After getting ripped and running around Panem for the Hunger Games franchise, loveable British babe Sam Claflin, 29, is flexing a different set of muscles in his first romantic comedy, Love, Rosie (hitting theatres Feb. 6). Claflin plays Alex, who keeps missing out on finding love with his best friend and obvi soulmate, Rosie (Lily Collins). Despite this being his first foray into the genre, Claflin showed us his skills extend beyond the arena—he’s genuine, romantic and full of heart in his role as the endearing and sometimes awkward Alex. FLARE caught up with him to talk about relationships, British romcoms and set life with Lily.
What was different about this role from other movies you’ve worked on? Other than the fact that I didn’t wear a wig or bleach my hair, it’s the role that’s closest to who I am as a human being. Personality, accent, everything. Every decision that Alex makes along the way is probably a decision that I would have made at that given time or in those given circumstances. It was something that I’ve been looking for for so long, purely because I love romantic comedies.
What are some of your favourites? I definitely love a lot of English comedies, basically anything that Richard Curtis has been attached to: Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually, even About Time recently. I’m a sucker for them.
Did you learn anything unexpected about Lily while filming? The fact that she’s quite fragile and dainty-looking, but actually can throw a punch. She’s also very, very clumsy. She came off with a lot of scrapes and a lot of bruises.
Are there any parallels between Alex’s love life and yours? The woman I married is the woman I’m going to be with for the rest of my life. Alex made a few mistakes along the way, but inevitably, to find the woman you want to be with, you need to. My honest opinion is that people need to go on a bit of a journey, and after dating over many, many years, I met someone who ticks every box that I could ask for.
What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever received? The best advice is be yourself and don’t let love change you. Because I think people get so wrapped up in it, they kind of lose themselves, who they are and what’s important to them. But I think love should support you—it should make you a better you, not change you.
What’s the worst fashion advice you’ve ever received? “That looks good.” I don’t trust anyone but my own eyes. I’m one of those people. When I feel good in something, even if it looks horrendous, at least I feel good. Again, be yourself, and don’t let anyone put you down. If you’re comfortable, that’s all that matters.
What’s harder—winning the Hunger Games or figuring out a complicated relationship? Figuring out a complicated relationship. I think Katniss is proof. Love is impossible, but it conquers all, as they say. The Hunger Games is life or death, and I think most people live through love, and experience love at least one time in their life, hopefully. Because love is the reason we exist—that’s what our lives are all about.