Hello Claflin fans! If you live in the UK, you certainly know that Their Finest will be released in theaters this Friday (April 21)! Get Into Film got to speak with Sam and his co-star Gemma Arterton about the movie and you can watch four interviews that feature Sam bellow and under the cut!
ACTOR Sam Claflin — star of The Hunger Games movies, last year’s hit romance Me Before You and upcoming British comedy Their Finest — says his introduction to Australia was “honest to god, the most crazy first week in any place I’ve ever been”.
The 30-year-old Englishman is in Hobart to shoot The Nightingale, director Jennifer Kent’s follow up to The Babadook, the horror film that made the Aussie hot property internationally. Claflin landed in Sydney at the start of March, stepping straight into the colour and buzz of Mardi Gras. “Very unexpected,” the actor told News Corp Australia with a chuckle.
After three days, he decamped to Canberra where an Outward Bound guide took Claflin and a couple of his Nightingale castmates into the bush for a team-building exercise. It also doubled as preparation for the film, which is set in the 1820s and sees Claflin’s character pursued through the Tasmanian wilderness by a young, female Irish convict who is seeking revenge for the brutal murder of her family.
Writer-director Kent has said while not a horror film, The Nightingale will be “horrific”. Claflin describes it as “quite a dark film” and “very compelling and authentic”. The Londoner said of his introduction to the bush: “I never felt like my life was in danger, so it wasn’t fully like this film. It was a way for us to get used to the outdoors and some of the terrain that we’d be working in. But we were obviously very well looked after and were wearing contemporary clothes as opposed to 1820s boots.
With an excellent cast including Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Richard E. Grant and Sam Claflin, there’s a lot of excitement for World War II drama Their Finest.
Directed by Lone Scherfig (Riot Club), the film – based on Lissa Evans’ novel Their Finest Hour and a Half – has been winning rave reviews.
Above, The Independent is premiering a clip from Their Finest which see’s Catrin Cole (Arteton) meet Roger Swain (Grant) and Tom Buckley (Claflin) for the first time.
In this new trailer for the upcoming thriller My Cousin Rachel, Sam Claflin comes under the spell of the woman he suspects may be responsible for the mysterious death of his guardian.
Based on the classic Daphne Du Maurier novel, young orphan Phillip Ambrose (Claflin) has his tranquil existence interrupted when he receives a note from his older cousin Ambrose, who writes that he is being poisoned. Ambrose soon turns up dead of an apparent brain tumor, but Phillip is suspicious of Ambrose’s strange wife Rachel, played by Rachel Weisz.
When Rachel appears on Philip’s home turf, he determines to solve the mystery, but finds himself captivated by the presence of the enigmatic widow.
Iain Glen, Holliday Grainger and Simon Russell Beale are among the film’s costars, which is directed by Roger Michell, best known for the likes of Notting Hill, Enduring Love and Persuasion.
His film isn’t the first feature adaptation of DuMaurier’s novel, however. A feature film based on the novel was released in 1952, starring Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton, while 1983 saw the BBC adapt the story for a mini-series, featuring Geraldine Chaplin as the titular femme fatale.
My Cousin Rachel hits cinemas June 9.
Their Finest knows how real movie magic comes to life (and it’s not with some guy named John).
Actor Sam Claflin experiences the hell and horror of war in two stunning new films.
Claflin and Gemma Arterton employ clipped diction and understated glances in Their Finest (which opens here on April 21): a stirring romantic comedy about an introspective producer (Claflin) running the government’s propaganda film unit in World War II. He hires a woman (Arterton) to create scripts and story ideas to help boost the war effort at home.
The movie, directed by Lone Scherfig, has priceless supporting performances by Bill Nighy, Rachael Stirling and Helen McCrory.
And Claflin recently completed work on Saul Dibb’s powerful screen version of R. C . Sherriff ’s play Journey’s End: a portrait of what it was like for a British unit in the trenches.
The 30-year-old actor plays Captain Stanhope, a sensitive alpha male and brilliant leader who has become a hard drinker: booze his only solace on the Front. The actor gives peerless performances in both pictures — and now other producers and film-makers are sitting up and taking note. “Sam goes to very dark places in Journey’s End,” said director Dibb, admiringly. “He looks like a man who has endured the awful things that happened over there.”
From director Lone Scherfig and adapted from the novel Their Finest Hour and a Half by Lissa Evans, the romantic drama Their Finest is set in the midst of the devastating Second World War, when movies became a crucial outlet to raise the spirits of the nation during wartime. Catrin Col (Gemma Arterton) is employed to write female dialogue, referred to as “slop” by her male co-writers, for original British Ministry of Information propaganda feature films with fellow screenwriter Buckley (Sam Claflin), and as the two work together, they realize that there can be just as much passion behind the camera as there is on screen.
During this phone interview with Collider, co-stars Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy (who plays the self-absorbed but charismatic thespian, Ambrose Hilliard, whose days of being a romantic lead are well behind him) talked about what attracted them to Their Finest, the story’s feeling of nostalgia, learning to work on a typewriter, how dreamy it was to work with co-star Gemma Arterton, and why people love the collective experience of watching movies. Claflin also talked about My Cousin Rachel and the experience of working with Rachel Weisz, while Nighy talked about playing a very nice man in The Bookshop, opposite Emily Mortimer.
Collider: What was it about this script that made you want to be a part of telling this story and playing this character?
BILL NIGHY: To be honest, it was triggered by the prospect of working with (director) Lone Scherfig. That was my initial enthusiasm. And then, when I read the script, it was a wonderful script full of humor and humanity, which appealed to me. It was also something that I’m interested in. I’m interested in making movies and I’m interested in that period. People in the U.K. have a very specific nostalgia for that time, and I thought it beautifully expressed the details of how people’s lives were, during that time, and the general feeling, and how people can remain compassionate in truly dangerous times, rather than like compassion during strategically invented dangerous times. It’s a timely movie, in that respect. But, the script was very attractive.
SAM CLAFLIN: For me, personally, I’d been fortunate enough to work with Lone Scherfig, and she approached me with this script. After having such an incredible experience with her before, I knew that no matter what she gave me, I would happily jump aboard. Honestly, I fell in love with the script. I thought it was a really unique war story, set around a very poignant part of our history, but with an insight into a world that I wasn’t overly familiar with, with filmmaking at that time. I loved the beautifully poetic love story between Buckley and Catrin, and also the humor that Ambrose Hilliard brought. So, it ticked every box for me, really. And Gemma [Arterton] was already attached and I’d always wanted to work with her. It was a no-brainer.
HOLLYWOOD—Thinly disguised propaganda films played an important part in convincing battle-weary Brits to continue supporting the war effort during World War II. The British Ministry of Information mostly hired male writers to compose these morale-boosting melodramas but they also enlisted a few women, whose primary job was to write “female dialogue,” patronizingly referred to as slop, to tap into the hearts and imaginations of the ever-growing female workforce.
The dramedy “Their Finest,” based on Lissa Evans’ novel “Their Finest Hour and a Half,” tells the story of a smart yet nearly broke British advertising copywriter named Catrin Cole (played by “Tamara Drewe’s” Gemma Arterton), who is enlisted by the Ministry to partner with a male screenwriter to find a real-life story about home-grown heroism and turn it into an inspiring screenplay. Though her co-writer Tom Buckley (“The Hunger Games’” Sam Claflin) initially is reluctant to pair up with an inexperienced collaborator—a woman, no less—he has no choice. Up against a deadline, the duo is forced to settle on an incident involving twin sisters who set out to sea in their drunken father’s rickety boat to rescue brave, wounded soldiers during the evacuation of Dunkirk. Embellishing many of the details of what was actually a mundane event for the twins, Catrin and Tom spin together an imaginative tale of incredible heroism and sacrifice. Leading the production’s cast is self-absorbed yet charismatic Ambrose Hilliard (BAFTA award winner Bill Nighy), a one-time leading man who reluctantly signs on for a supporting role as kindly Uncle Frank at the urging of his longtime agent, Sammy (Eddie Marsan), and then the agent’s sister, Sophie (Helen McCrory).
Hilliard is joined in the epic story-within-a-story by heroic American pilot Carl Lundbeck (Jake Lacy), who doesn’t quite possess the acting chops of the rest of the professional cast, but who is hired because he can draw American audiences (and, by extension, the nation itself) to join Britain in fighting the Nazis. As the writers rework the material throughout the film’s production in South Wales, Tom and married Catrin cope with growing romantic feelings for each other.
During a recent stopover to promote the feature, adapted for the screen and directed by Lone Scherfig, stars Nighy and Claflin sat down together to discuss making the film, which delves into the important role cinema played in Britain’s war effort, working with their female director and co-star, doggedly trying to keep a straight face while filming one scene and filming on location in Wales.
You may have seen your share of World War II movies, but you’ve never seen one like this. Rather than focusing on the front lines, Their Finest (in theaters today) follows a British film crew as they attempt to boost morale and encourage America to join the fight against Hitler by making a propaganda film after the Blitzkrieg.
If you’re thinking of Katniss’ “propos” in Mockingjay, you wouldn’t be too far off – which is apropos (no pun intended), given that Sam Claflin also stars in this movie as the rather prickly script writer Tom Buckley. Tom works with the Ministry of Information to write and produce their latest propaganda film, reluctantly recruiting Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) – a talented young Welsh woman and writer – to bring a female perspective to the operation. Though Catrin faces many challenges from the male-dominated ministry, Tom soon comes to appreciate her abilities – both for writing and for wrangling the veteran actor and demanding star of the film, Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy). What follows is a story full of love, laughter, an impressive film-within-a-film, and lots of surprises.
Fangirlish had the chance to speak exclusively with the incredible Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy about their roles in Their Finest, exploring the World War II time period on film, and their (perhaps surprising) pop culture obsessions.
It’s always fun to hear actors talk about their characters, but I thought maybe you guys could tell me about each other’s character instead – switch it up a little.
Bill Nighy: Well, [Sam]’s got a great character, and it’s beautifully written. It’s a wonderful love story. I loved reading it. I was jealous – I wished I was younger and I could play Sam’s part, but then I often feel that way. It’s a very dryly written, beautiful, and unexpected kind of leading man experience. You see someone in the time-honored tradition, I suppose, of initially dismissing the leading lady and then falling deeply in love, and that’s very fulfilled in the part.