05/19/2011 12:13 pm ET | Updated Jul 19, 2011

Sam Claflin: 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' New Star

Starring perhaps the biggest movie star in the world returning in perhaps his most iconic role, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," is without question Johnny Depp's movie. Add in legends Ian McShane and Geoffrey Rush as veteran pirates, and Penelope Cruz as a swashbuckler as well, and it's the topline of the marquee is already very, very full.

But when audiences leave theaters this weekend, they just may find themselves asking, who is that new guy?

His name is Sam Claflin, and audiences will soon become very, very well acquainted with him.

Claflin, a 24-year old Brit best known for his role in British miniseries "The Pillars of the Earth," plays Philip, a young missionary stuck on Blackbeard's ship and serving as the conscience of the ruthless' pirate's expedition to find the Fountain of Youth. With the exit of Orlando Bloom from the series after three films, Claflin is, indirectly, his replacement as the young heart throb of the saga. He made clear that he's well aware of that fact -- and the pressure it brings -- in a new interview with Movieline.

"There's not anything to describe the feeling I was going through! There was such a fine line between nerves and excitement and I was feeling both, so the adrenaline was doubly attacking my nervous system," he admitted. "No, but I definitely felt the pressure, especially to begin with to be consistently compared to sort of 'the new Orlando Bloom.' And he and Keira Knightley left very large shoes to fill and a high bar to match up to. I know that both me and Àstrid [Bergès-Frisbey, another newcomer] were kind of like, 'OK, we've really got to pull something out of the bag that's special.'"

He also showed much love for Depp, raving about his performance and energy in an interview with NextMovie.com.

"He loves playing that part so much and brings so much energy and positive vibes to the set that it bumps up everybody's positivity," he said. "If not for Johnny, the films wouldn't have as much character and they wouldn't be as much fun to watch as they have been. Knowing that he has so much fun really rubs off on everybody else. He truly is one of the most hilarious men I've ever met, and very knowledgeable, generous and giving. He ticks off all the boxes."

While the audience has yet to weigh in on his performance -- the film hits theaters on Friday -- studios seem to be impressed. He was just cast as the Prince in the upcoming Kristen Stewart-starring "Snow White and the Huntsman," and will star alongside Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore in "The Seventh Son" later this year, as well.


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