Today: April 23, 2024

The Cast

It’s the fourth instalment of the Pirates franchise, helmed by Johnny Depp as the irreverent Captain Jack Sparrow. This time he’s joined by new director Rob Marshall, Spanish beauty Penelope Cruz

It’s the fourth instalment of the Pirates franchise, helmed
by Johnny Depp as the irreverent Captain Jack Sparrow. This time he’s joined by
new director Rob Marshall, Spanish beauty Penelope Cruz as love interest
Angelica, Ian McShane as the Infamous Blackbeard and two unknown actors, Astrid
Berges-Frisbey who plays a mermaid and Sam Clafin who plays a bible wielding
man of god. Not forgetting old favourite Geoffrey Rush as the Captain Hector
Barbossa. They’ve clearly become close on set but what did the cast and crew
have to say about working together on this famous franchise? Heidi Vella finds out.

This feels like a brand new movie – a fresh movie – not
just a fourth movie: was that a challenge?

Jerry Bruckheimer:
We had to reboot our series. We had finished the trilogy four years ago and now
we are starting whole new set of adventures for Captain Jack Sparrow. The trick
was to get Johnny back and thanks to his efforts and working very hard with the

This is a very different film for you Rob [Marshall] and
in 3D, was that an added challenge?

Rob Marshall: Yes,
the truth is I was asked to do this film by Jerry and Johnny and for me to get
to work with Johnny was the thrill of my life. I always wanted to do an action
adventure piece for families and as a director I like to change it up and do
different things. Johnny is unbelievable in every way as a collaborator and as
a person, there is no one like him, so to have that opportunity was huge.
Regarding the 3D, the material really lended itself to it. It was challenging, we were pioneers in
way as we brought this very delicate 3D equipment into these really remote

Sam, you wield a mean sword and I wondered what your
experience of sword fighting had been, did you learn any at drama school?

Sam Claflin: I did
and that is the be all and end of it. Luckily I didn’t have to much
swashbuckling in this particular picture being a man of religion. I have three
stitches that prove I worked hard.

Penelope, your character is quite a feisty lady, I
wondered how you prepared
for the action scenes as you have more action and fighting than anything
else you have done in your career previously…especially in such a delicate
physical state…

Penelope Cruz: It
was the first time I did sword fighting, I had no idea, but I had a wonderful
team of teachers and they taught me for a couple of months before shooting and
then I did what I could while shooting.

Rob Marshall: You’re
too humble. Penelope is amazing physically, she is a dancer,
which I know well, and she knows how to time things so well. She’s just
physical and that is one of the millions of things Penelope can do that many
people can’t.

Penelope Cruz: Thanks
to rob and Johnny they knew from the beginning [Penelope was pregnant during
filming] and their reaction couldn’t have been better. To be working and feel
so protected by all of them every single step of the way made it the most
special movie I have done to date because of that.

Were you a fan of the films before?

Penelope Cruz: I was
a big fan of the movies. I think what Johnny did creating this iconic character
is so great, what he did, given the opportunity to play a pirate, come with the
proposal and stick with it and create something that everybody is in love with
is incredible.

Ian, you have managed to corner the market in villainy…

Ian McShane: My
early life…if I wasn’t an actor now I’d probably be in prison right now! It
was fabulous to be able to play an iconic character like Blackbeard, I had
lunch with Jerry and Rob and I read the script and it was terrific. Who the
hell doesn’t want to play Blackbeard? Is Penelope his daughter? I don’t know.
All the characters lie to each other so much it’s hard to know – although I’d
of loved it if you hadn’t been my daughter!

We heard you nearly bottled it as Blackbeard is alleged
to have gone into battle with his hair on fire…

Ian McShane: Well,
we tried that. Now, over many months jerry had said he was going to try and do
the flames in the beard but of course we couldn’t do that because of safety
reasons, we weren’t allowed. So
then we tried this rig to produce smoke, apart from the £200 black leather
coat, which I think Keith Richards is now wearing, I had this rig on my back
and when we went to do the scene smoke started coming out straight away and it
looked like I was having a crafty fag underneath my jacket – so the magic words
of ‘we’ll do it in post production’ came out.

Geoffrey, there is a new look to Barbossa in this film,
most notably the peg leg, how was it working as a one legged long John Silver

Geoffrey Rush: Somewhere
in the story between the end of part three and the beginning of part four he’s
lost a limb. I did go into discussions with an amputee prothetician. I was
going to do a Robert Newton thing of strapping my leg up but he said it takes
18 months to two years for your muscles to find the proper restructuring and
balancing so I said in the end ‘you know what I think I can act the leg’ and I
let the CGI guys work with a blue stocking.

Johnny, you have been on record saying that you love
playing this part and I wondered if it was not an exaggeration to say it is a
role you were born to play?

Johnny Depp: It also
gives me the opportunity to wear women’s undergarments. Which you don’t get
everyday, so when you do you take the chance. It’s just so much fun to get away
with stuff you are not normally allowed to, like being irreverent, to play as
absurd as you like, it is a very special opportunity.

This is the first time Pirates of the Caribbean will be
shown at the Cannes film festival, how would you like it to be received?

Johnny Depp: Well, I
hope they hate it. An arena such as Cannes to show your film is pretty
incredible, I feel pretty fortunate to have been invited there…I hope we win,
no! Ha, ha.

What was it like working with
the Dame of British cinema Judy Dench?

Johnny Depp: It’s the second time I have been lucky enough to
work with Dame Judy – very briefly on Chocolat and very brief on this, but both
wonderful. She is a very major
force, so smart and elegant. I got to dance with her on Chocolat and I got to
bite her ear on this one. What’s next?!

You were in some fairly
remarkable locations; does it inform your performances when you are somewhere
like that?

Geoffrey Rush: The art department could feasibly create these
locations possibly in a studio environment but when you are on location it does
90% of the acting for you as you can hear and smell things lurking about in the
scene. Johnny you were quite frightened of bugs, weren’t you?

Johnny Depp: Yes, there were some quite large ones. They had
their eye on me and I didn’t like it!

Penelope Cruz: Being in nature all day was great. I remember they
said to me yesterday shooting went really well but to get to the set we have to
take a boat and jet ski and then you have to swim to the beach and then come
back on a helicopter – Robert was actually swimming to set every day. It really
helped with the imagination when we were in Pinewood studios, where they built
the fountain of youth.

Sam Claflin: The thought that I’m living The Goonies came into
my mind several times.

You have often said the
character of Jack Sparrow is inspired by Keith Richards was it quite surreal
working alongside him again? Was he flattered by your portrayal?

It was very strange initially,
the idea of mixing Keith Richards and Pepe-le-pu came up and I was a little
worried about what Keith was going to think, because for a good portion of the
time I was spending with him I was sponging as much off him as I could and when
he found out, it could have gone either way, but he was very nice about it. To
be able to then bring him into the fold and do scenes with him is the most
amazing thing – you know it’s been seared on the brain and will never leave.

You have played Jack Sparrow for years is it quite
intrinsic, or do you have to do certain things to get into character?

Johnny Depp: I
suppose with all the characters I have played their all pretty close, each and
everyone is relatively accessible. But you’re right, some you have to work up
to and other ones just come a little bit easier. With Captain Jack Sparrow,
having played him four times, he arrives pretty quickly, a little too quickly
sometimes and in life a lot – you know dropping the kids of at school and he’ll
just show up. It’s weird.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is in
cinemas on the 18th of May.

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website:

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