Sam Claflin won a role in The Hunger Games sequel because he’s “handsome as hell”, according to director Francis Lawrence.
There was a great deal of speculation over who would play District Four tribute Finnick Odair in the second instalment of the franchise, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Many of Hollywood’s hottest leading men were linked to the role, but it eventually went to Snow White and the Huntsman hunk Sam. Francis is confident the right guy has been chosen to portray the character.
"[Sam] is very athletic, which is great. He's in great shape. He's very charismatic," Francis told MTV. "But I was also looking in the long term. There's kind of a rogue-like quality to him in this book. And long term, he's actually an emotional character and a very loyal character and a character who's in love; a character who experienced quite a lot of sadness. And he was really able to tap into that, as well as being really charming and sexy and handsome as hell."
Francis also spoke about Woody Harrelson’s role as Haymitch Abernathy, the alcoholic District 12 mentor to Jennifer Lawrence’s character Katniss Everdeen.
He was eager to give more depth to the character and reveal his history to audiences.
“One of the things I really like about this book is you start to see kind of why Haymitch is the way he is… and I did a fair amount of work in terms of that, in terms of understanding PTSD and how to work with somebody with post-traumatic stress…,” he explained. “He can be quite cynical and sarcastic at times. But I think there's a more human side to him in this one as well.”
Shooting on Catching Fire wrapped in December last year.
Francis has revealed the process of filming the follow-up movie in locations including Hawaii proved a real challenge to cast and crew.
"And you know even though shooting in Hawaii sounds like a lot of fun, it's pretty tricky when you're in the beach and waves and tides,” he added. “Our set got washed away one day by the tide, and then... shooting in the jungle where there's bugs and mud and rain. The days are short, so you don't have much time.”
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is slated for release in November 2013.