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Sam Claflin: 5 Things to Know About the 'Catching Fire' Star

The 26-year-old actor will play Finnick, a handsome and charismatic tribute who plays a pivotal part in the Games.

Sam Claflin Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images

After months of speculation, a name was finally announced for the role of Finnick Odair, the charming tribute from District 4 in Catching Fire.

Sam Claflin, who starred in Snow White and the Huntsman as Prince William, will take on the highly coveted role in the second film in the Hunger Games series.

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Dozens of names were thrown around during months of speculation about who would take on the pivotal role. Robert Pattinson, Armie Hammer, Hunter Parish, Taylor Kitsch and Garrett Hedlund were among the many names dropped for the part.

So who is Claflin? The 26-year-old English actor, who played missionary Phillip Swift in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, also had roles on the television series The Pillars of the Earth and Any Human Heart.

Here are 5 things you may not know about the future Finnick:

1. Claflin doesn’t have show business in his blood.
Claflin was born in Ipswich, Suffolk. His mother is a classroom assistant at the high school he went to, and his father is an accountant. “My parents don’t have any showbusiness links,” he said in an interview. “They are so far away from it. It is nice to be able to share it with them and hold hands and scream together.”

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2. He could have been a soccer star.
Claflin says he played soccer “24/7” when he was younger, and if he hadn’t broken his ankle as a teen, his life may have gone in a very different direction. He was a member of the School of Excellence for Norwich City FC, but injured himself during a game, which led to the end of his soccer career.

He was playing in the park with his friends when he collided with another player as they both went for the ball, he told a local newspaper. When he tried to walk home, his ankle “snapped in half.”

“At that moment I realized how serious it was because of the pain," he said. "I did try getting back into football but my ankle couldn’t last for a full game.”

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3. He auditioned to play a prince in two Snow White movies.
Claflin starred as the prince in Snow White and the Huntsman, Universal’s dark take on the fairy tale starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron. However, he revealed that he had also audition to play the prince in Relativity’s campy version starring Lily Collins and Julia Roberts. The part went to Armie Hammer.

4. He has something in common with Kristen Stewart.
Before working with Stewart on Snow White and the Huntsman, Claflin already had something in common with his co-star. Claflin is a fan of a musician named Marcus Foster, who played at his birthday party. It turns out Foster knows Stewart as well because the Twilight star appeared in one of his music videos. “It was an immediate ice-breaker as we had something in common,” he said about his connection to Stewart.

5. He’ll star in The Quiet Ones.
Claflin has signed up to star opposite Jared Harris in John Pogue's supernatural thriller The Quiet Ones. The film, inspired by true events, follows a professor who uses controversial methods and leads his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: creating a poltergeist from negative human energy.