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A Walk In The Park: With Sam Claflin

A Walk In The Park: With Sam Claflin

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A Walk In the park with: sam claflin

Practical. Dependable. Quintessentially British. But with an edge. Words to describe Barbour Gold Standard? Yes. But also, it’s the very familiar face of, Sam Claflin. Over a walk in Richmond Park with his toy poodle Rosie, the actor chatted about his upcoming role, his fashion credentials as a youth and what Barbour Gold Standard means to him.

With a CV that includes The Hunger Games, Riot Club, Peaky Blinders, Me Before You – to name but a few - Claflin has become a household name in the world of British acting. No wonder then that he’s also become the face of one of the biggest British heritage brands, Barbour Gold Standard.

“I’ve always had at least one Barbour jacket in my wardrobe for different occasions,” says Claflin. “I think for me, it’s just always felt like a part of British life… you can wear a Barbour jacket and own it for decades.”

A partnership, then, that makes sense. Claflin agrees. “I don’t like dressing up that much, so the level of formality is kind of where I’m happy.” It’s no surprise then that the AW21 Barbour Gold Standard collection is their third time working together.

Inspired by the brand’s 125 years plus history, Gold Standard is the brand’s luxury offering. Ft. jackets inspired by their ample archives, each design comes with carefully considered details, from trims to buttons, pockets to fabrics.

But what makes Gold Standard special for Claflin? “The attention to detail, like the poppers, just the Barbour special touch that they do so well and have done so well for so many years. It still feels so quintessentially English to me.”

Threads, it turns out, are integral to his life as an actor. “The costume for any character is hugely informative for any actor,” he explains. “Whether you’re playing a more casual/relaxed character in sort of baggy, casual clothes, or you’re playing someone like Oswald Moseley [his character in Peaky Blinders] who’s very up to the neck in tight, stiff ties and shirts and collars… it really informs you and how you hold yourself. They always say that putting on the shoes of the character is what helps with the walk. And then the walk is how you carry yourself and how you talk. It all helps.”


Renowned for taking on roles that push him out of his comfort zone – from the previously mentioned Oswald Mosley [the infamous ‘20s politician] to a paraplegic in Me Before You and spoilt Oxbridge student in The Riot Club – Claflin has been firm in his resolve not to become the love interest. But for 2022, he’s set to play the ultimate heartthrob: the leader of a rock ‘n’ roll band.

I think FOR ME, IT'S JUST ALWAYS FELT LIKE A PART OF BRITISH LIFE. YOU CAN WEAR A BARBOUR JACKET AND OWN IT FOR DECADES.

The hyped Amazon Prime series, Daisy Jones and The Six, based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Taylor Jenkins Reid, will see him step on stage as tortured rock god Billy Dunne.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be prepared enough for it to be honest,” admits Claflin. Throughout all of lockdown, it’s been guitar lessons, singing lessons, accent lessons. It’s been very full-on, but I’ve been grateful for the distraction. I think it’s going to be a long time before I feel like I belong in his shoes.” 

Claflin and the cast originally had a mere two months to prep. To learn to play the guitar. To lead a band. To perform together as, what is in the book, the world’s biggest rock band. Claflin had just got out to LA to start, what he calls ‘band camp,’ when the pandemic hit. As with the rest of the world, Claflin returned home.

‘We had two weeks together before lockdown one happened. They’d just given me these two guitars and I had a suitcase. I was staying with a friend, and I was like: ‘I’ll be back in two weeks. I’m just going to go and quarantine with the kids and I’ll be back.’ It’s been a year and a half and my suitcase is still there.”

Filming on Daisy Jones finally resumed this summer, a year and a half later than planned. An extra year to learn to play the guitar? Lockdown came with some advantages then.

“There have been positives to come out of this. It’s made us all look inwards at ourselves and the way that we live our lives and the things that we take for granted,” agrees Claflin. “For me, it’s given me the time to spend a lot of quality time at home with my kids.”

It’s clear that family comes first with Claflin. He credits his two kids with his renewed sense of adventure, even citing his style as ‘daddy cool’. “My style would be very practical. Quick. Easy. Flexible,” he explains.


MY STYLE WOULD BE VERY PRACTICAL. QUICK. EASY. FLEXIBLE.

Physical transformations, however, are something Claflin has mastered over the years. “I’d strangely say one of the hardest ones was for a job that I did called The Nightingale. I had to put on weight, and it was actually pretty tough,” he says. “I don’t think I realised until after we finished filming, but I think in reflection it just sort of brought my energy levels down.”

Telling the story of a young Irish convict who seeks revenge against a British officer who committed a terrible crime against her family, The Nightingale isn’t an easy watch.

After spending so long learning to walk in others' shoes, how does Claflin switch back to the real world? “I’m very fortunate to have quite an incredible support network of friends and family, most of whom have nothing to do with this industry, and then having the dog and the kids.”

So, what does he remember from his own style growing up? “I did the whole bleached highlight tips. There was someone in Boyzone that did it that was really adored and admired by women, so I was like ‘that must be what I’m doing wrong’. I grew up in tracksuits, Reebok classics, gold chains, shaved head. You know I even had an earring with a little ball on it. I was pretty uncool I’d say.”

Taking a walk in Sam Claflin’s shoes? Maybe not circa 2001, but in 2021? We’d do it any day.

THEY ALWAYS SAY THAT PUTTING ON THE SHOES OF THE CHARACTER IS WHAT HELPS WITH THE WALK. 

QUICKFIRE ROUND

The song that always gets me on my feet is… Bohemian Rhapsody.

The last song of the night should be… One More Time or pretty much any Fatboy Slim song.

My theme song is… Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.

My guilty pleasure is… Wine and Haribo. Haribo sweets are like my vice.

My most-watched film is… Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I think because I’ve stayed in the same hotel where it was filmed in Hawaii a few times for work, which is in itself ridiculous.

My biggest fashion mistake was… I wouldn’t call it a fashion mistake, you know for me, but my Crocs are a big part of my life as a dad. I do the gardening. I’m very proud of it. However, everyone else seems to think it’s something I shouldn’t own as a 34-year-old.

My biggest fashion triumph is… I’m not sure I’ve ever had one. In all honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever nailed an outfit.

My all-time favourite footballer is… David Beckham. He was my idol, my hero.

The role I’d most love to play is… a dad. You don’t get many opportunities as a 34-year-old in this industry.

The perfect day off involves… Doing nothing. Not getting out of bed. Not leaving my bed. It’s very rare that I can sleep past eight anymore, even on days I’m not with the children.