This past Memorial Day weekend, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES sailed into theaters and came out on top of the box office. A few weeks ago, we were invited by Disney to sit down with most of the cast to learn about the swashbuckling return to sea and we learned some awesome facts about the film and the franchise… Enjoy!

Dead Men Tell No Tales feels like the original

DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES continues several years after the events PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END. It is great that it feels just like a continuation of the trilogy. You get a better sense of why Jack is a bit more drunker darker Pirate. Director’s Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg said“Well, we really studied the other movies, and especially number one…we really wanted to have a very strong emotional core. Every character had a journey, like in the first one, you have this young couple that traveled through the movie and you have all the other strong characters surrounding them…

“But Jack doesn’t really have a character arc, you know, he doesn’t learn a thing. So we still wanted to explore him too, so that’s why we created the backstory, and that’s something that we brought to it because we were curious about that: How did Jack become Jack Sparrow? And also we tied in Salazar’s story in that, so we made sure it became a personal vengeance. And of course, Barbossa, we wanted to give him a really strong journey as well because he’s such a great character and we want to do him justice.

“The third was interesting also, with the family theme of the film, of the franchise. We tell this story of what’s really the treasure for a pirate.”

The cast did mostly their own stunts

Kaya Scodelario broke her shoulder the week before filming the scene where she was being hung. She slipped on the Black Pearl while running from the bow to the stern. The bank heist scene was done with practical sets and minimal CGI. Jerry Bruckheimer, producer said that particular scene took ten days to film, and he was on set for most of them. He also said, that Johnny Depp, was in that guillotine doing that scene over and over until they got it right!

The hat makes the pirate

The real center of Captain Barbossa’s identity is in his hat. Without his hat, Geoffrey Rush did not feel like himself as Barbossa. The name Hector supposedly came from Johnny Depp mentioning it in an interview. After that, the name sort of stuck with Barbossa.

Barbossa was only supposed to be in the first film

Geoffrey Rush explained how Gore Verbinski phoned him and said ‘we’re going to shift parts two and three to Asia–we’re not going to just repeat the same sausage factory idea’ and Jerry Bruckheimer is a very bold and creative producer on that level, and he said ‘we’re going to bring you back.’ I said ‘what, from the dead?’ He said ‘yeah, with voodoo!’ I said ‘not movie magic.’ You can’t just kinda go ‘we want him back because he’s popular.’

“But there was a purpose in that, in that I had to get all of the global pirate lords together to break Tia Dalma’s curse in her association with Davy Jones and so forth. So I became the politician, and I liked that. And I think Barbossa’s vanity liked the power base. I was going to get the G-20 of global pirates. And then I got to work for the King in the next film, and in this one, I’m kind of a corporate CEO, a rather vulgarly wealthy pirate.

Javier Bardem was born to be a pirate

First, Javier Bardem is one of the nicest and funniest person. He came into the conference laughing and joking with everyone. He also said he needed little convincing to join this installment of the franchise after observing the ON STRANGER TIDES set with Penelope Cruz, his wife who stared in that film. It took about 3 hours for Bardem to go through the makeup process of becoming Salazar. They applied a glue like substance on his face before they applied the prosthetic or “chicken breasts” as he referred to it. .It was a balancing act for Bardem to portray Salazar because there was a need to bring a fun and whimsy that would keep the character from being too dark for kids to enjoy.

Strong female characters are a foundation of the franchise

Kaya Scodelario said, “There’s a reason why that question never gets asked to guys, because their characters are always fleshed out and interesting and they’re assumed that they’re going to be strong and independent and all these things but yet there still has to have this conversation over a strong independent female role. And it’s such a shame, but I think it’s great that we’re speaking really honestly about it now and I’m happy to fight a fight for that. It’s an honor to play a woman that is so layered and so interesting, because I don’t know a single female that isn’t. I don’t know any woman that’s just simple, that you can define in one word or one sentence, so why should that be what we see in a movie? There’s so many stories to be told, there’s so many layers to peel back, and she’s great and I’m really grateful to Disney for making sure that is a part of this franchise, and still holding strong with it.”


PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES is available in theaters now!