When Disney announced last week that unknown British actor Sam Claflin would be joining the cast of the next installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, we rightly thought, “Wha?” Who is this good looking 23-year-old actor pretty much plucked from obscurity to play “the key role of Philip, a youthful missionary,” alongside the inimitable Johnny Depp — replacing Orlando Bloom as the movie’s young heartthrob?
Disney’s press release was of little help. Claflin, a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, has just a couple of professional projects under his belt, although not one has yet to air. Still, he has worked with some huge names in the industry — a credit to his natural talent, connections or a hardworking agent.
First, he was cast alongside Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Matthew MacFadyen and Donald Sutherland in the epic television miniseries The Pillars of Earth, based on Ken Follet‘s best selling book, which was an Oprah‘s Book Club fav. That’s set to air in June.
Claflin was also cast in the telefilm The Lost Future, starring Lord of the Rings‘ Sean Bean, set to air later this year on SyFy channel. He’s also reportedly been cast in the British television adaptation of the novel Any Human Heart, in which he will play a young version of the writer Logan Mountstuart. Jim Broadbent and his Pillars costar Matthew Macfadyen will play Logan at other stages of his life, and Kim Cattrall and Gillian Anderson will also star.
Although we’ve yet to see his work we’re excited to see him cross the Atlantic and come stateside with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which is scheduled to premiere in May 2011. The next 12 months look like they could be the year of Sam Claflin.