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5 Questions with Love Rosie star Sam Claflin

Just in time for Valentines Day is the rom-com Love Rosie. The film stars Lily Collins and Sam Claflin as two best friends who are very obviously in love, yet, hide their feelings from one another. Claflin is most recognizable from his role as Finnick in the Hunger Games films, but the actor has also appeared in many other box office hits such as The Quiet Ones and The Riot Club. We spoke over the phone with the UK based Claflin about his latest film, male/female friendships, and the final installment of The Hunger Games.

Looking at the films you have appeared in over the last couple years, it looks like you are experimenting in different genres. Is this something you are doing consciously?

Yeah. I think I’m trying to make the most of myself really. To prove to people that I’m not just a one trick pony. There’s a lot more to me than meets the eye. It’s not the fault of myself or anyone else but I feel like I’ve done a lot of parts that have been quite similar in sort of the fantasy world and the supernatural I suppose. I think a part of me wanted to get down to the nitty gritty and experience things that were more me. More raw and real. I’m trying to do that and sort of exploring this sort of path at the moment. But I equally wouldn’t rule out another opportunity to venture into swords and armor. I guess you could say I’m kind of an open book.

When watching Love Rosie, I could not help but think of When Harry Met Sally. In that film, Billy Crytal’s Harry famously proclaims that men and women cannot be friends without sex getting in the way. Would you agree with this?

No. Not at all. I think friendships can absolutely work. It depends on the closeness of the relationship. I think that in order to have anything more than a friendship you need to have a sexual attraction and I think there are plenty of people who have friendships and aren’t sexually attracted to their friend. There are so many experiences in my life where I’ve said to a friend, “Oh my god, you and her are perfect.” and he’ll be like, “No, she’s like a sister!” That kind of relationship is absolutely platonic with no feelings whatsoever. I definitely have female friends who I don’t have those feelings for. I think it depends. It depends on each individual relationship and each friendship. It also depends on the person I guess. Ultimately, I think it’s possible.

You play Alex for a span of around fifteen years. Did you take a different approach to playing him when he was eighteen to when he was in his thirties?

Not really. I think I had to be aware that there was a certain energy about being younger that you don’t realize that you lose, but of course you do. Physically, he was a lot more energetic and his decision-making was a bit more impulsive. There weren’t any major personality traits that changed over his life. I mean, I suppose it did depend on which girl he was seeing at any particular moment. Which I think we’ve all experienced. When I look back at my life over the last ten years, I realized that nothing has dramatically changed in my personality at all. So I don’t really feel like I had to play that. Other than the hair, the makeup, and the clothes, I just had to do what I was doing and play the scene.

You recently signed on to star in the film Me Before You. Could you tell us a bit about the project?

I’m playing this guy called Will Traynor who is I suppose the epitome of perfection. He has a perfect body, perfect job, and is a perfect gentleman. Unfortunately he has a car accident and becomes a paraplegic. He is paralyzed from the neck down and is in a wheelchair. Because of the life he had before, he really struggles with those circumstances. Cara [to be played by Emilia Clarke] comes in and helps him. It’s mainly about the relationship between him and this Cara and the journey they go on together. Him trying to kind of teach her things and her trying to tech him things. Being in a wheelchair isn’t always negative. They kind of bring out the best in each other. It’s a beautiful and really emotional dramedy. Mainly drama, very little comedy. It’s something that physically I’m already regretting [laughs]. It’s going to be an epic challenge. I’m very much looking forward to getting stuck in with that. We’re due to shoot in April. It’s a lot to look forward too.

What can we look forward to seeing in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2?

I want to tell you so much but it’s so so early still. I’d like to say that it’s not going to disappoint. I haven’t seen it yet, so it’s impossible for me to talk about it too much. But just from being on the set, knowing what we’ve shot, knowing the intensity that this film brings. It really is bigger. It’s the conclusive chapter, this is the end. Or the beginning of the end. It really is quite exciting and I can’t wait to see it myself.

Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.