STARVATION, gangrene, drowning, dehydration, learning to sail professionally in three weeks…
Sam Claflin’s latest survival movie, Adrift, certainly threatened to put him through the ringer. But initially he harboured a bigger concern — he had to be topless.
‘Honestly,’ says Claflin, looking relaxed and chiselled in an open-necked white shirt rolled up to reveal an ‘8’ tattoo on his arm (a reference to his son Pip’s birthday). ‘That was the only thing I had any reservation about.’
This wasn’t a question of ‘no nudity’ modesty — after all, Claflin was nominated for Best Shirtless Performance at the MTV Movie Awards 2014 for his memorable work as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. ‘I found that hilarious!’ he laughs. ‘I was never going to beat Zac Efron.’ It was more that the 31-year-old British star had just come off shooting Nightingale with Jennifer Kent, the director of The Babadook, who required Claflin to look like a meaty soldier from the 1820s.
‘Baltasar [Kormákur, the director of Adrift] basically told me I was fat,’ says this decidedly non-fat actor. ‘And I was fat — for me. I was not ready for the world to see me like that so I knew the minute I got to Fiji I was going on a diet and training twice a day. I have done it before so I knew I could do it. I am very disciplined and determined but I don’t enjoy the gym.’
Eager and committed to his craft, Claflin is an actor who works ‘outside in’, finding the externals of a character first.
‘It can be little things, like I will never have the same haircut for a role and I usually find the walk of a character before finding the speech. Also, I have always been obsessed with hands — sorry, that sounds bizarre!’ he says, as I self-consciously sit on mine. ‘I don’t mean I have pictures of people’s hands or anything but I find the way people gesture tells you a lot about them.’
Adrift casts Claflin with Divergent star Shailene Woodley. They play lovers on a sailing adventure across the Pacific Ocean that runs into a potentially lethal hurricane. Claflin had never sailed before, despite what he calls a very ‘physical’ childhood spent in Norwich as the third of four brothers. ‘I wasn’t academic at school, I wasn’t good at reading, and I played football my entire childhood,’ he says.
Increasingly, Claflin is turning his hand to darker material. He was a revelation in a movie adaptation of Journey’s End earlier this year. It was a disappointment to some of his core fan base but a relief to Claflin, who is devoting his extra time and energy to being a dad with his wife, actress Laura Haddock (Transformers: The Last Night, The Inbetweeners Movie).
‘I love beer and food way too much to keep up [with Zac Efron],’ he laughs. ‘The gym is work for me. I’d rather be at home with my kids.’
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Source : AP | Metro News