Sam Claflin’s latest big screen outing is in the British crime drama The Corrupted but he credits the small screen for delivering some of the best stories in the genre.
“I’ve always been a fan of this genre and corruption,” Claflin says. “You know a good twist in the tale, I think everyone has enjoyed that but it is very difficult to do it well.
“Line of Duty is a perfect example of something that does it immaculately down to a T. There was a time at the end of the 90s and the early 2000s when Guy Ritchie was doing his movies that I think everyone started making them,” he continues. “But you started seeing the twists early on and you kind of started losing interest a little bit.
“What is so frustrating about the Line of Duty thing is that no-one knows who it is and I think that the fact that the people can keep everyone guessing even at this stage, what is what, is what is so attractive.”
In his new film, the actor plays Liam, an ex-con and amateur boxer who gets embroiled in his brother’s criminal dealings with an organised crime syndicate that has infiltrated the Met Police and local government to the highest level.
“The script had heaps of potential and was incredibly relatable and related to the working class boy in me so I think it was definitely something I wanted to do,” Claflin said of the role that is a far cry from the more charming characters we’re used to seeing him play.
“Because Tim Spall and Hugh Bonneville were already attached at that point, and I saw a lot of myself in Liam but we’re almost world’s apart,” he said.
The film is based on a true story and Claflin said he got to meet the real-life person his character is based on which was quite the experience.
“We were fortunate enough to sit down with the man who my character was based on who was serving time in prison,” the actor says. “He’s not a boxer but he spends a lot of time in the gym.
“He was a very interesting man, let me just leave it right there! There were many aspects of his personality and his life experiences that I took into my role and then also training in a boxing gym, it’s a melting pot for people like that.
“I was very fortunate enough to have a lot of people to pick their brains on a daily basis when I was training, he added. “I talked and asked about their experiences and similar situations to what Liam goes through.
“Bizarrely, it was easier to get into this role than I thought it would be initially but I was blessed with people willing and wanting to share their experience.”
The British star will be continuing his foray into the crime genre when he appears in a well known BBC period drama.
“I’ve just been in the new series of Peaky Blinders which is my next sort of departure from movies,” Claflin says. “I’m playing an interesting character, a real-life person in a very beloved show which I’m very excited about!
Photographer: Matt Squire pic.twitter.com/kxkZvr9eY7
— Peaky Blinders (@ThePeakyBlinder) November 30, 2018
“Crime, I love a bent copper!” the actor enthuses. “For me, that is a genre that I have enjoyed watching over the years and I hope even more so than Peaky I can continue that exploration.”
The Corrupted is in cinemas on Friday 10 May.