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Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario are Pirates of the Caribbean!

May 23, 2017

By: Lynn Barker

In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Will Turner’s son Henry is played by cute actor Brenton Thwaites who was the prince in Maleficent and a lead in Gods of Egypt. His nemesis turned ally is Carina Smyth played by Kaya Scodelario of The Maze Runner movies.

Henry, the son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Kiera Knightley) is on a quest to free his dad from the horrible curse that had separated him from his family. Carina is a feisty, altruistic astronomer, an academic fighting for the right to study at university, because women couldn't at that time. So she's on her own journey looking for the trident of Poseidon – and she has a diary with clues.

Carina (Kaya) and Henry (Brenton) are prisonersCarina (Kaya) and Henry (Brenton) are prisonersCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

In this recent interview the young actors talked about their admiration for Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow character, on set injuries, weird special effects, the long road to getting the roles and a lot more.

Q: So you two were maybe five when the first Pirates film came out?

  • Brenton: Four. No I was fourteen and she was thirteen.

Q: Were you a fan of the franchise and what was the first scene you had to do with Johnny Depp?

  • Kaya:  I remember it being a huge part of the social scene at school before social media and all that when you used to whisper on the playground about stuff and discuss what was cool and what everyone was going to go watch.
  • Brenton: When humans used to talk to each other.
  • Kaya: Exactly. It was totally like “the thing” that week that everyone spoke about and that was really exciting for me. So, when I actually got on set, I’d met Johnny at the table read and that was pretty cool. I really admire him as an actor and I got that out of the way but when he does step on set as Jack Sparrow, I completely lost it. I went full fan girl and I was (yells) “aaaaaaa” because it’s such an iconic character. He’s like Mickey Mouse. He’s created something that requires so much craft as an actor but is also so fun and easy for everyone to enjoy. I think it’s pretty amazing to create such an iconic character like that.
  • Brenton: Well I was excited to see that number five was kind of leapfrogging from number three. I feel like number four went off tangent a little bit. And, although it did really well and people loved it, I loved it as well, we lost some of that storytelling and the qualities we loved so much in the first three. So when I found out that the characters were kind of continuing the storyline from the third, I was really excited and just wanted to see where it would go.

Jack Sparrow and crew question Carina (Kaya)Jack Sparrow and crew question Carina (Kaya)Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Q: And working with Johnny for the first time?

  • Brenton: Kaya was saying that seeing Jack Sparrow for the first time was more intimidating than Johnny. I kind of agree with that. Seeing Johnny at the round table (script read), he’s really sweet and nice and friendly. He takes ideas and improvises and that’s great but in costume, when he’s working, seeing him for the first time as Jack Sparrow is mesmerizing.

Henry (Brenton) holds Jack Sparrow at swordpointHenry (Brenton) holds Jack Sparrow at swordpointCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Q: Kaya, without giving away too much, there is a hanging scene and you are in a noose. How difficult was that for you?

  • Kaya: It was quite scary actually. I didn’t think it would freak me out as much as it did but I suddenly thought of my mom weirdly. I was thinking, “I don’t know if my mom would like this. She wouldn’t like seeing this”.  It was odd but they had it on a magnet so if anything were to happen, it would easily pull away.
  • Brenton: They didn’t actually tie a real noose around the lead actress’s neck.
  • Kaya: I’d actually broken my shoulder the week before so having my arm in that position was the hardest part for me. I had to wear a sling between takes and try and rest it as much as possible but yeah, (the rope) was safe. It was just a magnet.

Q: How did you hurt your shoulder?

  • Kaya: I slipped on The Black Pearl of all things. The ship was on a gimbal so that it looked like it had docked on land and I was running from the bow to the stern and I tripped on one of the steps and caught myself with my left arm and that caused my shoulder to pop out. I feel good now.

Carina makes her calculationsCarina makes her calculationsCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Q: How much research into witchcraft did you do in preparation for the role?

  • Kaya: I was born on Friday the 13th and my mom is Brazilian and she’s very superstitious and says that I have a witch’s freckle on my ear so I felt like maybe I just had that in me anyway and I tapped into my witchy side.

Q: Both of your characters are descendants of characters in the first two films so how do you feel you relate to the parents in the film?

  • Brenton: I feel that I’m similar to Will in that we are both fighting for similar goals. We’re both very focused and driven and fighting for what’s good. We both have a moral compass and we don’t really steer too far outside of that. In the first one Will is fighting to save his father and stops at nothing to do so and Henry is doing a similar thing in this one so I kind of feel like there is similar determination in the characters.

Q: In the scenes with your father in the beginning when you guys are on the boat and he hasn’t broken the curse yet and the water starts to rise up, was that real or CGI?

  • Brenton: I think it was real because I remember when we were shooting that, I hadn’t started work yet. It was the first couple of weeks of shooting and they shot that in a tank at the Village Roadshow Studios which is this enormous, massive ten meter deep tank and I remember that the kid (player younger Henry) was doing his own stuff, holding his breath and sinking on a rock and I was amazing that they would take those risks even with divers under there feeding him air and helping him swim to the surface so a lot of that stuff was real but I don’t know about the water level rising. It looked fantastic.
  • Kaya: And we haven’t heard from the kid since (laughter). I’m joking. He’s okay.

Henry (Brenton) is questioned by Captain SalazarHenry (Brenton) is questioned by Captain SalazarCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Q: What was the audition process like for you both getting the roles?

  • Kaya: I was handed the script years ago when I was kind of doing the rounds the first time and the part was very different. I think it was two female characters then so they really didn’t know who she was yet then disappeared and came back around a few years later and I was actually shooting the second “Maze Runner” movie and I needed to do it on tape so I didn’t have time to get to a later audition so I got all the boys to do the tape with me so they played Jack Sparrow and Gibbs and all the different characters.
  • Brenton: And that’s a short film in itself.
  • Kaya: I know. Then I was flown out to L.A. to do a chemistry read with Brenton. He was already cast so we did it just to see as actors how we’d work together and how we could lift the dialogue from the page and make it work or not and luckily, I think we had a really cool connection and it went from there.
  • Brenton: I auditioned a few times in L.A. with a casting director and what followed was a meeting with the directors and they took me through their ideas and their dreams for the project and the movie was on hold for a while and those guys went and did something else and I went and did a few other movies and, when it came back around, I auditioned with similar material. I think it might have been the same scene and what followed that time was a meeting with Jerry Bruckheimer and (SOUNDS LIKE: Chad Ermine) and the producers at Jerry Bruckheimer’s Studios and then I was cast and involved in the chemistry reads for casting Carina so that’s where I met Kaya.

Kaya in Maze RunnerKaya in Maze RunnerCourtesy of 20th Century Fox

Q: Did you have the same look then?

  • Brenton: I had hair down to the floor. No I had hair about shoulder length. I finished “Gods of Egypt” and I wore a wig in that movie and by the time I finished I had longer hair and I went traveling for almost a year around Europe and had a chance to grow my hair so no movie had chopped it off so I was lucky to have it in the movie and they used it which was cool.

Brenton in Gods of EgyptBrenton in Gods of EgyptCourtesy of Lionsgate

Q: Have you thought about exploring your characters further in another film?

  • Kaya: I would love to. I think it would be really cool especially with how Carina ends this movie with this new identity that she is suddenly given. I would like to see if she would like to follow in daddy’s footsteps, if she wants to focus on her astronomy or combine the two. I think there could be quite an interesting thing there.
  • Brenton: There’s a nice moment at the end of this movie that kind of feels like the start of a journey. The great thing about this is we’ve come so far and learned so much but, at the end of it, you almost feel like it’s the start of something. I feel like Henry and Carina have such a great journey because they start off despising each other with separate beliefs and basically, throughout the film, start a relationship when they start to understand more about each other and eventually realize they are on similar paths so it would be great to see those similar paths go somewhere and take a journey together. To where I don’t know but doing what, I could guess. (laughter).
  • Kaya: Presumptuous, frankly.
  • Brenton: My guess is sailing the seven seas with Jack Sparrow and the fighting pirates.

Carina and Jack are caughtCarina and Jack are caughtCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Q: It’s always been pretty important in this franchise to have a pretty bad ass girl so how important is it to you as an actress to find these roles especially in films that are very male-driven?

  • Kaya: It’s completely important. I think it’s the biggest thing and that question never gets asked to guys because their characters are always fleshed out and interesting and it’s assumed that they are going to be strong and independent and all those things yet we still have to have this conversation over a strong, independent female role. That’s such a shame but I think it’s great that we are speaking very honestly about it now and I’m happy to fly the flag for that. it’s an honor to play a woman that is so layered and interesting because I don’t know a single female that isn’t. I don’t know a woman that is so simple that you can define her in one word or one sentence so why should that be what we see in a movie? There are so many stories to be told and so many layers to peel back and she’s great. I’m really grateful to Disney for making sure that that is a part of this franchise and still holding strong with it. I’d like to see maybe five chicks in the next one.
  • Brenton: Can I be the one guy?
  • Kaya: You can be the one guy. He’s a feminist so he’s allowed.

Can I escape?Can I escape?Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Q: Have you been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride?  If so do you remember your first time on it?

  • Brenton: I’ve been on the one in Shanghai a week ago and the one in California a couple of days ago.
  • Kaya: A couple of days ago? Why weren’t I invited?
  • Brenton: Just with my family. I was doing the family thing.
  • Kaya: I’ve never been to Disneyland and I could have gone two days ago. No, I’ve never been.
  • Brenton: The one in L.A. is great for story because you are there and you see the old dolls (animatronic figures) drinking beer and it’s kind of fun and soft and a great ride and I had my little kid with me and she was loving it but the one in Shanghai is a spectacle. It feels like a fifty foot screen kind of 180 degrees in curvature and you feel like you are at the bottom of the ocean and it’s 3-D so water is spewing at you and air and people yelling. It’s crazy.

Q: Hey, you’re too young to be a dad.

  • Brenton: Well, I started doing that stuff around fourteen so….

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales PosterPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales PosterCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is in theaters Friday!



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