An adaptation icon. A lot of Sam Claflin’s roles have something in common, as the actor has a habit of starring in TV shows and movies based on best-selling books.
In February 2023, he starred as the fictional rock star Billy Dunne in the miniseries Daisy Jones & The Six, based on author Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2019 book of the same name. The Prime Video series marked his tenth appearance in a novel adaptation — not counting the three separate Hunger Games films he starred in — which subsequently earned him the title of “book to screen king” by Reese Witherspoon’s Reese’s Book Club in a February TikTok video.
The star — who shares kids Pip and Margot with his ex-wife, Laura Haddock — has taken on a variety of roles in bringing beloved stories to life on the big and small screen, from showing his sentimental side in rom-coms such as Me Before You and Love, Rosie, to portraying the uptight brother of Sherlock Holmes in Enola Holmes and more.
Perhaps Claflin’s biggest book adaptation role to date is that of The Hunger Games’ Finnick Odair. His career skyrocketed following his debut as the District 4 victor in the 2013 sequel Catching Fire and went on to reprise the role in Mockingjay — Part 1 and 2 in 2014 and 2015, respectively, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth.
Having starred in so many versions of famous novels over the years, fans would be surprised to know that the Charlie’s Angels star isn’t much of a reader himself. “I have a bookshelf at home, but basically it consists of the book adaptations that I’ve made,” he admitted in a March 2023 interview with InStyle. “I only ever hear about the projects after I know there’s a script out there, and someone says, ‘Oh, did you realize it’s a novel?’”
Unlike his Daisy Jones character, Claflin’s own knowledge of music isn’t as vast, as he went on to reveal, “I genuinely had to go online and google whether Daisy Jones & The Six was an actual band. My knowledge of 1970s rock and roll is very, very bad, so this has been a very huge learning curve for me.”
Portraying well-known characters comes with pressure, something Claflin told InStyle he felt a lot of during his Hunger Games days. “I think Finnick was such a beloved character,” he shared. “If I remember right, there was a bit of an uproar when I got cast, because everyone was like, ‘This guy looks nothing like him.’ No one had ever really seen me do things, so I did everything in my power to go prove them wrong and prove that I could do it.”
He previously opened up about being body-shamed on set of one of his projects in a 2017 interview with The Sydney Morning Herald. “I read in an interview recently and I think it’s absolutely true: men have it just as bad,” he said at the time. “Well, not just as bad but they get it bad and it’s never talked about. I remember doing one job when they literally made me pull my shirt up and were grabbing my fat and going, ‘You need to lose a bit of weight.’ This other time they were slapping me. I felt like a piece of meat.”
Scroll below to look back at every book adaptation Claflin has appeared in over the years: