OnlyOnAOL: Get ready to fall majorly in love with Sam Claflin

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Sam Claflin On "Me Before You"

By: Donna Freydkin

Get your tissues ready, filmgoers, for a project that left even its lead in tears.

In "Me Before You," the drama based on Jojo Moyes' bestseller, Sam Claflin plays a dashing, dapper banker who is paralyzed from the neck down after an accident, and left in the company of adorable, if inexperienced Lou (Emilia Clarke).

But rather than a paint-by-numbers rom-com, the film deals with a host of issues, including euthanasia, class differences, and how we treat and view the physically challenged. It's what appealed to Claflin, whom you know from playing Finnick Odair in the "Hunger Games" films.

Yes, he got emotional upon reading this script and that's how he knew he had to play Will. "If the script connects with me -- if I cry, if I genuinely laugh out loud -- you know when you know. I don't know exactly where I'm going to be next year, or two months from now. But what excites me is that I don't know what I want," he says.

He's got sympathy for Will, who is friendless and whose girlfriend winds up betraying him. But he also doesn't leave his character blameless. "It was Will that pushed everyone away. He didn't want his friends to suffer. (His girlfriend) tried to be there for him and he didn't want to see her. How much can you try?" muses Claflin.

His performances hinges on his emotional acuity, since his physicality was rendered moot by Will's paralysis. "A lot of people only see the wheelchair and not the person. He's still the same person. There shouldn't be a difference and that's what became clear to me," says Claflin.


Now, he's changing gears to promote the film, which has him walking red carpets. It's not where Claflin would prefer to be, given the choice.

"Only because I don't like dressing up. I'd rather be in my sneakers and a T-shirt. But at the same time, it's amazing to have such great support. There's nothing better than that feeling. But I'm still so overwhelmed by it," he says of his many, many fans.

"I find that they're really respectful. They're amazingly tuned-in with what I like and what I don't like. They turn up to every single event I'm at in England. They know my mum and dad. They warn me about certain things coming out (in the press)."

Not that Claflin lives a life that's tabloid-friendly. He's married to Laura Haddock and has a son, who's his priority above all else. The secret to raising a good kid isn't complicated. "It's love, simply. For me, as long as I love my child and shower him with an awareness of the world, he'll be OK, hopefully," says Claflin.

Take a look back at the "Hunger Games" stars below.

55 PHOTOS
Hunger Games - Red Carpet - London
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OnlyOnAOL: Get ready to fall majorly in love with Sam Claflin
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Jennifer Lawrence attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Elizabeth Banks attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Elizabeth Banks attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Jennifer Lawrence attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Jena Malone attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Julianne Moore attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Liam Hemsworth attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Josh Hutcherson attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Natalie Dormer attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Stanley Tucci attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Lorde attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Donald Sutherland attends an after party for the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Victoria House on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Sam Claflin attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Actress Julianne Moore poses for photographers upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actor Liam Hemsworth poses for photographers upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
From left, actors Lorde, Natalie Dormer, Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone and Julianne Moore speak to each other upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actress Jennifer Lawrence poses for photographers upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actress Jena Malone poses for photographers upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Director Francis Lawrence poses for photographers upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
From left, actors Lorde, Natalie Dormer, Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Banks speak to each other upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actress Julianne Moore poses for photographers upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
From right, actors Natalie Dormer, Julianne Moore, Jena Malone and Jennifer Lawrence speak to each other upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actress Elizabeth Banks poses for photographers upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actors Elizabeth Banks and Sam Claflin joke with each other upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Sam Claflin attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Elizabeth Banks attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Lewis Gardner, Stewart Brock and Callum Wiseman of Prides attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
Actress Elizabeth Banks poses for photographers upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Donald Sutherland, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Stanley Tucci, Josh Hutcherson and Jeffrey Wright attend the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Donald Sutherland, Natalie Dormer, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson and Stanley Tucci attend the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Natalie Dormer attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Actress Jennifer Lawrence poses for photographers upon arrival to the world premiere of the film The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 in London, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Sam Claflin attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Lizzie Cundy attends an after party for the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Victoria House on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Lorde attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Sam Faiers attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Fleur East attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Josh Hutherson attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Stanley Tucci attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Stevi Ritchie attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Jade Avia attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Kimberly Garner attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Jessica Wright attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Lauren Platt attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Video Blogger Rebecca Brown attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Hofit Golan attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Jonathan Ross attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Edith Bowman attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Daisy Lowe attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: Kimberley Garner attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Daisy Lowe attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Sinitta attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Director Francis Lawrence attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) Amy Willerton attends the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/WIREIMAGE REQUIRED) (L to R) JJ Hamblett, George Shelley, Josh Cuthbert and Jaymi Hensley of Union J attend the World Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' at Odeon Leicester Square on November 10, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/WireImage)
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