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In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, British heartthrob Sam Claflin won our hearts as the sexy, smirking and surprisingly noble Finnick Odair. But reprising his role in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Claflin offers us a very different Finnick from the character's first frames.
Minor spoilers for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 lie ahead:
By the start of this third Hunger Games installment, Finnick has twice survived the deadly games put on by the Capitol to keep the Districts in line. For the first time since his reaping, he's out of the spotlight of President Snow, and it makes for a character that Sam Claflin compares to Marilyn Monroe.
In our exclusive interview, Sam Claflin said of Finnick:
"The Finnick that we meet in the last movie, my sort of understanding was, when I read the books, was that it was all kind of a character, a front that put on. He sort of had this personality that wasn’t the real him and I think within this movie, we have the opportunity to delve deeper into his soul and kind of see the real (him). He’s broken and he’s vulnerable. He’s sensitive…It is like Marilyn Monroe, the way that when she was in front of the camera, she was one personality, one type of human being. And the moment the doors close, sort of the real Marilyn came out, and I think it’s my way of describing Finnick best. The cameras switch off, the moment he’s in District 13, you really see his true colors, so that’s the sort of Finnick that we luckily have the opportunity to meet in this movie."
Seeing the real side of Finnick includes a devastating monologue that fans of the book remember well. But protective of those who haven't, Sam Claflin was initially vague in his discussion of this big scene, making the following spoiler-free. In the sequence, Finnick is essentially telling all of Panem what he knows about The Capitol. Claflin recalls of shooting this scene:
" It was very intense. I just remember there being a lot of dialogue, a lot for me to learn. And as well as there being of course a lot of words to learn, it was more about what he's saying and how he was saying it. Me and Francis (Lawrence, the film's director) had many conversations sort of discussing and dissecting whether we thought he’d be emotional bringing up his past or whether it was very factual. So we sort of played around with it a little bit. But I think we both agreed that it was more, 'These are the facts,' as opposed to him crying about things that happened ten years ago. But it was an amazing opportunity for me to kind of, have the opportunity to play around with something of that sort of scale."
We'll get more into this scene, and a Finnick scene Hunger Games fanatics will miss next week. To learn what Game of Thrones roles Claflin was once considered for, click here.
To discover what Jeffrey Wright had to say about his The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 character, Beetee "Volts" Latier, click to page two.
In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, acclaimed character actor Jeffrey Wright returns as Beetee, the top-notch electrical engineer out of District 3. A Quarter Quell survivor turned rebel, Beetee is now his own worst enemy, trying to hack the security tech he created for the Capitol. When I spoke with him, Wright had this to say about his character's emerging backstory:
"Well, the backstory is more or less as it’s laid out by (Hunger Games author) Suzanne Collins. Although I think we make some inferences that are fairly explicit in--explicit inferences?--in that if you think about his role as an inventor, and a scientist and a technology expert and you think that you know his focus has been on communications and on defense systems and weaponry. As a mover of District 3 society, then it follows that he was involved in the designing of the defense systems and the communications systems that the capital uses to control the outer districts. So what I thought was just a nice way to flesh out his backstory was …that he was involved in the designing of all of these various tools that he is now trying to undo, which I thought was a great insight into the contradiction that he faces and the irony of his position."
But when it comes to the Capitol, Beetee is resolute in his conviction. Asked what the defining characteristic of his character was, Jeffrey Wright responded:
"I think Beetee is, well I think he’s loyal to the cause, you know. I think he’s loyal to the ideals behind the rebellion and I don’t think he’s conflicted about that. I think oddly for all of the, for most, many of the tributes, I think emerge from the games, if they do emerge as victors, with a kind of clarity about the unfairness of it all. Despite having survived it, unless of course they’re careers, you know. So, I just think he’s got this real personal moral kind of political clarity about his role that’s complicated simply because he makes very dangerous weapons. "
For Jeffrey Wright's thoughts on his late co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman, click here.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 opens everywhere Friday.