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Pirates of the Caribbean role for Norwich man

PUBLISHED: 11:34 27 April 2010 | UPDATED: 10:01 02 July 2010

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean

Matthew Sparkes

A Norwich man will star on the big screen alongside Hollywood stars Jonny Depp and Penelope Cruz after landing a leading role in the next Pirates of the Caribbean film.

A Norwich man will star on the big screen alongside Hollywood stars Jonny Depp and Penelope Cruz after landing a leading role in the next Pirates of the Caribbean film.

Sam Claflin, 23, began his acting career at Costessey High School and in the Theatre Royal's Junior Arts Course productions.

He was also a keen footballer during his time growing up in the city, and won the North East Norfolk Cup in 1997 playing for Easton Under 11s.

He eventually left his home in Costessey in 2006 to study for a three-year acting degree at the famous London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Less than 12 months after graduating in 2009 he had been cast in the historical mini-series the Pillars Of The Earth.

This adaptation of a historical novel by Ken Follett has already been shot and is due to be aired on television later this year.

Soon after shooting finished his dramatic rise to fame continued when he was selected by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Rob Marshall to star in the latest instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

He will play Philip, a young missionary, in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Shooting for the film will start in June and take Sam to locations in Hawaii, Los Angeles and the UK.

It is expected to be released in cinemas on May 20 next year and although details of the plot are being closely guarded, online rumours suggest it may see Captain Jack Sparrow search for the fountain of youth.

The casting of a relative unknown is a big risk for Disney as the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has already banked $2.7bn for the studio.

Sam had a long and distinguished career in local theatre long before going on to London to study drama at the famous London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

In 2003 he played the lead role in Robinson Crusoe, a work not dissimilar from the subject matter of the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

The production was the final show by students on the Theatre Royal's Junior Arts Course in Norwich.

According to the review of the play he, "made an absolutely first-class Crusoe, turning in a faultless performance.

"With his wonderful projection and lovely singing voice to professional standard he surely must have a very bright future," it added.

In 2004 he went on to play Will Scarlett in Robin Hood, again in the final show by the students at the Theatre Royal.

The Evening News predicted that Sam showed "he is destined for great things in acting with a marvellous stage presence and flawless projection; a real star in the making."

He played the student leader Enjolras in Les Miserables in 2005, a role he played with "huge strength and charisma".

Earlier in the same year his Edmund in a local production of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was described as "assured and moving". Norfolk youth music theatre playhouse.

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