Sam the Battering Ram

Michaela has been a Sam Claflin fangirl since long before his name was rumored for Catching Fire, so she wrote us a lovely guest post to tell us a little more about Sam and ask fans to please stop bashing him when you’re not even familiar with his career!

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Sometimes it bothers me how judgmental the Hunger Games fandom can get. There are still people put there who hate Jennifer or Josh or even Amandla (some people are still convinced Rue is white…). This time around with Catching Fire has been a little less hateful, but it still has its moments. Now that Finnick is cast, Sam is the fandom’s new battering ram. I always knew Finnick would be a controversial casting decision no matter who he was, but this outright hatred of him still bothers me mostly because of this: I seem to be one of very few people in the fandom who was thrilled to see Sam cast, rather than disgusted or disappointed.

Finnick fan-casting has always made me cringe.

“I like Garrett Hedund!”
“James Gaisford!”
“Hunter Parrish!”

Or they say some stupid comment like this:
“I think Alex Pettyfer is a fabulous actor”

In a hopefully quick explanation, here is why I hated all of those people for Finnick:
Garrett Hedlund is a bit of a jerk in real life and bad at interviews. (I’ll get to why that behavior is unacceptable later)
James Gaisford is fabulous in that Finnick&Annie webseries, but he is waaaaayyy too young to be Finnick considering how old Jenn, Josh, and Liam are.
Hunter Parrish ruined his chances of acceptance from me when he couldn’t stop talking about how much he wanted to be Peeta or Finnick or any other person in the movies. If he got cast there was no way he was going to keep it a secret, so there is no way Lionsgate could have cast him….he would ruin every casting decision!!!
Alex Pettyfer cannot act, and quite frankly, he is a huge jackass. Hell, he wouldn’t even play Jace in The Mortal Instruments (he actually would have been good for that role, but only because Jace is a jackass too, meaning the role would require no acting on his part) because he wasn’t offered enough money. Seriously? You only get that power if you are 1)A-list, or 2) Able to prove you can carry a franchise (like Jenn, who just got a ginormous pay raise!). Alex is neither of those.

The only person who was ever fancast that I approved of was Armie Hammer, but it was obvious from the start he had too many films on his plate to be able to play Finnick. Once I realized this, I threw my hands in the air and basically gave up. I was convinced Finnick’s casting was going to majorly disappoint me.

That was before Sam Claflin was ever rumored.

Honestly, I am a bit biased towards Mr. Claflin. I know Pirates 4 is kind of universally hated, but I prefer it to the 2nd and 3rd Pirates movies….I am an oddball, I guess. Part of this love is owed to Sam. I saw the movie in theatres for one of my best friend’s birthday parties. I had no idea what to expect from the movie.

The second I saw Sam onscreen I started to fangirl. I loved his character, l loved that he loved a mermaid, and, hell, I even thought he was attractive. I “awwed” over him so much that one of my friends turned to me and said “He is not even that attractive.” That statement crushed my soul and turned me into a closet fangirl….I have loved this guy for a while but no one really knows about it. I stalked his IMDB page, and was super excited about Snow White and the Huntsman. Since Kristen Stewart was Snow White(ughh), Sam (and the actual god that is Chris Hemsworth) were the only reasons I wanted to see the movie. Of course, the trailers ended up looking epic, so I eventually did want to see it for a reason other than fangirling.

Anyways, Sam as Finnick rumors got me super excited. I never really had a perfect image of Finnick, so the simple fact that I dearly love Sam Claflin was enough to excite me. I finally had hope that Finnick’s casting wouldn’t upset me. He is certainly better than most of the other people rumored, and especially better than all of the fancasts. Unfortunately, no one seemed to agree with me….and even more people disagree now that he is actually cast. This brings me to the real purpose behind this post: I have to try and convince all of the haters he will be an amazing Finnick.

Let’s start off with a simple example of his superb-ness. This relates to my reason for not liking Garrett for the role. Sam is good with interviews. The Hunger Games was a mega-blockbuster, and before that there were HUNDREDS of interviews and mall tours and stuff like that. Finnick is, arguably, the most essential person to be cast since Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. He is going to be thrown in front of crowds and trampled and attacked by fangirls…and it won’t even matter if most of these fangirls don’t like Sam as Finnick. He is still Finnick, so he is going to be chased around like a gazelle being tailed by a pride of lions. If Sam was a world-class jerk and an ass during interviews, he could never be Finnick because it would ruin the illusion fans have of him.

The spectacular thing about interviews is that they show a person’s true personality, and in Sam’s interviews I can see that Finnick’s personality isn’t too far from his own. He is, firstly, a super sweet, darling guy. Even more importantly, though, is that he laughs a lot, makes a lot of jokes, and totally uses sarcasm whenever presented with an opportunity to use it. Finnick has to be sarcastic and cocky and capable of putting off an egotistical appearance (even though at the core he is a marshmallow of sweetness). Josh is the perfect Peeta because of his personality. Sam will be the perfect Finnick for the same reason. Sure, Gloss is an underwear model. The thing is, Sam is not that unattractive. Once he bulks up and develops a tan he will be pretty darn good-looking……and there is still the makeup crew. If the makeup crew can turn the beautiful Elizabeth Banks into a super ugly Effie Trinket, then they can turn an already attractive Sam Claflin into a super hot Finnick Odair.

If you still aren’t convinced, this video is my last effort:

The lady with him is his fiance Laura Haddock. I believe that it is hard to act in love when you have never been in love yourself. Annie is an essential part of Finnick, so Sam is going to have to be in love with her. It makes it easier to believe he can act that way when it looks like he is in love himself. Laura and Sam are freaking adorable together, and act like they’ve known each other for forever.

There is also a photo on imdb of them just staring into each others eyes. It’s so cute, and further convinces me that they love each other.

If after all of this you still don’t believe he is perfect, then I guess there is nothing I can do to convince you. *feeling dejected* Just remember that Sam is officially Finnick now….you can’t change that, so you need to get used to him eventually. Why not now? I believe he will do a fabulous job, and I hope that eventually the rest of y’all will see the same amazing-ness I do.

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19 comments

  1. I, too, preferred the 4th POTC so you’re not alone. o/ And I’m pretty happy about Sam being Finnick. I find him good-looking (English men *o*) and I think he can be a good Finnick, even if I didn’t like his part in POTC 4. (He was good, but I wasn’t fan of the character.) So, I’m relieved that he was chosen. Finnick is my favourite character and it would have broken my heart to see someone I don’t like being him. I can understant people being disappointed in a choice they don’t approve (my second favourite character is Gale and I’m no fan of Liam Hemsworth) but there is no point in ranting and hating. Let go people, and wait and see. If he is bad, then rant and hate but let him prove himself to us.

  2. Tearing down other people’s fancasting seems a poor way to sway them to your thinking. Also, you’re wrong about some of them (ex; the actual reason Pettyfer turned down the Mortal Instruments part. He made it clear that he didn’t want to keep playing teenagers, which is why he was only willing to do it if they paid him what he asked for. And if you pay attention to him more than just for that instance, he’s not at all an ass like you said, nor is he a horrible actor by *any* objective measure. Also, the bit said about Hunter Parrish is just ridiculous.)

    I can also say that how good or bad Sam (or any fancast Finnicks) might be in interviews is pretty much irrelevant to me. I don’t even care if they’re a nice person. The point is, can they play Finnick? And to me, nothing in Sam’s body of work so far has really shown me that he can. I’m waiting, to see what happens, but at *most*, I’m simply hopeful that he can pull it off, because I don’t want the character butchered. No essays or rants or video blogs from those who like Sam are going to convince me that he’s a great Finnick when his own work can’t show me that. That’s like trying to argue that a two-legged cat can run a marathon- maybe it’s true, but all evidence is to the contrary, so it’s something I won’t believe until I see it happen.

    1. “The point is, can they play Finnick? And to me, nothing in Sam’s body of work so far has really shown me that he can. I’m waiting, to see what happens, but at *most*, I’m simply hopeful that he can pull it off, because I don’t want the character butchered. ”

      Hey Nicole: I am curious, by “body of work” are you going simply by what Sam did in POTC and SWATH? Since it does seem that people who like Sam have seen more than that, and apparently the character he plays in White Heat has Finnick-like qualities.

      As for the OP, Michaela: I applaud you speaking out for Finnick, and I don’t mind the reasons you give for not liking some other fancast favorites. But, I hope you’re not lumping in everyone who was disappointed by this casting as “haters”, because to me, that’s a word that’s thrown around so much these days that it seems to lose its bite. It seems to have turned into “anyone who has even a slightly negative opinion that’s different from mine”. For example, on Fanfiction.net, where any attempt at constructive critcism tends to get you labeled a “hater” by fans of the author.

      Now, my personal opinion is that we should give Sam a chance to prove himself. But I don’t think that not liking this casting makes you a “hater”. I think some fans have not handled this news in the most mature way, such as those ragging on Sam’s looks, or claiming that this ruins the whole movie. The two most disturbing comments I recall included someone stating “I’d never pay to sleep with him” (uh, so you would have paid to sleep with the “real” FInnick, never mind that if you did, you were practically raping him?) and “I won’t cry over the mutt scene in the sewers now” (Really?) It also seems that some who don’t like Sam playing Finnick are convinced that he’s going to suck, and won’t even give him a chance. I do find that kind of thinking quite prejudiced, and close to hating. But it seems most express a hope that he’ll do well. I wouldn’t call people like that haters,

      1. No, I’ve seen nearly everything he’s been in (save a few episodes of Pillars of the Earth because I didn’t much like the series). And yes, I’ll concede that his White Heat character has *some* Finnick-LIKE qualities. But that’s not enough to sway me.

      2. I guess, how I look at it, is that the “haters” always seem to have the strongest voice. I do see a lot of “wait and see” comments, which is perfectly fine, but most people seem to notice the super negative ones. I hoped to maybe get them a little less negative. Do you get what I mean? and the fancasting isn’t so much there to tear it down, but to merely give perspective on my thinking up until the point. (If I wanted to tear it down, I would have talked about a lot more than just those fancasts.)
        And ditto on the comment to Nicole. While I like Sam in Pirates4 and SWATH, I wouldn’t recommend either to anyone who was unfamiliar with his work…..not exactly the best examples.

    2. But Alex Pettyfer made himself look like a total tool because of the TMI issue. He basically said “I don’t even want the part but I’ll take it if you give me an unsightly amount of money,” which shows how big his ego is, considering he’s not all that talented compared to a lot of actors in his age range.

      I feel like the “Wait and see” method makes sense because apprehension is normal, but others seem to be taking the “awful until proven decent” approach, which doesn’t seem fair. We’ve certainly doubted some casting decisions but we’ve been proven wrong. If it turns out he sucks, we’ll be the first to discuss that, but in the meantime, I think Michaela has a point.

      1. He only made himself look like a ‘tool’ if you didn’t pay attention to the actual situation. He did not want the role. Did. Not. Want. It.

        And no, I’m not. I’m hoping that Sam can pull it off. Desperately. I simply haven’t seen anything that’s shown me he can. By absolutely no means do I think he is or will be ‘horrible’. This is the only casting decision I’ve doubted so far in the franchise.

      2. “I feel like the “Wait and see” method makes sense because apprehension is normal, but others seem to be taking the “awful until proven decent” approach, which doesn’t seem fair.”

        I don’t mind people with the “wait and see” approach because honestly, I am in this camp myself. I am pretty neutral about this casting, I think Finnick is such a complex character that I don’t think I can evaluate Sam fairly until I actually see him play the part. I agree that the “awful until proven decent” approach is unfair, and prejudiced, really. Which I guess is pretty close to the “hater” label. But I also realize that some people are trying not to get their hopes up, because they fear that they’ll get dashed later.

  3. The decision has been made. Sam has been cast. You can sit in the corner and be sad about something you had no control over. Or you can get on board the let’s-be-happy-and-support-the-cast fandom train and enjoy the ride.

    I like being happy, So I’ve decided to be excited about Sam’s casting and be supporto-gal.

  4. The problem with Fancasting is simple. Everyone is typecasted! Finnick is supposedly the hottest guy who is hotter than the hottest hot thing that is hot. No one can live up to that (Except for maybe Chris Hemsworth 😛 ). So almost every fancast of Finnick is of a hot, young, TV star who has played the womanizing playa.

    These fancasteres only rely on what they have seen a actor do. If the actor has never played a womanizing heartthrob, they can never be that character. They will say he is to sweet or just doesn’t look the part. That does not matter. The guy is a actor and his job is to get into character and turn his body into Finnick Odair. He is paid to change his body by going into the gym 5 hours a day doing exercises only pro athletes do to look the part, grow his hair out, get a 6 pack of abs, and act his ass off. It does not matter if he has never played a character similar to Finnick, he is now playing that character and probably knows how to play that character because he is a actor.

  5. The funny thing about you saying you’ve loved same since pirates of the caribbean is that I hated his character in it. It cracks me up that people now want him and the mermaid to be Finnick and Annie cracks me up because I thought they were about the cheesiest ever. My friend and I still have private jokes about him! However, I still don’t mind that he’s playing Finnick. I’m 100% fine with it. So if I can be optimistic about Sam Claflin, then anyone can.

    1. If it weren’t for the fact that so many people have mentioned the mermaid-fish-Annie connection, I never would have given it a second thought. (so I totally understand what you mean)

  6. Thank you for the video. Because if Sam is charming in real life, then I know he can act charming. And Sam & fiance are adorable together, which gives me hope about him acting in love with Annie. I hope they find an Annie that will just WRECK me when I see her and Finnick/Sam together.

    And perhaps because I am a “glass is almost full” person anyway, I’m taking the “wait and see, but hopeful” approach to this whole Sam thing. No one could live up to all the dreams of fans, but I’d much rather have a good actor, than an Adonis that can’t play all the complexities of Finnick’s character.

  7. I think Sam is a capital-B Babe From Outer Space. I just watched “Any Human Heart” (at this site’s recommendation) and just loved him in it. He has this vulnerable, boyish quality that screams Finnick to me. How do people not find him hot?!

  8. I agree with the article Sam is so much better than most of the fancasts and for the record I liked pirates of the Caribbean four too

  9. To be honest I don’t think asking the actors to prove that they can become these characters is asking much… I haven’t been happy with the pick of him or Jena Malone for these parts… But at the same time they should know as actors they have a lot to prove to the fandom being such integral parts of the story…

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