Sam Claflin showed off his ripped abs in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Me Before You, but the actor says he’s actually “insecure” after dealing with body shaming on movie sets.
“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,’” Claflin, 30, told The Sydney Morning Herald. “This other time they were slapping me. I felt like a piece of meat.”
The actor, who next appears in My Cousin Rachel, says the amount of body shaming he faces from production staff is similar to female actresses.
“I read in an interview recently and I think it’s absolutely true: men have it just as bad,” he says. “Well, not just as bad but they get it bad and it’s never talked about.”
Claflin then recounted slightly, but added that he experiences anxiety whenever he has to undress.
“I’m not saying it’s anywhere near as bad as what women go through but I, as an actor approaching each job, am insecure — especially when I have to take my top off in it — and so nervous,” he says. “I get really worked up to the point where I spend hours and hours in the gym and not eating for weeks to achieve what I think they’re going for.”
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He believes actors are held to a different standard these days.
“In the ’50s and ’60s, it was never an issue,” he says. “James Bond never had a six pack. He had a hairy chest. Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire had an incredible body but he was by no means ripped to within an inch of his life. There’s a filter on society that this is normal, but actually it’s anything but normal.”
Claflin spoke out in December after people erroneously thought a photo of a shirtless male model was him.
“I’m flattered. But it isn’t me. It never was me,” he posted on Instagram. “Don’t get me wrong, I have worked out before, and I really like it when I do, but to THIS extent? Not something I’ve done yet. Maybe one day, eh?”