Hunger Games star adds his voice to calls for more paternity leave

Actor Sam Claflin says fatherhood has been his toughest role but he’s encouraging men to get more involved

Dad with baby and milk bottle


Actor Sam Claflin has added some celebrity support to calls for new dads to get more paternity leave.

The star best known for roles in Pirates of the Caribbean and The Hunger Games series of films called on men to get more involved as fathers.

Claflin is currently promoting a new gangster movie, The Corrupted. But the 32-year-old has talked up a more positive vision of masculinity during interviews. Speaking on the Chris Evans breakfast show he said, “I definitely feel, and here I am saying this on air, I feel like men should get more paternity leave.”

The father of two said it had been hard to go back to work filming the new movie soon after daughter Margot was born. “It’s definitely a trying time being a new father and trying to go back to work,” he explained.

In fact the actor said he was so tired on set that he fell asleep standing up during one scene.


However he is an enthusiastic exponent of the benefits of fatherhood. As well as daughter Margot, now nearly 18 months old, he has a three-year-old son, Pip.

“I love being a father, I love having two, I genuinely embrace the challenge,” he said. “I think every guy should be as hands-on as much as they can be. I think that’s what’s wonderful about our society as it is now, I feel men are willing and wanting to be more involved than they used to be.”

Claflin found fame in the fourth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and he starred opposite Jennifer Lawrence as Finnick Odair in the Hunger Games films.

Currently men are only entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave and they have to have been with the same employer for six months to qualify. Men can also used shared parental leave to split some of the 12 months of maternity leave on offer to mothers.

Self employed men such as Claflin wouldn’t qualify for any benefits. The Parental Pay Equality campaign is calling for paternity benefits and shared parental leave to be extended to self employed workers. Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson has launched a proposed new law that would extend paid paternity leave and expand eligibility for shared parental leave.

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