Play It Again Sam

Where to start? Oh yeah– we finally got our Finnick today! First of all, I feel like I need to go back on my last article featuring my railing at the gods over poor Mr. Claflin– so here goes. I like Sam, I’ve always liked Sam, I’ll probably continue to like Sam even after The Hunger Games series finishes out. Why? Because I’ve been a fan of his for a couple of years now, and my admiration for his talent is not going anywhere, so there’s that. However, regarding my previous railings– those worries still hold water, but they are quickly evaporating. If you’re unwilling to go back and read what I wrote before, I’ll just lay it out here, Sam’s not the definition of an Adonis, and in a way that makes me wary, but then again Finnick was never described as an Adonis. This is Finnick’s description, “tall, athletic, with golden skin and bronze-colored hair and those incredible eyes.” If you’re taking the description at face value, that is actually Sam Claflin that was just mapped out in words. True, he’s not 6’5 like my favorite Armie Hammer, but he’s still above average in height at 5’11 (average is 5’10), he is athletic, he even played a professional football player in United opposite David Tennant. Also, he’s wholly capable of achieving a tan, and yes– in my opinion he does have incredible eyes, and believe it or not they are green, as Finnick is also described to have.

I haven’t seen a recent photo of him since he was doing press for Snow White and the Huntsman, but that was over three months ago, and as Hunger Games fans we should all know that three months can mean a lot where it comes to an actor’s physique changing. Case in point: Josh Hutcherson was an average built 18 year-old kid when he was cast as Peeta, but about two months later he had gained 15 lbs of muscle, had his hair dyed blond, got a tan– and pretty much won most of the nay-sayers over with his shear Peeta-ness. The cast of this on going franchise are not slouches where it comes to

He did a GQ spread!

reaching, and achieving the physical transformations their characters require, it’s part of their job to be on top of these things, we all know this, right? Jennifer Lawrence as we unfortunately know, has been hitting the gym regularly for the last several months, as seen in the innumerable, and bothersome paparazzi shots of her leaving her yoga studio, or what not. We all also know that Josh Hutcherson has been hitting the diet and exercise bag hard, and has also let some privileged hair stylist attack his hair with a bottle of bleach. Liam Hemsworth, can’t forget him– he’s just neck-deep in production on Paranoia, and has magically seemingly kept some of the svelte-ness he attained for Gale last summer. However, I have no doubt that once he gets on set for Catching Fire, he’s probably going to have to forgo beer, and all other carbs until his last day of shooting. Which brings me to the newly cast Sam, my take is that Sam’s known for a number of weeks that he got the gig, and has been minding his p’s and q’s, and that includes exercising, and possibly dieting even whilst shooting a made for TV film down in South Africa not 10 days ago. I follow him on Twitter, and he has said that he’s trying to be good where it comes to exercise and food. So, rest easy you lot who are off in a corner fuming, the magic of a strict diet, an insane work-out routine, a good hair stylist, and a well placed gold-net will transform Sam Claflin into the charming, doomed wretch we all adore so very much.

I have to say this, if you’ve only seen Snow White and the Huntsman, or Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides you’re doing a massive disservice to your well rounded-ness as a human being. Sam’s a British actor, and British actors make their bread and butter by doing short series’, made for TV movies, theater, and if they’re lucky– feature films, and that is exactly how Sam’s fed himself for years, except the theater bit, I have seen no evidence of him doing theater outside of drama school at LAMDA. You are reading this on the Internet, and the Internet is a wealth of information, and I guarantee you that you can find a way to watch all of his work outside of the two feature films I named above. You can find Pillars of the Earth at most public libraries, or find it on Netflix.  Any Human Heart is also available at libraries, and from Netflix. United, which was released in 2011, for most audiences outside of the UK is hard to find– but this is the Internet, so go find it other ways, guys– that also goes for White Heat! Let me put it this way, if you want to know what this guy is capable of– you need to actually see what he’s capable of.

Go to! That’s Shakespeare.

Them There Eyes



  1. Awesome article! I will say that I think you\’re wrong about Finnick not being a Adonis. In Catching Fire, when he’s first introduced, Katniss mentions his “extraordinary beauty” — you can’t get much more Adonis-like than that, haha. He had sponsors tripping over themselves to send him gifts, and since Katniss says absolutely nothing about his personality at that point, one can only assume that it was because of his physical appearance.

  2. Great article. I really liked getting more reasons to get behind Sam Claflin, other than just “I trust Lionsgate”. However, I think that much of the Claflin-hate isn’t really about him, it’s that he isn’t Armie Hammer, or Garrett Hedlund, or whatever fantasy image of Finnick a reader has envisioned. Even if Sam works out, dyes his hair, and gets a tan, he’s never going to measure up to the Finnick who swims through the dreams of many of his fans.

    Hopefully, though, most of Finnick’s fans are not drawn simply to his physical beauty, and can be won over by a stellar acting performance. Much as I admit that Josh Hutcherson STILL doesn’t look like the Peeta I’ve envisioned, and I’ve ranted before about how THG shortchanged his character. BUT I do think Josh did great with what he was given, and I hope that his enthusiasm about his character arc in Catching Fire translates into a better product.

    This controversy, however, doesn’t just remind of the initial reaction to Josh as Peeta. It reminds me of the Harry Potter fandom, and the scathing reception David Thewlis got when he was cast as Lupin. A lot of Lupin fans who’d thought up this fantasy image of him as a looker were quite disappointed by who they saw as a mustachioed, middle-aged man playing Lupin. And this is a character who wasn’t even described as attractive in the books! I also remember Sirius fans being disappointed by Gary Oldman as not attractive enough to play Sirius. But they seemed to get over it for the most part.

    So, yeah, nothing new under the sun, really, is there? This is the dark side, I guess, of fancasting. I personally deal with it by viewing movie adaptations, even good ones, more like I would a fanfic or fancast, an interpretation of canon, not canon itself,

  3. See, here’s the thing with Sam. I really like him. I count myself lucky to have not seen Snow White and the Hunstman or Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Even though I love Sam and I love Charlize and Johnny Depp, Kristen Stewart makes me want to yell and I lost hope in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise after I saw the monstrosity that was the second film. My love of Sam comes from United and then Any Human Heart and more recently Pillars of the Earth and White Heat. The fact is, the man can act. And not only can he act, but I think he’s hot.

    My husband and I were discussing the whole Finnick thing the other day when Sam was just rumored and we both liked the idea. My husband really likes him as an actor and while he may not think he’s as attractive as I do, he doesn’t see an issue with him fitting the “incredibly beautiful” description given him. But he brought up a good point that has stuck in my head. The only person who really knows what the Capitol people found attractive was Suzanne Collins. If she’s involved in the casting and thinks that Sam is the man for the role, then why such bitterness? And let’s be honest, what may be beautiful to the Capitol or even Katniss may not be beautiful for us.

    Are people upset because he doesn’t fit their ideal? Yes. And that’s fine. I was gung-ho Armie until it was officially announced. But I really like Sam as an actor and I think he’s pretty good looking. I just wish the people who wanted Alex Pettyfer would leave the fandom. Honestly?! The man cannot act!

    Now… if they could just find a way to include David Tennant in any of the movies, I’m all over it. He’s my absolute favorite.

  4. To me Finnick was never best/greatest/prettiest/hottest guy ever. Yes I did use Ryan Gosling with longer hair as my Finnick substitute but I always did know that was not Finnick. Finnick is a Cornucopia of all his traits (see what I did there); great personality, great looking, easy to talk to, strong, and somewhat manipulative. All this can lead up to a perfect Man (who is not Christian Gray).

    1. Couldn’t agree more, David. Well, except for the Ryan Gosling. I think I’m one of the handful of women on the earth not attracted to him.

  5. In my mind, this is a good, better, best scenario. I think Armie might have been best choice overall, but was not available for timing… But getting an actor like Claflin is definitely and infinitely better than most choices. Maybe Sam is not an Adonis but he’s definitely good looking, he’s charming, he’s got great dimples, and he’s a good actor. I think this is a chance of a lifetime for Sam to get this role, and I hope that he works it for all it’s worth! Like Rebekah, I’m hoping he’s been working his butt off for weeks to bring to C.F. a Finnicky body and attitude.

    Because even though being beautiful is supposed to be part of the package, I think that most of us agree that the acting comes first. Finnick needs to be believable as both potential enemy and then friend, and all that complex swirl that makes Finnick so beloved by fans. I’ll take an actor that can convince me he’s Finnick with confidence over an Adonis without a brain any day, and that’s the one part where I do feel I need to trust Lionsgate.

    If other Finnick potentials auditioned for the part, there was a reason why Sam got the part and not Alan, or Garrett or whoever might have read for Finnick. And it was the auditions and the chemistry reads that we fans haven’t seen that put Sam at the head of the line.

  6. I don’t know much about Sam Clafin’s work but I know one think about British actors in general and that is that they don’t fail you. Seriously, just think about how well they can hide they are accent if they want. For one thing , I have faith ih Sam.

  7. As always, I agree 100%, Rebekah.

    One thing I have been pointing out is that Finnick isn’t from a luxury district, he is from the fishing district- which is why Sam’s look can really work. Sam has a very rugged/scruffy look to him, but when cleaned up can also look super pristine and shiny. I thought that same thing about Garrett Hedlund, but I like Sam even more because he isn’t boring.

  8. Agree with you completely. I think they cast him more on the basis of his acting abilities than his looks (doesn’t mean he’s bad-looking either!) which is the same reason for their getting Jen and Josh. And if he has great chemistry with those two and Lynn Cohen then he’s going to do Finnick justice in CF.

    Anyway I’ve only seen Snow White and On Stranger Tides, so I’m off to see where to find a copy of United.

  9. I’d been on board the Armie train, and was admittedly a little upset when Sam was officially announced as Finnick. It wasn’t the histrionics of “ZOMG! They ruined my movie! I’m never going to see it! KMN! FML!” I mostly wanted to see some nekkid Hammer.

    I know how difficult it is to get into LAMDA. Classical acting training isn’t easy. I’ve done it myself. Based solely on that, fans should be appreciative of Sam’s talent. I’d seen P4, and while it sucked tremendously, Sam was a bright spot.

    Last night, I watched 4 of the 6 episodes of White Heat. (available on BBC America On Demand) Trust me, there’s a Finnick in there. In WH, Sam plays a rebellious son of a Viscount. The show begins in 1965, and spans through the years in Britain. He’s an arrogant rat bastard who is into drugs, and into treating women like shit. It’s a far cry from his sweet missionary in P4. Sam may not be as tall as one may have hoped, or be a bronze god, but on sheer talent alone, he’ll be able to knock Finnick out of the park.

    As a general note, people are cast, not casted. Cast is the past tense. 🙂

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