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The actor on being a doting dad, working with Jennifer Lawrence and watching rubbish films

Born in Ipswich, Suffolk, Claflin, 31, grew up with three brothers in Norwich. He was a keen footballer until he broke his ankle and then turned to acting. He trained at Lamda in London and has starred in Me Before You, The Hunger Games and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He lives in west London with his wife, the actress Laura Haddock, and their two-year-old son, Pip. They are expecting their second child.

Pip wakes us up about 6am or 7am — he’s a good sleeper and we know we’re lucky with that. One of us has to shower while the other is getting him breakfast, then it’s straight into playtime. Pip started nursery recently and thinks he knows everything. We have two toy cockapoos, Rosie and Maisie, who are also very demanding of our attention.

Breakfast might be scrambled eggs with chorizo on sourdough. I’ll usually make a big pot of coffee while Laura drinks tea. It doesn’t take me long to get ready — I basically use deodorant, that’s it. I’m just not a moisturising kind of guy. I have very basic shampoos and shower gels — it’s Laura who buys all the nice stuff. And I don’t do all that much exercise. When I can, I go for a run, but I’d rather spend that hour with Pip.

If I’m not filming, my mornings are spent catching up on what I’ve missed while away — seeing friends in London or family in Norfolk. We might go on an adventure with the little one, often to the Southbank Centre. For lunch, we have to find a restaurant that caters for children. Some days I get recognised a lot, other days not so much.

I went to drama school when I was 16 and my love for it grew. Laura also acts — she’s fantastic. There’s a confidence in her that she’s gained since she had a child. For me, acting is about making other people feel something. I’m never myself when I act: I enjoy hiding behind the characters and wearing a mask.

My latest film, Journey’s End, is set in the First World War. I play a mentally disintegrating officer, Captain Stanhope. When I read the script, I was sold — hook, line and sinker. I’d never call myself a method actor, but I do sometimes find that I take my work home with me. I’d been walking around on set being angry all day, pretending I was drunk. Laura understood the need for me to have some quiet time after all that.

I’ve been fortunate to work with female directors and have always played second fiddle to a strong female character, so I’ve really seen women championed. Jennifer Lawrence [with whom he worked on Hunger Games] is an incredible actress — a force to be reckoned with.

Pip goes to bed around 7pm. For him, it’s bathtime, then bed. Laura and I will usually sit down for a meal in front of the telly. The problem is that I only start cooking when I’m hungry, so we often end up grabbing a takeaway. She and I relax watching box sets — things like Nashville. It’s weird watching my former co-star Emilia Clarke [from Me Before You] on Game of Thrones, which is such mind-blowing TV. I auditioned for the part of Jon Snow, but then I got Pirates [of the Caribbean]. Laura and I also have a habit of watching really bad movies and laughing at how awful they are. We deliberately find a one-star review. A recent one was Zombeavers, which was as terrible as it sounds.

I sleep well. I know I’ve been lucky. I have a family I love and a group of friends who are supportive. I’ve done work that challenges me and I’ve seen some beautiful places. I’m comfortable with who I am. Don’t get me wrong, I can still have a moan and complain — don’t we all? But my friends and family remind me how lucky I am, so I never lose sight of it for long. [Source]

Upcoming Appearances

Nothing currently

Current Projects
Journey's End
Sam as Captain Stanhope
News    Photos    IMDb
RC Sherriff's Journey's End is the seminal British play about WW1. Set in a dugout in Aisne in 1918, it is the story of a group of British officers, led by the mentally disintegrating young officer Stanhope, variously awaiting their fate
Sam as Richard Sharp
News    Photos    IMDb
A young woman sails into the eye of a hurricane to save the man she loves.
Red Shoes & the 7 Dwarfs
Sam as Merlin (voice)
News    Photos    IMDb
Princes who have been turned into Dwarfs seek the red shoes of a lady in order to break the spell, although it will not be easy. A parody with a twist.
The Nightingale
Sam as Hawkins
News    Photos    IMDb
1825 Tasmania. A young convict woman seeking revenge for the murder of her family, takes an Aboriginal male outcast with her through the interior and gets much more than she bargained for.
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