Ten years after Catching Fire premiered in 2013, the Hunger Games star Sam Claflin is reflecting on playing fan favorite Finnick Odair.

Claflin’s Finnick stole fans’ hearts the moment he offered Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) a sugar cube before the Quarter Quell tribute parade, but the now 36-year-old actor was not nearly as confident as his onscreen counterpart. “At the time, I was shitting myself—the first topless scene I’ve ever done, you know? Oh, my God,” he told Variety while promoting his new series, Daisy Jones and the Six. “Also, I didn’t have an accent coach in Hunger Games, and I fucking needed one. I look back and listen to myself, like, ‘God, that’s terrible.’”

A decade later he’s in a much better place to play a heartthrob like Finnick—or Daisy Jones‘s complicated front man Billy Dunne. “I feel a little more confident in myself and comfortable in myself,” he said, “especially with a part like Finnick, where he just exudes charisma.”

Back in the day there was a lot of pressure on Claflin, who says fans didn’t react to his casting very well. “‘You were so wrong for this.’ ‘They should have cast this person or this person, not you,’” he recalled, to which he thought, “Okay, I’m gonna prove you wrong!” 

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Going into filming, Finnick was not even Sam Claflin’s favorite character in the series. “I read the books, but I was obsessed with Katniss. Also, Peeta’s journey, getting completely brainwashed and then having to overcome that like that. That was so electric,” he told the publication. “Everyone’s always like, ‘Finnick’s my favorite character.’ Don’t get me wrong—I fucking loved him as well!”

As for Finnick’s untimely death in Mockingjay Part 2, Claflin said, “I think Finnick deserved better. But I think he did the right thing. He’s a good guy, sacrificing himself for the cause.” Personally, I’m still bitter about it.