‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ is already a fading memory for those of us who saw the movie weeks ago. It premiered in theaters on May 20, 2011, and I think it’s a great installment that reboots the franchise on fresh ground. Check out my full review here.
Of course, the series would be nothing without Johnny Depp, who plays the loveably roguish pirate Captain Jack Sparrow. He had a few things to say about returning to the character for a fourth time — ten, to be specific, from here, there and everywhere around the Interwebs:
1. It was a labor of love. “After finishing ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,’ somewhere in the back of my head I was thinking ‘I sure hope that I get the chance to play Jack again…’ I kind of expected that somebody would come round a couple of years later and say, ‘Hey, we have this idea…’”
2. The story is clear-cut and straightforward. “I think the story is more simplified. Things are a little bit more clear-cut in ‘Pirates 4,’ and it really feels like it’s close to the spirit of the first one. We introduce these characters and they get from point A to D to Z without too much meandering or subplot or too many complications.”
3. Captain Jack occupies a special place in Depp’s heart. “There’s a great safety and a great comfort in playing Captain Jack, because you have license to be anything you want to be, essentially. You can be completely irreverent, totally subversive, absolutely abstract in any and all situations, so there’s a real safety net. There’s a real pleasure for me to play Jack, and having done it a few times, I know him so well that he just comes naturally.”
4. He was totally onboard with Rob Marshall as director. “Certain names were mentioned, and when Rob’s name came up, I thought, ‘That’s got to be it. Let’s just hope he’s a nice guy.’ I’ve seen all of his films, and he’s got a great sensibility and a unique approach to characters. His aesthetic sense is magnificent, and his timing is perfect. So we sat down and talked, and from the first second, I knew he was the guy.”
5. Depp had a stunt double, but filmed many of the chase scenes himself. “There’s a physical language to the character that I think is important, and even though the stunt double has got it down to a fine science, there are still times when you have to see Captain Jack’s head in there now and again. I love it, because all my great heroes were basically silent film guys who didn’t have the luxury of words. It was all body language and stuff.”
6. He loved that Keith Richards returned as his father. “Keith was more than ready to come back, as long as it made sense in the context of the story. And I thought the way that Terry [Rossio, writer] handled bringing him back was wonderful. He comes in at just the right moment and kind of takes care of his boy — he takes care of Jack. I first met Keith back in about 1994 or 1995, and we became friendly back then and we’ve hung out together over the years. It was great to have him back for ‘On Stranger Tides’ because he’s wonderful and so much fun.”
7. He also loved having Penelope Cruz in the cast. “Penélope is a serious force to be reckoned with. We did a film together years ago called ‘[amazon_link id=”B001CO42MU” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Blow[/amazon_link],’ and it was wonderful to work with her then and wonderful to see her on ‘Pirates.’ She really is a treat. And she’s a heavy hitter. You can throw all kinds of stuff out there into the atmosphere, and she’ll snatch up something and just throw a curve ball back at you, so she is very stimulating. She is someone I adore — one of my best friends, and it’s been great having her here.”
8. Filming in London was fun. “I think it’s interesting to see Jack wandering the streets of London. It’s interesting to see him in a London pub or for that matter, in great proximity to the King of England. So I thought it was a great idea to shoot there, and to film at the Royal Naval College was really, really magnificent. It was like time-traveling, as far as I was concerned. It just looked so perfect.”
9. He’s ok with 3D. “It was my first time shooting in 3D, although ‘[amazon_link id=”B001HN6940″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Alice in Wonderland[/amazon_link]’ was rendered in 3D. It’s different; it’s an interesting process. For the last 25 years when they re-loaded the camera it was this giant magazine that they clipped onto the back, and now it’s re-loaded with a computer chip. It’s interesting and fascinating, because your relationship to the lens becomes different.”
10. It’s all about producer Jerry Bruckheimer. “He knows these films so well. I’ve been in umpteen script meetings with the guy, and there’s never a false note and he always comes up with really great ideas. He’s always the guy that says ‘don’t worry about it, we’ll get it taken care of.’ The best way to sum him up is to say that he really produces, and he allows all of us to be in an atmosphere that’s conducive to making something interesting, something different.”
Have you seen ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ yet? If not, get thee to a theater.