to TV roles in Any Human Heart and The Pillars of the Earth. By any actor’s standards, hardly a rocky road.

Still, it’s easy to understand where he’s coming from. The speed of Claflin’s ascent to matinée idol, courtesy of two of the biggest franchises of the 21st century, would embarrass any normal bloke. And apart from his career, everything about Claflin screams normal bloke. He is friendly and self-effacing, handsome and articulate. He complains about the trousers he’s wearing for our shoot being too tight for his “footballer thighs”. He was a promising junior player growing up in Norwich (you can still hear a faint Norfolk lilt in his vowels). There’s a swallow tattoo on his bicep that he got for his 28th birthday and only after years of planning. He lives in Chiswick, west London, with his wife, fellow actor Laura Haddock, because he’s “not cool enough for east London”.

Claflin says the trousers he’s wearing for our shoot are too tight for his ‘footballer thighs’
He certainly seems more at home outside a grim Kentish Town pub than he was being fussed over by make-up artists in the hot studio. Does he even enjoy the fashion shoots? “I fucking hate them! Well, no…” he adds, perhaps mindful of his PR obligations, “I just can’t understand why people would wear any of those things. But I’ve learned to enjoy myself on the day.”
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Sam Claflin Joins Rachel Weisz in ‘My Cousin Rachel’
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Sam Claflin Joins Rachel Weisz in ‘My Cousin Rachel’

Sam Claflin is in negotiations to co-star with Rachel Weisz in Fox Searchlight’s “My Cousin Rachel,” an adaptation of the classic Daphne Du Maurier novel.

The dark romance revolves around Philip, played by Claflin, a young orphan, who believes his mysterious, beautiful cousin Rachel, played by Weisz, may have been responsible for the murder of his beloved guardian Ambrose, also a cousin of theirs. As Philip plots his revenge, his feelings become complicated as he falls under Rachel’s beguiling spell.

The book, originally published in 1951, was previously adapted into a film starring Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton and directed by Henry Koster. This version will be helmed by Roger Michell, who will also adapt the script.

After breaking onto the scene opposite Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” Claflin gained notoriety when he landed the role of Finnick in “The Hunger Games” franchise, which quickly lead to more studios eyeing the thesp for more leading-man roles.

Besides “Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” bowing this November, Clafflin also reprises his role in “The Huntsman” opposite Chris Hemsworth as well as starring opposite Emilia Clarke in MGM’s “Me Before You,” both of which bow in the summer frame.

Claflin is repped by CAA and Independent Talent Group.

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Sam Claflin talks about playing a quadriplegic in new film

When Sam Claflin signed up to play a quadriplegic in his latest film Me Before You, he didn’t realise how much it would open his eyes to the struggles faced by disabled people.

The Hunger Games actor – who stars as a recently-paralysed man cared for by a small-town girl, played by Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke – initially thought the physical side of the role would hardly be a challenge.

Sam admitted: “I thought, ‘Do you know what, this is going to be so easy. I’ll be sat down.’ But the truth is, the hardships of being in a wheelchair, day in, day out are really starting to affect me.”

He revealed that he now notices uneven surfaces and “bobbles in the road” which would be a struggle for those in wheelchairs.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides actor consulted with wheelchair-bound disabled people as part of his research for the role.

He explained: “We had the opportunity, and were fortunate enough, to meet and talk to a lot of people who were in wheelchairs and talk through their experiences. You realise life is short and we’re very lucky.

“So many of them are so inspirational and so many of their stories are inspirational.”

Sam also spoke of his disappointment at not getting the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Rogue One, admitting: “I can’t deny I auditioned, and they decided to go a different way.”

After rumours spread in April, “all of a sudden my phone was just ringing constantly for two days, people saying ‘oh my God you’re going to be Luke Skywalker!’ And I wasn’t Luke Skywalker.”

He added: “I’m a huge fan of the franchise and I wish them the best of luck. I hope my path and their path crosses at some stage.”

Me Before You will be released in June 2016.

Emilia Clarke-Sam Claflin Drama ‘Me Before You’ Set for June 2016
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Emilia Clarke-Sam Claflin Drama ‘Me Before You’ Set for June 2016

Warner Bros. and MGM have set a June 3, 2016, release date for the drama “Me Before You,” starring “Game of Thrones” actress Emilia Clarke and “Hunger Games” actor Sam Claflin.

Thea Sharrock is directing from a script by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, based on the Jojo Moyes novel about a woman in a small town who forms an unlikely bond with a recently paralyzed man.

Clarke will next be seen in “Terminator: Genisys” playing Sarah Connor. Claflin stars in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2.”

Me Before You” is the second title slated for release on that date, joining Paramount’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.”

Sam Claflin Returns for ‘The Huntsman’
Categories Movie Projects News Press The Huntsman

Sam Claflin Returns for ‘The Huntsman’

Chris Hemsworth stars in Universal’s spinoff alongside Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain

Sam Claflin, who played Snow White’s love interest William in “Snow White and the Huntsman,” will return for Universal’s sequel “The Huntsman,” which focuses on Chris Hemsworth’s titular character, TheWrap has learned.

Claflin will reprise his role as William, Snow White’s childhood best friend whose tender kiss broke the spell in the first film. He’ll appear in a small supporting role, and despite his casting, Kristen Stewart is not expected to appear in “The Huntsman.”

Charlize Theron is returning as Queen Ravenna, and she’ll be joined by new additions Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt as the film’s villain. Nick Frost also returns as one of the dwarves alongside British actors Rob Brydon, Alexandra Roach and Sheridan Smith.

The sequel expands the universe established in the first film to reveal how the fates of Eric the Huntsman (Hemsworth) and Ravenna (Theron) intersected before they met Snow White (Stewart).

Cedric Nicolas-Troyan will direct from a script by Frank Darabont, who strengthened earlier drafts by Craig Mazin and Evan Spiliotopoulos. Joe Roth returns to produce, while Palak Patel will executive produce.

Studio executives Maradith Frenkel and Chloe Yellin will oversee the project for Universal, which will release the film on April 22, 2016.

Claflin is also known for playing Finnick Odair in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” and Philip in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” He recently auditioned for “Star Wars: Rogue One” and signed on to star in a biopic of soccer legend Robin Friday. He’s represented by CAA and Independent Talent Group.

Sam Claflin to Lead Robin Friday Biopic
Categories Movie Projects News Press Robin Friday Biopic

Sam Claflin to Lead Robin Friday Biopic

Sam Claflin is set to star in the upcoming soccer legend biopic Robin Friday, to be directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Henry-Alex Rubin (Murderball, Disconnect), it was announced today by producers Mike Young, Julian Stone and Paolo Hewitt of RF Movie Productions Ltd. Financing partners include Global Film Partners’ Daniel Koefoed and Guirec van Slingelandt, Telegael’s Paul Cummings and 9Magnan’s Meghana Gupta.

Based on the biography “The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw: The Robin Friday Story,” co-written by acclaimed music and sports author Paolo Hewitt, the screenplay was written by Stone and Hewitt.

Scheduled for a fall shoot in the UK, the feature film was developed with funding and support from Film Cymru Wales. Additional casting is underway to bring an authentic soccer presence to Robin Friday’s world including casting real-life professional soccer players.

Claflin will play the lead role of Robin Friday, the controversial and wild English soccer legend who played for Reading and Cardiff, Wales in the 1970s and died tragically at the young age of 38. Friday’s short-lived, but brilliant talent continues to be remembered by his fans, and in 2004 he was voted “all time cult hero” in a BBC poll. He was just as well known for his hedonistic lifestyle off the field and was named #1 in a Channel 4 list of soccer “Bad Boys.”

“This will not just be a film about cheering a goal,” says Stone, “but about tears and laughs and music and silence and anger and love…because this working-class hero with outrageous talent lived it all. It was a time before the age of privileged athletes, a time when the fans lived next door to their heroes. As Robin Friday walked down the streets of the ’70s, everybody wanted to be him. But quite frankly, no one else had the balls.”

“Robin Friday’s legacy continues to live on today,” adds Barros, “and is a story tailor-made for the big screen given the larger-than-life energy which Friday brought to the sport and his life. The talented Sam Claflin is the perfect actor to fill the shoes of this British legend due to his background in the sport prior to pursuing his acting career.”

Fortitude International, co-founded by Nadine de Barros, Robert Ogden Barnum and Daniel Wagner, will handle foreign rights and will present the project to buyers at the Cannes Film Market. De Barros will be supported by her sales team including Katie Irwin, VP of International and Samantha Peel, Director of International Sales and Marketing. CAA, which packaged and arranged financing, will represent the film’s North American rights.

Sam Claflin Eyed to Star in ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’
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Sam Claflin Eyed to Star in ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’

Sam Claflin is being eyed for one of the starring roles in “Star Wars: Rogue One,” while Riz Ahmed is in talks to join the cast as well, an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Disney and the actors’ reps had no comment.

Felicity Jones and Ben Mendelsohn are set to star in “Rogue One,” which was recently revealed to be a heist actioner involving a group of resistance fighters who unite to steal the plans to the Death Star.

Gareth Edwards is directing the film, which will take place between the events of Episode III, “Revenge of the Sith,” and the original “Star Wars” film, “A New Hope.”

While Claflin does not have the role yet, he is the frontrunner for one of the ensemble roles. He has a lot of experience as a supporting player in blockbusters ranging from “Snow White and the Huntsman” to “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Hunger Games,” but he is being eyed for a more substantial role in “Rogue One.”

“Star Wars: Rogue One” will be released Dec. 16, 2016.

Claflin and Ahmed, best known for “Four Lions” and “Nightcrawler,” are both repped by CAA.