Francis Lawrence Admits to Why He Cast Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair

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While most of the main characters in Catching Fire were already chosen by The Hunger Games director Gary Ross and co. before the first film in the franchise, one of the most talked about castings for the second installment was for the part of attractive/cocky/lovable Finnick Odair. ( readers even joined in on the action.) After a long-running search, new director Francis Lawrence appointed Snow White and the Huntsman‘s Sam Claflin. Since there have been mixed reviews on the actor’s unseen portrayal of Finnick, Francis took the time to clear the air and open up about why Sam’s the perfect fit for the role.

In an interview with MTV, Francis says, “[Sam] is very athletic, which is great. He’s in great shape. He’s very charismatic. But I was also looking in the long term. There’s kind of a rouge-like quality to him in this book. And long term, he’s actually an emotional character and a very loyal character and a character who’s in love; a character who experienced quite a lot of sadness. And he was really able to tap into that, as well as being really charming and sexy and handsome as hell.”

To sum it up, while Finnick may seem like your typical, arrogant hottie in Catching Fire, the character becomes a whole lot more complex and relatable in Mockingjay, so the ideal actor needed to be believable in both facets. That is why Francis landed on Sam Claflin.

During a recent chat with Norwich’s Future Radio’s The Future Radio Film Review Show, Sam reveals a tidbit that avid Hunger Games fans may not have seen coming, considering it’s one of the better-known facts about his character: “The unfortunate thing about a film version is that they are trying to make it accessible to a younger audience. There are certain aspects you can’t include, one being, Finnick Odair wearing just the net, not covering his crotch — that was something that we couldn’t, unfortunately, include. But, you know, I’m scantily clad. Hopefully people will still be happy.”

Now that you know the reason behind Sam Claflin’s casting, what do you think of him as Finnick? Or how about the costume change? Give us your honest opinions in the comments below!

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  • Davanee

    I don’t get why people are so against Sam playing Finnick. So, he’s not Brad Pitt? Big deal! I’ve seen in him in both Pirates and Snow White. I think he’s pretty charming and a good actor. I’m rooting for him.

  • Tatiana

    It appears the final csnitag of Finnick Odair is coming to a close and Sam is still in the front running for the roles. Lets cross our fingers and hopes Sam is officially cast. As usual, the most anticipated csnitag news is saved for last, and this is true for Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s coveted role of the handsome Tribute from District 4, Finnick Odair. I’ve heard via Variety that the short list is being narrowed down to Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman, Pillars of the Earth). It’s even in “rumor” status on IMDB. This role plays an important part in all three of the upcoming films, so all us ravenous fans are amped about who it will be. Personally, I think Claflin would be great and a better choice than previously rumored Armie Hammer, Garrett Hedlund, and Taylor Kitsch, all of whom are kind of hulking masses. Claflin brings the right amount of youth to the role. Source: Moviegnome.

  • Declan

    What next? Peeta doesn’t know different types of bread?! Finnick wearing the net is a huge set up in the character. This shows how he’s been use to using his body! Which we learn later.

    And him wearing just the net wouldn’t even be that bad i’m pretty sure Bart Simpson showed the full monty and that didn’t go above PG-13

  • Lynn

    Did anyone seriously think Finnick would only wear a net in the movie? It’s really no surprise that a film based on a teen novel will have nothing to push it over PG-13.

    About Sam: I rooted for him to be cast as Finnick and I’ve never been more pleased in a casting decision. Way to go, Francis, for letting the world know that Sam is not only capable of handling the acting part, but is also “charming and sexy and handsome as hell.”