"I used to seek out girls who were hurt, so I could be the one to change it around."
Sam Claflin wants to get personal. It's in his sensitive guy nature.
"As a man in real life, I used to seek out girls who were hurt, so I could be the one to change it around," he says. "They would say to me, 'Sam, I had a horrible relationship before you. This boyfriend was terrible to me.' I wanted to be the one to come in and be the knight in shining armor," the actor says while wearing a red checkered shirt, black pants, and messy, dirty blonde curly hair. He holds court at the Chateau Hotel Marmont on a sunny Wednesday morning.
So, Finnick from The Hunger Games franchise is a romantic? "Deeply romantic," says the newlywed. "I'm so lucky to have love in my life. I always want to protect my woman."
He also starred in the recently released movie The Quiet Ones, where there is little protection from some demonic forces that haunt one of those creepy old houses.
YourTango: Did it hurt your feelings at first when fans didn't react well to your casting as Finnick? Then the movie came out and they loved you.
Sam Claflin: There was a fair bit of negative reaction when I was cast. I embraced that as a challenge. It seems to have gone down okay. I remember reading a blog with a list of names that should be playing Finnick. In 500 posts, my name wasn't one of them. So it was very scary stepping into those shoes.
YourTango: What have you learned about Finnick with the last two films?
Sam Claflin: When we saw him in the last movie (before Mockingjay Part 1, he was in a very dark place. For me, it was a great opportunity to start him at the bottom and then build up his strength and confidence. That's an incredible journey.
YourTango: What's it like to work with Jennifer Lawrence?
Sam Claflin: Finnick has been the scariest character for me because there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders. You meet Jennifer Lawrence and she's such a nice girl. I'm thinking I need to be really cool. So I'm trying to think of a really good joke and be ready for action. Jennifer, she could literally be telling you a joke and then switch on the tears for a scene. Me? I need to be quiet and then come the tears.
YourTango: Women are always interested in what guys like to do when we're not around. What do you do?
Sam Claflin: I like to sing! On the set of my movie The Quiet Ones, I'd sing after the most frightening scenes. It broke the tension. I would sing songs from West Side Story!
YourTango: Wait, you sing musical numbers?
Sam Claflin: Yes! I like to sing "When You're A Jet, You're A Jet All The Way." Apparently I do the dance moves as well. I do actually know all the songs and dances from West Side Story. I choreographed them in my bedroom when I was a teenager.
YourTango: Is it good to bring your significant other to a horror film like The Quiet Ones?
Sam Claflin: Yes, lots of hand holding which makes a great date night. It's not just the ladies who need hands held. The men do, too! It's easy in a horror film. Just reach out and make that hand holding move!
YourTango: Tell us about your character Brian in the movie. He is that guy who wants to save the girl.
Sam Claflin: In this movie, I find a girl who is mentally unstable and my character wants to save her. It's just another case of me trying to ride in to the rescue. The film is based on a true story of a college professor who believes we use the negativity in our own minds to create paranormal events. I'm one of the students working with him to expel demons in this haunted mansion.
YourTango: What is your personal monster?
Sam Claflin: I think the thing I'm most scared of is the unknown. The ocean is something that really freaks me out. Two thirds of the world is water and so much hasn't been explored. A jellyfish stung me when I was younger, so scary water still resonates. I'm constantly uneasy and panicking even if I'm on a boat.
4. Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie: Uh, these two split at the top of 2014, but they are always together. They say it's for the sake of their son Luca, but they also play coy when asked about the possibility of reuniting.
5. Ariana Grande and Jai Brooks: The singer and the Aussie prankster dated long distance, ending just before her convenient hookup with The Wanted's Nathan Sykes (with whom she just happened to drop a duet). Brooks subsequently went on bitter Twitter rants that accused her of cheating. They still got back together this past spring. They just broke up again. This all happened between 2013 and 2014.
7. Chris Brown and Karrueche Tran: She is a saint or just lacks a modicum of self-respect, since she puts up with his temper, his arrests and his continued dalliances with Rihanna. They are always on and always off.
9. Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult: They dated before, got back together and split again, somewhat quietly, this summer. She is reportedly seeing Chris Martin of Coldplay now, so she is consciously coupled and he traded up. Sorry, Gwynnie!
10. Pamela Anderson and Everyone: She and Tommy Lee were on-off. She and Kid Rock were on-off. So are she and current hubby Rick Salomon. Pam can't let go with any of her dudes. Stage 5 Clinger, maybe?
12. Rihanna and Drake: Like her romance with Breezy, Rihanna has dated and split from and dated and split from Drake. Their most recent dalliance was this spring, but they may be back together yet again after being spotted partying closely in New York.
13. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson: The real-life Bella and Edward dealt with a public scandal in 2012 (she cheated and got caught with her then-married director, Rupert Sanders), her very public apology, their time apart and their reunion. They split again in 2013 and 2014.
18. Taylor Swift and L-O-V-E Itself: T. Swizzle is on and off with love itself. She has said she is learning to exist without a romance. Good for her! But her last "major" romance with One Direction cutie Harry Styles and they dated for like a total of four months, and that included a split and a period apart.