The Brit was a keen footballer in his youth and planned to sign up for English Premier League club Norwich City, but his sporting career was cut short when he suffered a broken ankle.
Claflin's mother suggested he tried his hand at acting instead and he won roles in several minor British TV shows - and less than two years later he's been plucked from obscurity to star as Johnny Depp's new sidekick in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Claflin tells Empire magazine, "I realised I was too weak to play football at an adult level. As I was a drama queen on the pitch, my mum said, 'You should try acting on stage.'... The biggest challenge (on the Pirates of the Caribbean set) has been staying focused. You have to pinch yourself, say, 'I am working... but look at that cave!'"
Bloom quit the swashbuckling franchise after 2007's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End to concentrate on more theatre work.