We caught up with the HUNGER GAMES star on his recent trip to Dublin…

This month, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 is released in Irish cinemas. The film is the first instalment of the final chapter of the hugely successful film franchise. Actor Sam Claflin – who plays former Hunger Games victor Finnick Odair – was in Dublin recently, and we caught up with him to find out more about Katniss and Co’s final challenge.

What can we expect from the new instalment of THE HUNGER GAMES?
Sam Claflin: You won’t be disappointed! I have seen the film, and I am very very impressed, yet again. I think Francis Lawrence has put his incredible stamp on another incredible instalment. This film delves deeper into the Capitol world, the Hunger Games’ world. You see District 13… The film picks up from where CATCHING FIRE left off; all these characters are now emotional wrecks, and all damaged human beings, so it’s about putting the pieces back together. It’s an exciting chapter.

You played Alex in LOVE, ROSIE, and here you are taking on another beloved literary character. What is it that draws you to these roles?
SC: [laughs] Nothing draws me, specifically to portraying characters from novels [laughs]. It’s just something that’s happened organically, and something that I am very happy to do again and again. Long may it continue! I am not even a reader; I don’t read book for fun. I prefer watching films and having my imagination made up for me, but I do have a very active imagination, so I should probably read a lot more! These books are so amazing and to have the opportunity to be a small cog in a big machine is an amazing, amazing opportunity. I am very thankful that the producers and director gave me that chance.

You also played Finnick Odair in last year’s THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, how did it feel to go back into the world of THE HUNGER GAMES?
SC: This particular film, especially, really allowed all of us to find new elements to our characters; all the characters are being broken down so rapidly and it’s a matter of putting these pieces back together. As much as we were all coming back to portray the same characters, it felt like we were all playing different characters with the same friends and the same families. It felt great. It felt amazing to revisit something like that, but to do it in a very very different way and a different manner. The whole feel on set, for me, this time was very different. I definitely felt a lot more subdued and quiet and alone, which I think is what this sort of film makes you feel; a very enclosed world.

You have such an amazing cast of co-stars on THE HUNGER GAMES, including Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Jennifer Lawrence. What was it like to work with them?
SC: It’s one of those jobs that every time a new cast member was named during the casting process for MOCKINGJAY – Julianne Moore came on to this particular instalment, as well as Natalie Dormer and Mahershala Ali – it just gets better and better. It’s such a family feel on set, it really is, and everyone gets on like a house on fire; no matter what age you are or what background you’re from, or whether you’re English or American. We all had a similar sense of humour; there was work and play, and that’s down to Francis Lawrence. He was the one who had people audition, but every new member felt like they had been there for years. It was just a community of great actors, and I am blessed to feel like I kind of belonged as part of that. It is the dream job!

You have had such a whirlwind few years, with roles in PIRATES OF THE CARRIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, THE RIOT CLUB and LOVE, ROSIE – as well as THE HUNGER GAMES – what’s next?
SC: Who knows!? {Laughs] A question I get asked is ‘where do you see yourself in five years?’. My answer, which is so true, is that I never saw myself being here five years our of drama school, so I have no idea where I will be in five years time. What I love about this industry is that I don’t know what’s around the corner. In fact, people could realise I can’t act, and I won’t be working tomorrow, but nonetheless I’ve had a good ride! [laughs] Long may it continue, really. I hope I continue to work with great people on great projects. There is definitely something in the pipeline, which I am very excited about. Again, it’s a novel adaptation called ME BEFORE YOU. It’s a very very different film, and I just hope to continue to challenge myself in new ways.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1 is released in Irish cinemas on November 21st 2014

Words: Brogen Hayes