Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides may be the most anticipated movie of the year. Any time Johnny Depp gets back into a pirate costume is good times, and this time he’s joined by international superstar Penelope Cruz.
Jack Sparrow (Depp) returns, this time looking for the Fountain of Youth with an old flame Angelica (Cruz). They have to ride on Blackbeard (Ian McShane)’s ship in an adventure that takes on mermaids and The Fountain of youth.
Depp and Cruz joined a press conference to discuss their sprawling swashbuckling epic. Although they shared the stage with their ensemble costars and filmmakers, most of the questions were for the heroic pirates. Here’s what they shared with the press about the latest adventure and their families, with Cruz pregnant while filming the movie!
Q: After the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, they added Jack Sparrow to the classic Disneyland ride. Johnny, what has it been like to go to Disneyland and see yourself in the ride?
Johnny Depp: Well, it's pretty psychedelic, actually. I suppose that you could make it more psychedelic, but we probably shouldn't go into that now. The idea of wandering through this ride and suddenly there you are three times on the thing, I mean Geoffrey [Rush] has a similar experience there. He has to go in and see his head in there as well. It's quite an honor in a weird way. It's a great honor. Some sort of thing that you took part in creating becomes this forever sort of object.
Q: Penelope, was there a lot of preparation for you, doing an action movie, and did you get to go one on one with Johnny or was that all a stunt double?
Penelope Cruz: We did have a lot of preparation. We started a couple of months before the shooting started, with Rob [Marshall] and John DeLuca and our teachers, a team that they had on the other three movies. They are amazing and they taught with patience. So I knew most of the choreography because they put them together like choreography, almost like when we were doing Nine together. So it was very helpful that I knew most of them before we started shooting. Then we did a lot of it together, and of course, everything was safe because of my situation then. But they were really protective at every moment and that meant so much to me.
Q: Penelope, what was the key thing for you in terms of creating this character, the clothes or learning the sword play? And did you have anyone who inspired you in the way that Keith Richards inspired Mr. Depp?
PC: For shooting a character a like this it really helps to have those costumes, to be in the real locations. It was very helpful that we didn't go into a studio until after we shot already for two or three months in Hawaii. Then they built a beach at Universal Studios and when they told me that I thought that it was my English, that I didn't understand what they said. Then I went there and there was really a beach at Universal Studios. Then we went to Puerto Rico, to this deserted, private island and then we ended up in London at Pinewood. But all of that helped me a lot to try to imagine what the pirate world at that time was because it's so far from our reality to create a character like that. It's all about your imagination and I think it really helped to be in those beautiful places.
Q: Penelope, where would you like to see the next movie go for your character? If audiences wait for the credits they’ll see one last scene of you stranded on the island.
PC: At least I hope she's not going to die of hunger. I have the hope that because she finds the doll that she has some of those voodoo powers from her father that she got from him. And maybe she's going to be able to come back, but she can't die alone out there, no.
Q: Johnny, what are the similarities between you and Captain Jack?
JD: We’re totally different. There’s nothing that I can relate to in Captain Jack, whatsoever. No, with every character that you play, there’s a part of you that goes into that, in terms of the ingredients of making this stew. There’s most definitely a part of me in Captain Jack, and now, fortunately or unfortunately, there’s a great part of Captain Jack in me as well. Basically, I can’t shake him. He won’t leave me alone. He keeps showing up at odd times. In fact, he arrived this morning when I was getting my kids ready for school. I had to shoo him away.
Q: Do you see yourself carrying on with this role for decades?
JD: Yeah. They’ll wheel me in. My dreads will get tangled in the wheels of my chair. I don’t know. Sure. Interestingly enough, for me, a character like Captain Jack, you feel like you could just continue. The possibilities are endless and limitless. There is any possibility of madness and absurdity that could commence, so you feel that, with this character, you’re never really done.
Q: What are your dreams for your future, both as an actor and as a family man?
JD: Smooth sailing. That's what I hope for. I'm okay with no big ups and no big downs. That's alright. I'm just full steam ahead, with all things well and good. As a family man, all you want as a dad is pure happiness for your kids. That’s sort of a parent thing. That’s it. That's my dream. Happy kids.
Q: You directed a movie once. If you did it again would you give yourself the starring role?
JD: No, no. I tried that once. The first one’s free. No, no. If I ever thought of directing again, I don’t know. The idea of directing a film is a strange one for me. I feel anti-mathematical, in a way, in that sense. I don’t like when things make sense. I prefer if they don’t. So, if I made a film, it wouldn’t make any sense and no one would see it. Maybe I’ll just make little films at home with my phone, never to be released.
Q: Working together, did Penelope teach you any Spanish?
JD: She taught me the raunchiest Spanish that I’ve ever been told. It’s so foul that I couldn’t bring myself to repeat it, here and now. It’s a bad idea. I would carry that on my back for the rest of my days. Going to work with Penelope again, having done the film Blow together, 10 or 11 years ago, the weird thing was that, when we saw each other again, it felt like we’d wrapped Blow the week before, or a few days before. It just clicked instantly. Whatever exists, in terms of chemistry, was just instantly firing on all cylinders. It felt completely right. It was Rob’s brilliant idea to bring her in, and when he brought up the idea to me, I went, “Great idea!” I was very, very excited to have Penelope come into this film. I knew she would be, not only a worthy opponent, but someone who would just kill the scenes, and she did. She was incredible.
Q: What was it like to work with Rob Marshall taking over for Gore Verbinski, who directed the first Pirates trilogy?
JD: What a gift, to have someone of his caliber and someone of his talent to come in and drive this beast, and shape this strange animal into something. It was incredible to experience. Some filmmakers go into a film and it’s already shot and cut in their head. I didn’t get that feeling from Rob. What I got from Rob was that he heard it as music, in a weird way. It was rhythmic. And, he knew tempo and a way to finesse the sound, which became visual as well. It was an incredible experience. His timing, and not just his choreographic timing, but his sense of comedic timing is impeccable. He would have us just shave an eighth of a millisecond off of a beat and it would change the whole dynamic of the scene. It would quite something. The only problem is that he’s really mean. No. He’s the kindest man alive.
Q: So was a scene like escaping the palace in the London streets like a dance choreography?
JD: It was horrible! It was grueling. It’s a very strange little sequence. I’ve thought of doing many things in my life, under the influence of life, and I’ve never actually thought of straddling two carriages while they’re moving before. That was an interesting experience. And then, I was jumping on people’s heads and onto another cart, and then the thing catches fire. It’s all a bad dream, isn’t it? And, this is how daddy brings home the bacon.