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Sam Claflin was “sh*tting himself” over Hunger Games role

Sam Claflin says that the terror of singing in Daisy Jones doesn't compare to the even greater horror of going topless as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games

Sam Claflin in The Hunger Games

Sam Claflin is currently preparing for the launch of drama series Daisy Jones & The Six, which starts on Amazon Prime on March 3. Based on the best-selling book, it tells the tale of a 70s rock band – which is heavily based on Fleetwood Mac. Claflin had to sing and learn to play the guitar for his scary audition, and to prepare for the role, but it doesn’t compare to the terror he felt going topless as Finnick Odair in fantasy movie series The Hunger Games.

“As much as I do feel pressure knowing that there’s an audience for this already,” Claflin told Variety, about the fact that both Daisy Jones and Hunger Games are based on books with a devoted fan-base; “I don’t let it affect me the way that I used to.”

Remembering the initial backlash to his being cast as Finnick, he begins to quote the insults from more than a decade ago: “‘You were so wrong for this.’ ‘They should have cast this person or this person, not you.’” But Claflin proved the naysayers wrong when Finnick became a fan-favourite character.

Still, looking back on The Hunger Games, Claflin says he wishes he could redo parts of his performance, knowing what he knows now. “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.’”

Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will be released in November 2023. It stars Viola Davis, Euphoria‘s Hunter Schafer, Game of Thrones‘ Peter Dinklage, Rachel Zegler, and Tom Blyth as a young version of Coriolanus Snow. It’s directed by Francis Lawrence, who directed of three of the four Hunger Games movies.