Interview: Cast of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

Recently Disney Pictures invited us to participate in the press day for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales to talk to the cast about the latest chapter in the film’s franchise. In attendance were actors Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Twaites and Kaya Scoldelario to share in the excitement for the movie’s release and let us know more about their experience on the feature.

Find out who got to ride the Pirates ride at Shanghai, what it’s like to work with Johnny Depp and how Jack the Monkey really smelled in our highlights from the press day!

Javier Bardem plays the nefarious Captain Salazar in the latest film and the actor shared that his wife Penelope Cruz, star of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, totally encouraged him to be a part of the franchise. The actor said it took little convincing and reminisced about visiting her on set of the last film and seeing her work with Johnny Depp which made him look forward to the collaboration:

Javier Bardem: On the set of Pirates 4 I knew it was going to be a great ride. She told me you’re going to have fun. You’re not going to have a problem when you work with Johnny because he’s gonna make you laugh. It’s true, it’s not that he wants to make you laugh. You laugh because of the character and you are a movie goer who’s enjoyed the character for so long. He’ll be talking to you normally and then all of a sudden–BOOM! He’s this guy, here he is! And you go wow! Everything he does on set is brilliant. In the first two days I had to cut because I was laughing. He’s very bright in the things he puts together. I think he learned that from Brando. 

Being a part of a Disney film always comes with your likeness ending up on the latest Disney merchandise, getting to visit the parks for premieres and sometimes even appearances on the rides. Bardem and Breton Thwaites chatted about their experience with getting to go to places like Shanghai Disney, eating in the parks and getting toys.

Brenton Thwaites: I ate at Club 33 and of course the food there is world class and amazing. The Pirates ride in Shanghai is incredible. You go into this little cart and you feel like you’re in the bottom of the ocean because there is this curved screen. It seems like it’s  hundred feet tall and the pirate boats are floating on the surface a hundred feet up so you feel like you’re in the sea with sharks swimming and dead pirates floating. It’s really cool!

Javier Bardem: The Shanghai ride is amazing! It’s incredible and it’s like being in a movie. I’m not in it but I have a LEGO. My ship is broken and I’m there with my hair (flowing behind). I can’t wait to give it to my kids! There’s not so many pirate movies anymore except for these. That’s some thing that I thought about when I was in the makeup, it was hot with the wardrobe, long waits to move the boat. It takes hours and you’re like “Oh my god.” but then you say. “Hang on a second, I’m in a Pirate movie. Enjoy it when it comes to running–enjoy it! There aren’t that many choices to play like this–to pick something like this so enjoy it!

Reuniting with Sparrow in the latest feature is Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, the franchise’s villain turned anti-hero. The legendary actor shared what the key to his character’s relationship with Sparrow comes down to as a through-line to the film’s ongoing story.

Geoffrey Rush: With Johnny it’s always been from the very beginning that I mutinied and took the Black Pearl. We’ve always thought of that as either being like a marriage. I think it’s more now like the Black Pearl is the most beautiful woman in the world and we’re fighting over the same girlfriend. 

Joining the franchise is Kaya Scodelario as Carina, a woman often called a witch in the film for being someone very interested in science. She provides a smart and witty balance to all the men in the film and the actress looks forward to young women looking up to her.

Kaya Scodelario: She’s a cool character and someone that I think is important in these big blockbusters to see these women. They are what women are like. None of us are simple, we’re very complicated and that absolutely wonderful and beautiful. It was great to play her. It felt right to be her in this world. She’s also different and doesn’t believe in ghosts. She’s a woman of science, she’s a survivor and with that came a lot of running and tackling–getting very involved in a corset! 

Barbossa is definitely the epitome of a piratey-pirate in the film series. Before the pirate resurgence in pop culture, the iconography of a pirate has always been the sword, the hat, the peg leg and pet and to him Barbossa has always been rooted in that.

Geoffrey Rush: Barbossa’s hat is very important. At the very first costume fitting we tried it without the hat and I said, “He just disappears.” I’m looking in the mirror and wonder where has he gone? It’s in the mirror, in the vanity, in the brain, it’s the feather. It’s a nice little haven for the monkey. There’s a comfort zone  to me every time the monkey is on my shoulder. I get this warm aromatic peanut breath for every scene and it’s so adorable. Barbossa is such a crusty old bastard and the monkey is watching everyone’s conversation. I remember in the third one the monkey has a little hat on and is lighting the rocket. And there’s one scene in the film where the ship went over the edge of the world and we all ended up on the deck upside down in the netherworld. I think for a second and a half of screen time my hat came off and it goes on very very quickly. I don’t want to lose my identity. 

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens this Memorial Day Weekend!


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