Sam Claflin: Pirates Gorgeous Missionary
By: Lynn Barker
We’re in Bev Hills with Sam talking “Pirates” and “Snow White”!
Very cute young Brit actor Sam Claflin was once headed for a career in pro soccer before an injury side-lined him. He had done some acting work overseas after completing drama school but it’s his role as the pious missionary Philip in the new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides film is rocketing him to stardom.
In the movie, Philip falls for Syrena, a young, captive mermaid whose special tear is needed to activate the power of the fountain of youth being sought by Captain Jack and Blackbeard. Just recently, Sam won the part of the prince opposite Kristin Stewart in the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman film!
Kidzworld is in a hotel suite in Beverly Hills to get the real scoop from this hunky leading man who was destined from childhood to be in a pirate movie!
Kidzworld: Sam, your life lately is a whirlwind. “Pirates”, now you are Prince Charming opposite Kristin Stewart in the “Snow White” film. Is your head spinning? Are you a little scared?
- Sam Claflin: I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been busy since I left drama school so I’ve never had a moment to sit back and say “Wow!”. So, even the phone call saying “You’ve got the part in “Snow White” (didn’t register) because I’m busy doing all the publicity for “Pirates”. It was “Okay, great! Thanks. Now, “Pirates”, “Pirates”. I’ve not had the opportunity to sit back and digest it. But, I’m very lucky.
Kidzworld: Has anyone seen the poster with you and Astrid (the mermaid) featured on it and recognized you yet?
- Sam: No. I’m okay. I still don’t see it happening. If I shave my beard off nobody recognizes me.
Kidzworld: Oh, it’ll happen! When you found out Astrid would play the mermaid in the film, did you say “Not too shabby? She’s beautiful” or what?
- Sam: The day that she told me she was playing the mermaid was my screen test so it was the most stressful and nervous day of my life and it should have been the best day of hers, to celebrate the fact that she’s got this amazing part. She was so focused and professional that day that even though I’m going “Oh my God, you’re playing the mermaid! That’s incredible”. She’s saying “No. No. Focus”. She was very professional.
Kidzworld: We can’t give away the ending but let’s say your Philip and her Syrena are a couple in the film. Will they be back?
- Sam: The door is left open. Let’s say that.
Kidzworld: Were you attracted to pirate tales like “Treasure Island” as a kid?
- Sam: I was a huge fan of pirates in general. I always aspired to be a pirate and live that kind of pirate life. I used to make treasure maps using teabag stains. I really enjoyed it. I think my first ever acting job I got I played a knight and I was obsessed with knights and King Arthur and all that. The moment I wrapped on that job I called my mom and said “I’m finished being a knight. I want to be a pirate next.” This is even before I knew there was a new “Pirates”. When the audition came up my mom said “It’s fate, Sam. You’re gonna get it”. I was like “no way”.
Kidzworld: Wow! It was fate! When you saw the first “Pirates” film you were a teen. Were you hooked then?
- Sam: I was such a big fan. I don’t think I knew that I wanted to be an actor at that point but none-the-less, I enjoyed the film so much. I loved the performances across the board, especially Johnny Depp who has absolutely made a mark in history with his character.
Kidzworld: When you read the final draft of the script did you say to yourself “Geez somebody is always injuring or trying to kill this guy!
- Sam: (laughs) Rob (the director) said to me once “Would it be possible to smile in this scene?” I said “I’ve just been stabbed, sliced, hung, thrown into a ditch, nearly drowned and you want me to smile? Okay, I’ll try.” I think they wanted to see that cheeky element in the character.
Kidzworld: Your character tries to remain neutral when the pirates demand he join their side or else. Are you like that in real life…trying to be neutral or are you kind of an instant joiner?
- Sam: I think if I’m that passionate about something, I’ll get sucked in but, generally, I never take sides. Even when I was in high school I was the one who stopped the fights every single time I was like “Guys, there’s no need to fight. This isn’t appropriate.” I’ve never been in a fight myself, never been hit, never hit anybody. I feel there is that element that is close to my character.
Kidzworld: So you are out in a small boat on the backlot in L.A. surrounded by some pretty hot international models playing mermaids. Set the scene for me. Any joking and flirting going on?
- Sam: (laughing) Oh, absolutely! We were in this little rowboat for about two weeks non-stop. Me and these five boys. It was kind of like island fever on that little boat surrounded by these beautiful women but, for some reason, every time they said “cut”, we all spoke in Russian accents (he demonstrates). I have no idea why we did that. We kept that up for two weeks. The girls were like “what are they doing?” It was all night shoots so we were all tired and giddy. But we tried our hand at flirting a few times.
Kidzworld: What did you do off set in Hawaii? Since Astrid couldn’t go out in the daytime in Hawaii, she says she felt like a vampire. Did you ever take her out at night so she wouldn’t feel isolated?
- Sam: Oh me and Astrid spent a lot of time together and went out for dinner but, generally, the whole cast did. We became a real family unit because we were all away from home. That’s the amazing thing about being on a location as an actor. Everyone gets stuck in together. A lot of us were staying in the same hotel except Johnny and Penelope who had their families there. But we all went out for dinner and watched football (soccer) during the World Cup.
Kidzworld: That’s right. You were headed to be a professional footballer (soccer player) before the acting. When did you make that shift?
- Sam: I think I tried to play football after the broken ankle but I just couldn’t last 90 minutes anymore. My ankle was too weak. I was still really short at the time so I thought I could never really compete in an adult league. I’d found this new love and passion for acting through school and had joined a youth theater group. They were supportive.
Kidzworld: Let’s get to the important stuff. If someone is going to go out on a date with you, what must they never do if they want a second date?
- Sam: Not talk. I don’t like it if they don’t talk. I understand, obviously, nerves take over sometimes but I’m a very talkative and down-to-earth person and I love having somebody who can be interested about me as well. But you ask someone a question and they just go “Yes”. You have to go “Can you elaborate, please?” and they kind of go “yeah”. Makes it hard. I love to have someone to talk and laugh with.
Kidzworld: Costume pictures versus modern dress movies: more fun or easier to get into character when it’s a movie set in another era? Or are you worried about doing too many costume movies?
- Sam: I think especially “Pirates” and “Snow White” were just too big of an opportunity to turn down and the director for “Snow White” (Rupert Sanders) is a genius so I’m eager to work with him. But, no, I’m not worried about doing too many costume pictures. It’s early on and I need to get my name out there as quickly as possible. There’s also a lot of work in England that I’m very keen to get my teeth into. For example there is a TV drama that I’m hoping to do before “Snow White” that is a completely different character, six episodes. It’s set in ‘60’s and ‘70’s and I play this drug addict/alcoholic… between Disney’s “Pirates” and “Snow White” it’s very different. Something I’m desperate to get involved with.
Kidzworld: But when you are in costume, does it help you with the role?
- Sam: Absolutely. It doesn’t hurt. The moment you have a heavy coat on or a prop Bible in your hand is the moment you really feel the character. I’m sure Johnny Deppwould say the same when he gets that Jack garb on.