THE GREATEST SHOWMAN’s Sam Humphrey: A Star in the Making
Oscar nominations were announced this morning and when “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman was nominated for Best Original Song, we’re sure of one person that was excited – General Tom Thumb himself, Sam Humphrey.
WAMG recently had the chance to talk to the young Australian actor about his experience working on the musical spectacle with none other than Australia’s favorite son, Hugh Jackman.
“When I was young, I was a massive fan of Hugh Jackman, and I told myself at very young age that I would someday be in a movie with him”, said Humphrey. Little did he know that, years later, it would be the very first movie of his career.
A casting director noticed Humphrey on a few episodes of an Australian TV series called “Neighbours” and immediately thought of him for the role of iconic circus performer General Tom Thumb in The Greatest Showman. “I was given the script and was told I had literally 48 hours to submit an audition for the role. I immediately called up an acting friend and asked him to help me prepare. I had absolutely no expectation of getting any response.” But once the audition tape made it up the chain to 20th Century Fox and director Michael Gracey, there was no going back. “It was the craziest thing…I got an email from 20th Century Fox studios informing me that I had been approved – approved! – to be cast in the role of Tom Thumb. I was pinching myself, couldn’t believe it was real.”
Humphrey recalls starting his career looking to be more of a dramatic actor, but had never ruled anything out. And the fact that this was a high profile musical feature film was not lost on him. “The musical pedigree that came with this film was intense. I mean Hugh Jackman – as well as being a fantastic actor, there is no better song and dance man than Hugh. Then you have Zendaya and Zac, who grew up singing and dancing in movies and TV, and then to top it off we have (composers) Justin (Paul) and Benj (Pasek) who have won an Oscar and a Tony…it was quite intimidating.” However after some initial dance and voice coaching, Humphrey felt right at home and found every day on set like a dream come true.
Another aspect of the film’s story not lost on Humphrey was the message of acceptance. “I think we all took it very seriously and wanted to be as sincere as possible in portraying the message that no matter who you are, what you look like, what your abilities are, there is a place for you and a place to make a difference in the world. And the response from fans has been quite satisfying and lovely.”
And speaking of fans, Humphrey had some pretty famous ones he never expected. He recently attended the Golden Globes along with his costars of the movie. “I walked into the room and saw so many famous people, it was unreal. And even more bizarre was when some of them came up to me and said how much they liked the film and my performance! I looked around, wondering to be sure if they were really talking to me!”
Not to worry Sam, we think your star is bright and lots of people will be talking to you, and we eagerly await what is next for you.
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN is playing in theaters now.
Photos courtesy: 20th Century Fox