Sam Claflin has been cast as Finnick O’Dair in Catching Fire. E Online posted some things that we should all know about the reasons he’s the perfect Finnick…
• Claflin’s childhood clearly prepared him for the bloody Panem arena. “My parents bought me this book called Twisted Tales when I was a kid, which is all the fairy tales turned on their heads,” he told E!’s Marc Malkin. “At the end of Cinderella, the prince finds out she’s not a princess…so he chops her head off.”
• He’s said he spent his teens in “one of the roughest schools there is.” And, in the same way that Finnick has a “self-effacing humor,” according to the books, Claflin is down-to-Earth too. When I interviewed him last year, he modestly explained, “I come from the bottom of the ladder. I’m from Norwich. Not many people seem to know about it. It’s that sticky-outy bit over there. You know, in the east.”
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• Fans of the books also know that Claflin has a true love, Annie Cresta. Claflin, meanwhile, has a real woman he’s pretty crazy about: fiance Laura Haddock, 26, a British actress who appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger. “Back in London and reunited with @laurajhaddock,” he Tweeted a few days ago after a trip to South Africa. “Happy happy happy. Sun shiny day as well. Good timing. Hope you all have a good one x.”
• And oh: Like career tribute Odair, Claflin has a mentor. “Johnny Depp gave me the best advice,” Claflin told me after costarring with him in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. “He said, ‘Keep your feet on the ground. Stay grounded. Remember where you came from’.”
• Finally, the kid knows from pain. I won’t spoil what happens to Finnick in the Suzanne Collins series, but Claflin does know what it’s like to be knocked out of a competition. Before he became an actor, he wanted to be a pro soccer player, but a busted ankle killed that plan. It’s a loss for the Norwich soccer team, but definitely a gain for Hunger Games fans.