Panem might be a totalitarian dystopia that requires 23 human sacrifices every year, but at least there’s no shortage of handsome men around – from Katniss’ dueling love interests Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne to her Capitol fashion guru Cinna. Winning the hearts of Districts everywhere, however, is Hunger Games victor Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin). Good with a trident and kind to old ladies, Finnick is a certified dreamboat who – luckily for Katniss’ already complicated love life – is no longer on the market.
Finnick was definitely one of the more interesting and likeable characters introduced in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: charming and flirtatious in public but brave and loyal when things came down to a fight. The character is set to return in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and promotional images for the film have shown him looking a little more sober in the plain garb of District 13.
When Screen Rant spoke with The Hunger Games star Natalie Dormer, she praised the movie for having characters whose gender is secondary to their personal traits and journeys. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that when we asked Claflin who his inspiration for playing Finnick was, the answer was… a little surprising.
“The best way I think about Finnick, generally, I guess, is that he’s sort of similar to Marilyn Monroe. [Laughs] Seriously. In front of the cameras, in public, he’s a character, sort of guards – really allows himself to become someone he really isn’t. Behind closed doors, of course, he’s damaged, he’s vulnerable, sensitive – broken in a sense. So I think… not that I kind of watched every Marilyn Monroe film in the world, but that definitely was some inspiration, I guess. [Laughs] It’s true! It really is! It really informed me – that’s where I got what he would be like.”
The various elements of this multi-faceted character had already started to emerge in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but Claflin hinted that we’ll get to see even more of Finnick in Mockingjay – Part 1, which has “a very big difference in the approach to the character” and offered him “the opportunity to show both sides.”
The dissonance between public and private personalities is likely to be an even bigger focus in Mockingjay – Part 1 than it was in Catching Fire, as Katniss finds herself being molded into a symbol of the revolution by leaders like President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour-Hoffman). Finnick, meanwhile, will be reunited with his fiancée Annie Cresta, but even their wedding may end up being more of a public event than a private celebration.
Will we get to see Finnick standing over a subway grate and accidentally getting his skirt blown up? Well, it didn’t happen in the book but don’t rule anything out just yet.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 opens in theaters on November 21st, 2014.