I know here at O2W4 we continually say “you probably aren’t familiar with So-and-So yet, but you will be.” Being a fresh face on the screen is a big part of being One2Watch4. In the case of Sam Claflin, it’s probably a reasonable assumption that you have no idea who he is. And that’s simply because prior to 2010’s TV series “Pillars of the Earth” no one knew who this kid was. I mean that literally. So I’ll cut you some slack this time. A few key performances have put this newcomer on the radar of some heavy hitters in Hollywood. You better get in on the ground floor of this future star.
When Sam Claflin was a young lad in Norwich City his aspirations were decidedly sporty in tenor. An avid footballer, Sam had every intention of going pro before a pickup game in the park changed his destiny. One bad kick and a broken ankle later, Sam was looking for alternatives. He had been in some productions at school and decided that acting was the new road to pursue. After performing with the Norfolk Youth Music Theater (including playing Enjolras in their 2005 production of Les Miserables) Sam studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. (Other notable LAMDA alums: Dominic Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Jamie Bamber.) Check out Sam\’s school resume! Leaving LAMDA in 2009 he didn’t have to wait long to get his first big break. Sam packed his woolens and headed off to Hungary.
The first of Sam’s four TV projects was the epic series “Pillars of the Earth”, based on the much-loved novel by Ken Follett about power struggles amongst the medieval English ruling family and cathedral building. Sam played young Richard, a penniless knight who fights for the honor of his family. The next location was decidedly more tropical. Sam headed to South Africa and donned an American (or Canadian) accent to film The Lost Future, a made-for-TV movie starring Sean Bean. This time Sam was Caleb, the lone hope for a group of post-apocalyptic survivors battling mutated beasts. Oh yeah! Watch the trailer (below), you’ll see that it’s true! I’m guessing this one aired on SYFY channel at some point. The question is – was it a Saturday night movie or the even worse Wednesday night movie?
Back to the land of legit projects: “Any Human Heart” was a mini-series that followed the life of a writer from his youth in pre-War England through the 1980’s. Sam played the central character Logan Mountstuart as a college co-ed, his “Pillars of the Earth” co-star Matthew MacFadyen played “middle” Mountstuart and Jim Broadbent was “Older” Mountstuart. The series garnered many award nominations and wins on both sides of the pond. Next Claflin donned his old football cleats for the BBC made for TV movie United, about the famed Manchester United team that won the Football League and then tragically lost members in the 1958 Munich Air crash. The series co-starred O2W4 favorites David Tennant and Dougray Scott. As of press time Sam has just wrapped on “White Heat”, a new series about seven friends as they traverse four decades of their lives. Sam is playing Jack, who’s a bit of a rebel. “White Heat” is slated to air in 2012 on BBC2.
Speaking of rebellious Jacks…. What a segway! After the first Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy ended, the talk of a fourth movie started. But stars Kiera Knightly and Orlando Bloom were not inclined to sign up for another voyage. An opportunity arose, in the form of the character of a stalwart missionary named Philip and Sam took it. Thus, our man Sam launched his film career opposite major actors like Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush and Pillars of the Earth co-star, Ian McShane. Not to spoil you too much but Philip’s future is uncertain at the end of the film. Let’s hope Sam gets some sequel action. Currently Pirates 4 is the 3rd highest grossing movie, worldwide, for 2011. I don’t think you could maximize you exposure more than that. Oh wait, yes you could. You could be hired to play Prince Charming (well actually Charmant) opposite Kristen Stewart as Snow White in rival Snow White movies coming out in 2012.
Yeah that would do it. As I said, there are two Snow White re-imaginings currently in production. This is Snow White and the Huntsman, hereafter known as “The Not Tarsem One.” Sam auditioned for both films, ultimately getting cast in this one, even before the Huntsman was cast. That role eventually went to Chris Hemsworth. How is a girl to choose? I don’t envy Snow on this one. Snow White and the Huntsman is in production at press time. Be sure to check out Sam’s twitter for updates on filming.
I said earlier that I would cut you slack for not knowing who Sam Claflin is…NOW. If I come back in here a year and you’re still clueless, there will be hell to pay. This guy is on the brink of a wicked career so pay attention!
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