by Heather

I attended the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.  All opinions are strictly my own.

I was excited to learn that six years after the last film, Pirates of the Caribbean was returning to the big screen and bringing with it a strong female role that I was eager to share with my daughter. I’ve been ready for for over a year and it’s finally here!

Enter Carina Smyth, a brilliant mind with a love of astronomy, time, and mathematics. Truly a woman ahead of her time! Who wouldn’t want their daughter to follow the footsteps of the Carina’s in the world?

Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

After seeing the film trailers my interest was piqued. After attending the of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, I couldn’t wait to sit down with Kaya Scodelario, the amazing young lady that plays the role of Carina!

We all had questions about being a part of the film and playing such a strong female role. Luckily, Kaya had a great deal to say!

Photo Courtesy: MomStart.com

When you get dressed in your costume, how do you feel, does it make you feel beautiful or does it give any more motivation for the scene?

KAYA SCODELARIO: There’s something really cool about a corset, it does feel quite empowering actually, because you have to sit up strong. Though, the first day it is awful. I’d get my husband to secretly loosen it up at lunchtime so that I could eat and stuff. Actually, it does feel very strong and I like that Carina’s dress, it isn’t perfect, is actually tattered and old and ripped up and dirty as that helped me kind of understand a bit of her back story. I think this is a dress that she’s held onto because it’s kind of the only one she has, and she’s managed to make it as practical as possible to her.

Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Carina comes in as a brand new character I this movie for the franchise and she’s a really strong feminine character, which was actually really refreshing to see. She can hold her own. What was it like bringing that into the storyline?

KAYA SCODELARIO:  It’s always important for me. Every role I look for a woman that I would have liked to have seen at thirteen on the big screen. It’s a huge responsibility because people forget in blockbusters that we’re not simple, there are multi layers and there’s a lot going on and she has a lot of that. I mean, she’s an orphan, she’s a survivor. She’s also stubborn and argumentative and she’s also funny and flirty and there’s so much to her. I’m grateful that they wrote her this way.

Usually with a film this size, unfortunately there isn’t time to layer out a character too much. Because there’s so much going on. I made a real effort with her to try and hit all those beats, it’s something that I hope my son grows up watching and respects in women and understands in women, that we aren’t just the Disney princess or the love interest or the damsel in distress and she’s certainly not any of those things.

Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Disney

There was a lot of action and stunts in this film, do you do your own stunts and if you do what was that like?

KAYA SCODELARIO:  I really love to do all that stuff. It’s not things you do every day in life, you know. If you get the opportunity to do it, especially when you have a great crew that you know it’s going to be safe and it’s going to be done the proper way. I actually injured my shoulder, I popped out something in there on the black pole of all places. And so afterwards it was kind of tough we had about four weeks of filming still so I had to wear a sling in between takes and I had to go quite easy on it.

I did all the swimming; I swam in the Australian ocean with the sharks and every other thing that can kill you there. [LAUGHTER] It was a lot of fun, I love having the opportunity to do that stuff.

Photo by Marc Flores/Getty Images for Disney

The scene where Carina arrives was a very emotional scene. What did you tap into in order to bring those emotions forward?

KAYA SCODELARIO:  Well I have a real personal connection with all that. My father lived far away from me and he’d always say if you look up at Orion’s Belt, we’re both looking at the same star. And he passed away.

So it was very easy for me to tap into that moment and also getting to work with an actor like Geoffrey. He’s, well you look in his eyes, he’s wonderful. He’s just a really giving actor. And for me yeah a film like Pirates, you don’t expect to have that really strong emotional beat, especially as an actor, to get a chance to in the middle of all this craziness just kind of go quiet. To really focus on that relationship, it was an honor. And I think we both- we really thought it was important and we wanted to treat it with as much respect as possible.

Photo Courtesy: MomStart.com


If there were more movies in this franchise, what would you like to see for your character?

KAYA SCODELARIO:  I would really like to see her exploring her love of the stars and astronomy. And, you know, going out to the ocean. Also this new identity that she has, she’s the daughter of an infamous pirate, and I think it’ll be cool to see whether she takes that on or not, you know, what she does with that new kind of mission in life.

Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Carina and Jack Sparrow have a lot of fun scenes together, what was it like working with Johnny?

KAYA SCODELARIO:  It’s wonderful. I mean when you watch the movie, you get to see the one take that has been selected; we get to see the fifty five other ones that he comes up with on the spot. He’s just a genius, he really is, there’s a reason why he’s so successful. And he’s good at what he does. His improvisation is just- I mean my first day on set with him, I had to be really serious in a scene, and I just laughed and laughed and laughed and I was like I’m going to get fired, there’s no way they’re going to put up with me, he just brings it every single time.

Photo Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

In the movie you know a lot about astronomy, did you do any studying or any background for that before filming?

KAYA SCODELARIO:  I did some basic stuff, unfortunately I had about three weeks between being cast and then moving my life to Australia for six months and learning lines and with my dyslexia it takes me a lot longer to learn a script. So I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to kind of really research it. I made sure that I was comfortable with the time piece that I have to use. I made sure I knew how that worked and all the ins and outs of it. But since promoting it, it’s something that I feel like now I’d actually really like to get into a little bit more.

Photo Courtesy: MomStart.com

What do you want the takeaway to be from the film?

KAYA SCODELARIO:  I hope that they understand that this is an adventure for the whole family and it’s something that should be seen on the big screen and the best technology possible. We spent six months making this and two years in post-production for a reason. That’s how it should be seen and that’s how the whole family will enjoy it at its best.

You heard it here first, this is a movie that should be seen on the big screen and we completely agree! Kaya was absolutely fantastic to sit down with. She’s intelligent, passionate, and beautiful. We are hopeful for a sixth film and can’t wait to see where she takes Carina next!




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Margot C July 25, 2017 - 10:15 pm
She did such a great job. How exciting working with these great filmmakers and talents.
Linda Manns Linneman August 7, 2017 - 3:36 pm
I am so happy you got to be in on this interview. This was a great movie. I really appreciate you sharing this article. Thank you so much for sharing
Ashley Parks February 12, 2024 - 11:14 pm
She's such a beautiful actress! I liked this movie, but then again I like all of the Pirates movies. I need to rewatch and see if my daughter is mature enough to watch them. I think she might like them too.

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