Stories / October 2019

The Director's Cut: Sam Claflin

To mark Claflin’s debut in the acclaimed BBC show Peaky Blinders, THE RAKE asked Anthony Byrne, the director of series five, to put him on the spot…

Red wool overcoat, Corneliani.

Sam Claflin, the star of The Hunger Games and The Riot Club, has shaken up the latest series of Peaky Blinders with his portrayal of Oswald Mosley, the infamous British fascist leader of the 1930s. To mark Claflin’s debut in the acclaimed BBC show, THE RAKE asked Anthony Byrne, the director of series five, to put him on the spot…

 

AB: Is clothing important to you?

SC: I think it’s more important to me than I admit it is. I have quite a varied wardrobe, I have a whole room dedicated to it, which I don’t normally go into. I take care over what I wear, but I don’t obsess over it. I very rarely wear [smart] shoes; I think it’s part of being a dad — everything needs to be easy footwear. I bought my first pair of sandals last summer because I can’t wear flip-flops in case my kid runs off. I’ve got to do the dad thing.

AB: You’ve really thought this through?

SC: You never know who’s watching. The truth is, being an actor, especially when you’re working, you get dressed up first thing in the morning and then you get on set and you immediately take your clothes off, so it’s sort of wasted.

AB: Have you ever adopted the costume, or parts of the costume, of a character you’ve played?

SC: I tend to prefer playing characters that are not me. It’s an opportunity for me to be somebody else and I very rarely have a big say in what my character will wear. I always like listening to the ideas of a costume director; occasionally I will throw some ideas out there, but usually I like to go by them. I usually focus more on the physical. Yes, sometimes a costume will inform me of how [a character] stands, but most of the time I let the costume find me after I’ve found myself — if that makes sense.

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Ryan Thompson