'The Fault in Our Stars' Sam Trammell is 2014's Most Underrated Star of the Summer

By now you've seen 2014's most bankable blockbuster The Fault in Our Stars . You've cried your eyes out, revisited your dog-eared copy of John Green's emotional novel, and bought your tickets for a second screening. While your memory may be brimming with recollections of Shailene Woodley's outstanding performance as young, cancer-striken Hazel and the dreaminess that is Ansel Elgort's pouting lips, you may have missed one huge and unmistakable performance: Sam Trammell as Hazel's dad, Michael Lancaster.

For those in the younger generation, The Fault in Our Stars might be your first introduction to Trammell. But the 45-year-old actor has been igniting the big screen with his lusty performances for more than two decades. He's also appeared on a plethora of popular television series like House M.D., Judging Amy, Bones, CSI: NY, and Dexter — to name a few. Those who know him outside of the FIOS realm probably known him as Sam Merlotte, resident vampire in HBO's True Blood. But his true breakout to the public eye was undoubtably The Fault in Our Stars, where he offered an honest and believable performance as a father grieving and adapting to life with a dying daughter.

His performance was underrated and effortless. Paired with Laura Dern as Hazel's mother was a match made in cinematic heaven. Together, they embraced one another for their collective loss, waiting with bated breath every moment of every day, wondering if these were the last seconds they would share with their child. As Bustle's Henning Fog pointed out, the success of these characters came from their believability, the fact that they exist without fulfilling stereotypes or classic film tropes. They were neither hip nor stern, gimmicky nor overplayed. Both Trammell and Dern were as close to perfect as we'd wish our own parents to be.

Certain scenes rang especially true. When Ansel Elgort's character arrives to take Shailene Woodley's Hazel on a date, Mr. Lancaster appears. The audience anticipates what's coming next, for we've seen it time and time again in countless romantic comedies and family dramas. We presume the father to be overprotecting and cursory. We expect a stern warning muttered under his breath for no one but the date in question to hear, a finger pointed and an eyebrow raised — but Trammell is none of these things. He is certainly overprotective, but not because he feels being overbearing will protect his teenage daughter from the perils of heartbreak. He's equally as concerned for Hazel's date, Gus. Hazel, as she describes herself, is a ticking time-bomb, and her immortality will likely break more than just her parents' hearts.

Also, let's be real: Sam Trammell is hot. Like, really, really, really, ridiculously good looking. If we had to rank the actor among the DILFs of summer's biggest blockbusters: Mark Wahlberg in Transformers 4, Seth Rogen in Neighbors, Adam Sandler in Blended, among others, Trammell would undoubtably top the list. Whether it's his piercing blue eyes or his approachable, gleaming white smile, there's something irresistible about 2014's most underrated breakout star.

Oh, and have you seen his rendition of the most badass and saliva-inducing pizza delivery driver of all time? Swoon.

The actor will next star in Me and The Aftermath, both slated for 2014 releases. Here's looking at you, Sammy.

Images: Tumblr [4]