Sam Claflin: On Set with Snow White’s Prince
By: Lynn Barker
More Snow White and the Huntsman insider info!
It’s another day in the U.K. and we are off to the Farnham, Surrey area to enter the famous Bourne Woods where War Horse, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood, Dark Shadows, Wolfman, Gladiator and more were shot. Once driving through town we see those DMF (Dark Mirror Films) signs again on various trees pointing the way.
It has just rained (as usual) and it smells great in the woods. We’re getting used to the mud.
Later, we’ll watch the crew shoot a scene in which Sam Claflin’s character Prince William Charmant (yeah, but he’s not a wimpy Prince Charming) is up in a tree with a bow and arrow and he’s going to ambush evil Queen Ravena’s Shadow Knights approaching on horseback. Also there is a carriage. Maybe the evil queen (Charlize Theron) is supposed to be in it. Sam’s double is doing this treetop action. He shoots an arrow to ignite a fire that scares their horses .. Riders fall off.
Okay, where is the real Sam? Right here in a warm, on set trailer with us!
Kidzworld: I love your coat! (Sam is a hot vision in brown suedes and leathers. His long brown suede coat has brass buttons… my kind of prince).
- Sam: You can have it if you want.
Kidzworld: I don’t think Colleen Atwood (costume designer) would like that! Besides, you may need it. It’s cold! How do you like your costumes? You’re rockin’ leather pants today.
- Sam: I know! But they’re very comfortable, bizarrely. I feel very at home… not that I own anything like this in my wardrobe but I wouldn’t mind.
Kidzworld: Do your costumes help inform your part? Do you feel like the character in them?
- Sam: Not really princely. The prince is more a man of war. He’s big into his fighting and he doesn’t think. He just sort of goes so it helps me feel a bit more manly and masculine and makes me want to gear up and get ready to go, especially when I’ve got the belt on and everything.
Kidzworld: What is Kristen like when she puts on her costume? Does she go into a princess mode?
- Sam: No. She tends to not be in any princess-like costumes which is good for her and gives her that bad-a** fighting spirit but she looks pretty darn awesome. Thumbs up!
Kidzworld: So, when we talked in L.A. for the last “Pirates” movie [Sam played the hunky missionary in love with the mermaid], you were really looking forward to this role. Has it met or exceeded your expectations?
Sam: Very much so. It’s quite a dark telling of the story so to be able to play the Prince not necessarily how everyone expects, is a treat for anybody really.
Kidzworld: He’s not the wimpy Prince Charming?
- Sam: No. He’s a bit grittier. There’s a definite darker side to my character. There’s a bit of rage in him. I’m a bit more manly. It’s good to be able to have the opportunity to play something like that.
Kidzworld: Since the latest royal wedding, a lot of people are interested in princes.
- Sam: Funnily enough, on my trailer it says “Prince William” [laughter] so it’s kind of nice to wake up every morning “Yes! I married Kate Middleton”. But, [my character] isn’t the classic good guy. I am a good guy. Everything is meant in good will but doesn’t always come across that way.
Kidzworld: Was that edgy part of the character what attracted you?
- Sam: Absolutely. Funnily enough, I actually auditioned for the other “Snow White” movie project very early on but I think Armie Hammer was their number one choice. There was a scheduling problem at one particular moment which meant he might not be able to do it so they sent me the script and asked me to audition for it.
Kidzworld: Isn’t that movie more like the softer fairy tale?
- Sam: They are two, very, very different projects and I thought theirs, the character was quite similar. I know it’s changed hugely from what I initially read. It was the first draft that they had but I saw more similarities in their prince and the part that I played in “Pirates” whereas I thought I wanted to pick up a sword and do a bit of fighting and get a bit grittier, hopefully open a few more doors for me.
Kidzworld: How do you get into the mindset to play a prince? How do you prepare?
- Sam: I can’t really. I think, the majority of the stuff I’ve done so far, I’ve not been in any throne rooms. I’ve been on horseback in the woods. So, for me personally, I suppose there are moments of me being incognito. I’m trying to be somebody else, trying not to be who my father wants me to be and try to be a better person. There’s not too many princely duties that I have to fulfill, luckily.
Kidzworld: Do you have a favorite fairy tale?
- Sam: I suppose I used to really like “Jack and the Giant Killer”, “Jack and the Beanstalk” but I was always sort of obsessed with it. I liked that there was a cheeky guy who climbed a beanstalk and did all that stuff.
Kidzworld: Did you watch the animated Disney movie of “Snow White” as a kid?
- Sam: As soon as I realized these projects were coming I thought “I need to get on this boat and actually know what I’m talking about” so I watched it about a year ago I think. It’s bizarre watching a Disney animated film when you’re older, comparing it to all the classics like “Bambi” and “Little Mermaid” and watching it as an adult. I’m like “Wow! That’s different than I imagined it would be”. But, I’m a big fan.
Kidzworld: What about the stunts and swordplay? You are active. Weren’t you once a soccer player until an injury?
- Sam: Yeah. Unfortunately I sort of tangled again [last] weekend rehearsing a fight scene. I don’t get the opportunity to play much soccer. This keeps me quite busy. I really enjoy all the swordplay and, unfortunately, during “Pirates”, I didn’t get to play with any of the swords so, to have that opportunity now and doing what I’m doing is great fun and it’s kind of every boy’s dream, really, fighting with swords and on horseback.
Kidzworld: Did you know Kristen prior to this movie?
- Sam: No. I knew of her obviously and I’ve been a big fan of everything she’s been involved with up to now so the first time I met her we had a talk and realized that we have a lot of things in common. We like the same sort of music and we have a few friends in common. It’s such a small world.
Kidzworld: You and Kristen have the same music taste? What are you listening to?
- Sam: A guy called Marcus Foster mainly. This sort of big musician who I love played at my birthday party so I went to see him at another gig and, supporting him, was Marcus Foster. I was backstage meeting Marcus and he was telling me about this music video he’s about to do that Kristen’s just starred in. Then, when I saw Kristen next I was “I can’t believe you did that. You know him and he knows you and he knows Rob [Pattinson]”. It’s again, a small world. So, mainly him but I have a feeling our music tastes are very much in tune I would say.
Kidzworld: What kind of music will be on the soundtrack? Sweeping epic or what?
Sam: Funnily enough, me and Chris [Hemsworth] were talking about it and trying to persuade the director to get some classic “Lord of the Rings” Enya because we were walking through the Yorkshire Dales, up and down these mountains and I said “You should have your i-phone on and we should just play it so we think we’re in that movie”.
- The only experience I’ve had is doing “Pirates” but adding music to it changes it completely. Until you see that one the screen you can never get an inkling of how it will look or be perceived. Most of the time, it’s the music that makes the tears come but I have no idea what their ideas for it are.
Kidzworld: Who is the jokester on set and what have they done?
- Sam: Probably me. The other day, on take one of riding into a certain scene on a horse, I fell off. The thought of me trying to get up again was quite difficult so I was just lying there. I remember Chris trying to wench me back up onto my feet and I was like “No. I’m not moving. I can’t move. I’m just going to stay here. I’m happier.”
- I’ve not seen many jokes happening during the filming. When they say action, it’s all a very serious face but there’s been a few elements with the dwarves. They have the confidence to be able to joke around a lot more than me. This being only my second film, I feel like I have to be really focused and concentrated on what I’m doing.
Kidzworld: Did you have any horseback riding experience?
- Sam: A little bit before this but, before I started filming I had about two months of rigorous training, fighting and horseback riding so my confidence has grown but I’m still not competent, I don’t think.
Kidzworld: Who is more confident on a horse, you or Kristen?
- Sam: I don’t know. I think I’ve spent more time on a horse. I had more opportunity being in London I think because she was still doing post production on “Twilight” over there so I think she had less time to prepare but I don’t know. She seems quite confident and happy on a horse.
Kidzworld: So is your prince more attracted to the kick-butt empowered girl than the traditional princess?
- Sam: I think it’s like your high school sweetheart. When you haven’t seen them for ten years, even if they’ve put on 70 pounds, you kind of go “She’s the same girl I fell in love with as a kid”. There’s still that ongoing passion and that thing that was never finished. That still lives inside the prince now and I think that keeps him going a lot of the time that they’re not together necessarily.
Kidzworld: Any interesting experiences with furry woodland creatures out here?
- Sam: No. I’ve seen a few deer but that’s about it. And there are plenty of horses running around. I’ll keep you posted.
Kidzworld: No fans have found the set so far?
- Sam: Not with me. I think when we were in Wales, there were quite a few people because it was a public beach and they didn’t close it off so there were a few videos of Kristen captured.
Sam is called back to the set.
- Sam: Oh, do I have to? Well, safe journey back.
Snow White and the Huntsman - Trailer