Sam Claflin: "I'm very gentlemanly"

Young British actor, Sam Claflin, 25, whom you may know from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, steps up for his first major role as Prince William in Snow White and the Huntsmen. He’s also appeared in The Seventh Son, as well as portraying footballer Duncan Edwards in the BBC drama, United. Born in Ipswich, Suffolk, his father is an accountant and his mother is a classroom assistant. He’s currently engaged to actress Laura Haddock (Upstairs Downstairs). Charming and funny, he talks candidly about his fiancée Haddock, and his burgeoning movie star career.

Q: How did you enjoy working on this film?

SAM: I loved it, absolutely loved it. I mean this is only my second film ever and right after the Pirates which is equally incredible. I thought I’ve got high expectations for the next job, you know. I’ve been treated like royalty. I don’t know if it’s because I was prince that they thought they had to. I mean it was the best experience ever really and everyone was so helpful and kind and made me feel at home. I’ve never felt, in fact in any job I’ve ever done, that I don’t belong somewhere. I think I’ve been very lucky and blessed with the cast I’ve been surrounded by…

Q: Are you a gentleman in real life?

SAM: Yes, I’m very gentlemanly. I don’t go to royal parties or play polo on horseback. No, I don’t hang out with the posh crowd, if that makes sense. I go to a pub and drink beer. You know what I mean?

Q: Are you a romantic?

SAM: I’m very, very romantic.

Q: In what way?

SAM: I have a fiancée….and so…

Q: That means you’re romantic?

SAM: I think it does. I think I found the one that I want to live with the rest of my life, luckily?

Q: How did you know?

SAM: How do I know that she’s the one? She’s my female counterpart is the best way to describe her. She is my mum… She reminds me of my mum so much which I think—a guy will know, right? It’s important. Your mum knows like everything.

Q: You told her that?

SAM: Yeah. She’s well aware. I don’t think she likes that but then she does. She has a lot of very similarities but at the same time she’s very different and the elements that she’s different from my mom, she’s me. My mum being the first woman I ever loved obviously and is now the second woman I’ve ever loved probably is you know, yeah.

Q: That’s romantic!

SAM: I’m romantic… {Laughing}

Q: When did you know it? Did you know instantly?

SAM: Do you know what? It’s the sickliest story ever. I walked into an audition room, I saw her and I knew. I’m not kidding for the life of me. She was reading in for a part and it’s my fourth free call. I’ve done previously three auditions with this other girl reading and this girl walked in and I walked out the audition, couldn’t care less if I got the part. I called my agent, I said, “Mate, I am in love.” He’s like, “How did the audition go, mate?” I was like, “No, no, you don’t understand. I have just met the woman I want to marry.” Then, that evening, I want to a party in East London and—the story goes on for hours. {Laughing} I went to a party in East London and at 5:00 a.m., I stayed up all night having fun with my friends, got on the first tube or the subway home, got the subway doors opened at my stop, she was standing there. I’m not kidding. This actually happened.

Q: What did she say when that happened?

SAM: She was like, “Sam!” and I was like, “Oh my god, I’m still on the same clothes. My god, I smell.” But yeah we exchanged information. We sort of found out we lived five minutes apart and we shared an agent and yeah. Six months on, I got Pirates of Caribbean. Her next-door neighbor was in Pirates of the Caribbean and she kind of got in touch with me over Facebook, of all places… classic {laughs}. Then we started Skyping and I flew her out to LA and then here we are.

Q: Did she make the first move through Facebook?

SAM: She did make the first move, yeah and I kind of put it off. I basically have an experience where a friend of mine, he was used and abused my an ex-friend who dressed himself up as a woman on Facebook so I just had this feeling of somebody, this old man sitting in a hotel room in Timbuktu pretending he was this girl. I was like, “Okay, this is too weird. I’m not going to answer her.”

Q: The engagement was as romantic as the Snow White can be?

SAM: I can’t talk about that. That’s a bit personal. The engagement was very special.

Q: Could you talk about your early acting experience?

SAM: When I was in high school, I was a bad singer. I mean all my early acting was musical theater and my first ever show was Jesus Christ Superstar. Everyone’s familiar with it. I played priest number 3 and sang so out of tune that it’s not even funny. Then I did Les Misérables, the school edition, Oklahoma. I mean I’m pretty on every - Oliver, played Dodger and Fagin in my life. It’s kind of depressing and I now realize I cannot sing. I think that’s where the acting bug really caught on. Then I went to drama school and it kind of ignited my love for it even more.

Q: Which one?

SAM: I went to LAMDA, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Q: Have you ever thought about becoming a priest?

SAM: No… I suppose Pirates of the Caribbean I played the priest so that was me reminiscing.

Q: The second wind.

SAM: The second wind, yeah.

Q: Do people recognize you a lot?

SAM: I have never once been recognized.

Q: Really?

SAM: Never once, honestly.

Q: Do you want that happen or do you want to?

SAM: Secretly yeah. {Laughing} No, I’m kidding. Knowing how bad some people have it like they can’t go anywhere, they can’t do anything without 700 people asking for an autograph or trying to get a photo, I think I’m very lucky that I’m able to work with these amazing people. I mean all three of these guys like constantly undoubtedly getting noticed everywhere they go. I’d walk behind of them. Those three are getting snapshot and I’m getting behind them with a big smile on my face while they’re going “oh god, stop it!” So it’s all good. I’m very happy honestly.

Q: So you’ll be a character actor?

SAM: I’d love to be. That’s the dream. I think it’s every actor’s dream to play a character that’s really odd and you know no one wants to play himself.

Q: Who inspires you?

SAM: Tom Hardy is probably the biggest name. I’m very familiar with his fiancée. She was at drama school with me so I’ve met him once and it was one of those, “Hey mate.” He was like, “I saw Pirates, dude.” I was like, “I’ve seen everything you’ve ever done.” He truly is quite the inspiration. I mean the list is endless for me.

Q: Is your fiancée working at home?

SAM: She is.

Q: What was it called?

SAM: It’s a TV series called Upstairs Downstairs.

Q: Who is she playing?

SAM: Laura Haddock and she’s very much involved with that at the moment.

Q: So you’re not going to make it in Hollywood if you’re going to marry in England and live in England.

SAM: No… The way I look at it, right, {laughing} is this is my office. LA is my office. I come here for work and work only.

Q: And live the rainy London.

SAM: Yeah. It’s beautiful, right? So every time I need a holiday, I’d say “Can I go to my office, please?” and they’d send me away. But no, I mean luckily work has brought me out here quite a lot. Considering I’ve never been to LA once two years ago, I’m now being here like 17 times, this is like a second home to me really. I mean the problem is I don’t have any friends or family out here so every time I come out here I just end up sitting in my hotel room just reading script. It’s really lonely.

Q: You can call me.

SAM: Call you, yeah, definitely. Let’s go out. But no, I suppose all my friends, family, everything I know and grown to love is all back home.

Q: So what’s next?

SAM: There’s a few projects in the pipeline, I think set in stone that I’m kind of lined up to do but some haven’t got the full funding or they were looking for dates for all the different actors in it. I don’t want to sort of say any of the projects just in case none of them happen.

Q: Are you going back to British TV?

SAM: I’d love to. I mean everything I’ve done for British TV, I absolutely fall in love with. The project itself and the people involved usually have been incredibly kind and generous. If it wasn’t for British TV, I wouldn’t be sitting on this beautiful chrome chair right now so I’m very thankful to have the opportunity for them getting my name out there really. I’m very, very lucky. /Viva Press

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