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The Hunger Games grad Sam Claflin has joined Timothy Spall in the contemporary crime thriller The Corrupted from director Ron Scalpello.

Hugh Bonneville, David Hayman and Naomie Ackie are also set to star in the British indie, in which Claflin will play an ex-con determined to win back the love and trust of his family. That’s after his future was stolen from him by a crime syndicate run by Clifford Cullen (Spall), who has infiltrated the highest levels of politics, finance and police. Claflin’s character finds himself caught up in a web of conspiracy and corruption centering around a land grab just before the Olympic Games in London.

The Exchange will be selling worldwide rights to the feature at the Berlin International Film Festival later this month.

Penned by Nick Moorcroft, The Corrupted is being produced by Andrew Berg and John Sachs at Eclipse Films and James Spring at Fred Films, with Moorcroft and Meg Leonard of Powder Keg Pictures serving as executive producers.

“Sam has come into his own as a leading man with worldwide box-office appeal. This contemporary thriller is a perfect vehicle to strengthen his value for international distribution,” The Exchange CEO Brian O’Shea said Monday in a statement. [Source]

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.

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Sam Claflin is sipping on a peanut butter and banana smoothie in a hotel room on a Monday morning in December when he tells me to get out.

‘How can you not like peanut butter? I didn’t think that was possible,’ he exclaims as he grins at me. It’s not exactly the way I thought my short time with the British actor would go, beginning with a joke threat to kick me out of the room and then my explanation of the whys and wherefores of peanut butter hatred.

But that’s how it goes with Sam, the 31-year-old who has starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters and romantic comedies but who can make you feel like you’ve been pals with him for years.

Dressed down and relaxed, Sam is with me to talk about his new film Journey’s End, based on the 1928 dramatic play by English playwright R. C. Sherriff.

Set in the trenches of World War I, the story gives a short glimpse into the experiences of the officers of a British Army infantry company, playing out in the officers’ dugout over four days in the run-up to the real-life events of Operation Michael.

It’s an experience not many of us would be able to connect with these days, where war no longer always means hand to hand combat and trenches but instead drone warfare and secret missions – and one that the cast, including Paul Bettany, Asa Butterfield, and Tom Sturridge, tried to understand by talking to ex-servicemen who are today battling PTSD.

‘We don’t talk about war, the papers don’t talk [about war], it’s weird – there is a full-on fight going on and people are dying but no one talks about it,’ says Sam. ‘Or we do for five minutes but then go back to Kim Kardashian’s baby, its a weird disconnect.’

The ex-servicemen, says Sam, ‘came in and talked us through the challenges of having the disorder – and the way they described it is that it is us who live in the bubble and they live in the real world’.

‘For servicemen now, they are expected to fit back in the bubble but they have seen best friends dying…,’ he adds.

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Journey’s End star Sam Claflin on why the psychological horrors unleashed by World War 1 still resound 100 years on

When is a classic war film not a war film? When it is, instead, an intense dissection of mortality, masculinity, power, trauma and class – albeit set in a World War 1 trench. Journey’s End, RC Sherriff’s play based on his First World War experiences, starred a young Laurence Olivier when it was first staged at the Apollo Theatre in 1928. It has since been adapted many times.

The latest version, directed by Saul Dibb, is released to mark the centenary of 1918’s Spring Offensive, which would leave more than half a million people dead in a few short, bloody weeks. In many ways, this can be seen as a classic war film. Yet it is almost entirely devoid of any explosive action. By focusing so closely on character rather than action it is a perfect follow-up to 2017’s Dunkirk.

Slow, sombre, sad and set to stay with viewers long after leaving the cinema, Journey’s End shows C Company, stationed in northern France, awaiting their fate. Six men, from a range of educational and economic backgrounds, thrown together by war into an uncomfortable confined space, each trying to cope with the prospect of almost-certain, imminent, premature death.

Sam Claflin takes the central role of Captain Stanhope. “I watched the play when I was at drama school in my second year,” recalls the 31-year-old, best known for roles in The Hunger Games and The Huntsman.

“I remember being completely spellbound. Completely in awe, not only of the performances but the characters and the stories. From that moment I remember saying to myself that I wanted to do this at some point, in whatever capacity, playing whoever.

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Journey’s End, a story set in the trenches at the end of World War One, may not on the surface sound relevant to an audience today.

Hunger Games star Sam Claflin, who stars in its latest film adaptation, thinks this couldn’t be further from the truth.

His character, Captain Stanhope, heads up an infantry unit in the British army, staving off Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with a large amount of whisky.

The display of a man failing to confront his mental health problems was just as much of an issue in 1918 as it is in 2018.

“With Stanhope there’s so much more responsibility on his shoulders, he’s hit harder and is so much younger than the others who have lived a life,” Claflin tells the BBC.

“He’s in charge of 100 men and that’s only the 100 men that are living at that time, not to speak of the men who have died during the three years he’s been there.”
‘It’s OK to be scared or a bit weak’

Claflin, whose career has seen him play everything from an aristocrat’s son in The Riot Club to a quadriplegic in Me Before You, spent time with four ex-servicemen suffering from PTSD to prepare for his role in the film.

“For me it was a really eye-opening experience and one I hope resonates with a younger audience,” he says.

“Nowadays I think many men are a lot more open to their emotions and feelings and expressing them, but at that time you wouldn’t see a genuine intimacy between men.”

The 31-year-old adds that he’s excited by how conversations around male mental health are changing.

“It’s OK to be afraid and to be anxious or scared or a bit weak – that doesn’t make you more or less of a man.”

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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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