The Hunger Games were a launching pad for the career of Jennifer Lawrence. The franchise has also helped jumpstart the careers of numerous others as well. This includes Sam Claflin, who is one of Hollywood’s biggest up and comers.

The Hunger Games weren’t Claflin’s first foray into the Hollywood scene. He had a supporting role in the 2011 blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. This was the first time the mainstream audience was exposed to the 29-year-old.

It was almost a career that never started. Acting wasn’t always Claflin’s first love. At a young age he played soccer in England. It wasn’t until he broke both ankles as a 16-year-old that he decided to hang up the cleats in favor of something different. That’s when he became drawn to the performing arts. Claflin graduated from LAMDA drama school in 2009 with an acting degree.

Claflin’s degree will be put to the test for his next role in the romantic drama, Me Before You. It’s his first major motion picture starring role. The film is based off a novel written by Jojo Moyes, who is one of a select few to win the Romantic Novel of the Year award twice by Romantic Novelists Association.

To play the lead role in Me Before You, Claflin had to lose more than 40 pounds. He went on a 500 calorie per day diet and combined that with rigorous training. Claflin told ABC News how grueling and demanding the role proved to be.

“This was probably the most physically challenging thing that I’ve ever done,”

Sam Claflin is a dedicated actor, and his star will only continue to rise after Me Before You. He’s not going to reach the level of Hunger Games co-star Jennifer Lawrence, but you can expect to see him in more notable films down the line.

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