Sam has a new interview and photoshoot for GQ Hype! You can read his great interview below and find photos from the cover and photoshoot in our gallery!
Sam Claflin is the sort of man that gets punched in the face and ends up apologising for it. Well, not the sort of man – the actual man this has happened to. Claflin was 19 years old, minding his own business on the dance floor at Po Na Na nightclub in Norwich. He still has no idea why the stranger decided to swing for him, but being agreeable to his bones, he’s still giving that guy the benefit of the doubt 17 years later.
This amenability makes sense when you meet Claflin, who it is clear is on a quest to be one of life’s good guys. He is a Chelsea fan, and yet he finds himself rooting for their rivals. “I’m not one of those football fans that’s anti-anyone,” he tells me, in full Ted Lasso mode, right down to the nervous press-conference smile. “I support Chelsea but I love that Arsenal are doing well. I’m also really gunning for Tottenham to win something. I love watching Manchester United starting to do well again, or Liverpool for a couple of years. Seeing Leicester win.”
It is mid-afternoon on a flat Thursday in February, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” soaring from the radio in an empty Irish pub in Camden, North London. Claflin arrives in a blue baseball cap proclaiming the letter S – not for Sam, he says, not entirely convincingly–- and radiating a cautious charm. Hilariously handsome, in a way that is made even funnier by how mortified he seems by his good looks, he is dashing in a Waitrose Organic kind of way. This mother-approved, Disney-prince DNA is, to an extent, how Claflin made his name, with enough hunky roles to fill a shirtless calendar from January to December. The wheelchair-bound millionaire in Me Before You; the winsome missionary in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides; the gladiatorial stud Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games. If your sister fancied a blond character in a movie between 2011 and 2016, there is an approximately 40 per cent chance it was Sam Claflin. “I think I was on the ‘upcoming hot under-30-year-olds list’ for like ten years and I was like, ‘I’m still not coming,’” he says with an easy laugh. “A lot of guys recognise me because their girlfriends have forced them to watch something I’m in.”
This may be about to change with the noisy arrival of Daisy Jones and the Six, the Amazon series adapted from the bestselling book of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The story is inspired by the chaotic formation and steep rise to fame of Fleetwood Mac and set in the scrubby dreamland of Los Angeles’s Laurel Canyon in the ’70s, an era in which people congregated in cabins for parties, so that you could see candles littered through the mountains as evenings wore on.
Soundtracks are often talked about as a character in TV and films, but for Daisy Jones it’s the whole plot, with the writing of the band’s album providing a fuse for the roiling drama between the band members. Claflin and Riley Keough – the real-life granddaughter of Elvis Presley, who plays the magnetic, infuriating singer Daisy Jones – worked with high-profile music producers Blake Mills and Tony Berg to write and record an actual album, since released under the fictional band’s name.