I attended the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES #PiratesLifeEvent courtesy of Walt Disney Studios. All opinions are strictly my own.
After sitting down with Javier Bardem (“Captain Salazar”) and Geoffrey Rush (“Barbossa”) and discussing their roles in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, I was a bit nervous about our next interview. I had seen Brenton in Maleficent, playing the role of Prince Phillip but that was about it and I like to be better prepared. What I did know was that he was young, good looking and Australian so the next 20ish minutes were going to be dreamy if nothing more.
As he walked in and we began to applaud his arrival, I was a bit taken aback. He was much, much more handsome in person than on the big screen and he wasn’t a slouch to begin with onscreen. To add to it, he arrived in a Hawaiian shirt that was unbuttoned a bit and dare I say he was showing off a bit of chest hair. He exuded confidence, fun, and was a down to earth casual guy. After taking a brief moment to blush over his looks and his amazing Australian accent … yes, I totally dig ACCENTS … I jumped back into reality and settled in for a bit of conversation.
There was a bit of chitter chatter, perhaps a bit of banter, and then Brenton was ready to get down to business and discuss the movie.
How did you get involved in the film?
BRENTON THWAITES: I auditioned a multiple amount of times with Ron and Chris here in L.A., and then I met the directors at a place in Venice Beach, and then the movie got put on hold for a while, and I re-auditioned about a year later, or a little bit more. That is when I met Jerry Bruckheimer and the producers, and then I got the part out of nowhere.
What was it like working opposite Johnny Depp and the iconic Captain Jack Sparrow?
BRENTON THWAITES: It was terrifying.
BRENTON THWAITES: It’s still terrifying. It’s always terrifying because you never know what he’s going to say or do and it always results in humiliation for me.
You’re entering a scene thinking, this guy now has five movies worth of Jack Sparrow. He’s on the ball and kind of irreverent and impulsive. You just anticipate what he’s going to do and say, which is great because as an actor, it kind of improves your acting in the sense that you’re always open and free and relaxed to go with the flow, but always pretty terrifying.
You’re a father now. You’ve done a few Disney films, what is it like having things that your baby is going to see one day?
BRENTON THWAITES: It’s great being part of Disney because, as a studio, it really plays for the younger audiences. I did a movie that released in 2014 called Maleficent which is something that I can’t wait for my daughter to see. Pirates may take a while just because it’s quite scary. Maleficent is as well but there’s moments in Pirates where I kinda even get scared. So, I think it might take a while. I don’t know, maybe we will wait until next year when she is two or something. One year at a time. I don’t know about letting kids see movies yet.
You’re entering the fifth movie as a newcomer. Do you feel as though they valued your input as a newcomer, an actor?
BRENTON THWAITES: I think they did value my input as an actor – as a newcomer. There were so many different characters coming into this one to make it a fresh new thing, and I think all the old-school dudes really wanted to make it fresh and exciting, it’s something they hadn’t done before. Javier coming on board, myself, Kaya, and the two new directors that have primarily worked on independent films, were supported and encouraged on this one.
You were recently named the breakthrough performer of the year. How does that feel?
BRENTON THWAITES: It’s great. When I first heard of CinemaCon and that I was going to get that award, I had no idea what it was, to be honest. I did a bit of research and looked at the guys that had received the awarded in the past five/ten years and I kind of just went, wow, I don’t think I’m in that caliber of actors. To even be considered or thought of in that same group of actors is really exciting.
The visual effects are amazing. Once the film was put together and you got to see what they did, can you tell us what that was like for you?
BRENTON THWAITES: The visual effects side of things, for this film, was mostly behind the actor’s consciousness.
In Maleficent, it was a lot of work that we would have to do with our imaginations, to kind of be specifically creating creatures that weren’t there. On Gods of Egypt, we did the same thing, but on Pirates, we were lucky because all of Javier’s makeup; all the ghosts were there. They looked fantastic.
The sets were real. They had beautiful set pieces that allowed us to play and feel like we were actually in the space. The CGI, I was surprised to see Javier’s hair. The CGI gives a great depth of field when you watch a film. But for us, we were lucky that we had so much given to us on the day.
Did you do any special training for your role?
BRENTON THWAITES: Just sword fighting. I had a few hand combat fights that we more or less shot in one day, and the sword fighting stuff, we trained three weeks before the principal photographer.
You had a lot of scenes with Johnny Depp. Were there times when you found it hard to stop laughing? Was he doing things to make you laugh?
BRENTON THWAITES: Everything. If you look closely, Kaya and I were behind the scenes just trying not to laugh.
What do you hope audiences will take away from the film?
BRENTON THWAITES: I just hope they’re entertained. This kind of movie with all the genres slotted into this two hour gap, it’s the kind of movie that never loses its drive and has so many action pieces; set pieces; comedic elements; romance; supernatural; there’s kind of something for everyone in this movie. I hope everyone takes something from it and connects with the characters.
How many locations did you film at and did you have a favorite location?
BRENTON THWAITES: We shot at about five or six different locations; mainly the studios. I was talking about Saint Martin’s Square twenty minutes west of the studios where all the mud was. We shot there for a good month and a half, and we shot in Northern New South Wales; they had a beautiful beach – both Hastings Point for our entrance into Saint Martins, the coastal element.
My favorite location was up on Hamilton Island, shooting out on the Great Barrier Reef. We had some days we shot at a beach called White Haven Beach which is a beautiful squeaky beach. When you walk on the sand, it squeaks which is not so good for the sound, but it’s great for effect and it looks beautiful and I think we had the most fun right there.
With our interview drawing to a close there was just enough time to get a group picture and then Brenton and his accent were whisked away to his next appointment (I mentioned that I have a thing for accents right?).
Be sure to check back next week for more Pirates Life fun! In the meantime, get caught up on anything that you may have missed this week.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES IS NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE