I attended the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES Premiere courtesy of Walt Disney Studios. All thoughts/experiences/opinions are my own!
Geoffrey Rush plays Barbossa in the new Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales film! The movie opens tomorrow, May 26th and is the 5th film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Geoffrey is a no newcomer to the series, he has been there from the beginning and his character Barbossa is one I’ve always loved to hate! This love/hate relationship I had with Barbossa put me into a difficult spot when I found out I would be interviewing Geoffrey for his role in movie!
Of course, all worries were set aside when Mr. Rush entered the room with his congenial disposition and laid back attitude. If I had to descibe Geoffrey Rush using only one word, it would be “storyteller”. From the moment the interview began Geoffrey began telling story after story and truth be told, I could have sit there and listened to him for days! Here are some highlights from the interview, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
On The Evolvement Of His Character Barbossa
Well, it’s sort of something that happened over the first four films. I think in the first one, before I actually entered into the story, he was described rather fearfully by the two pirates that are now my assistants. He’s spat out from the mouth of hell. That was the key line, I thought, well, whenever I enter into this story, if you don’t see that then he’s a liar. So, he was pretty much the dark villain of the piece. As you know, he had to break the curse. I think it was a great twist of the story that we actually had to put all of the treasure back to reverse the curse, which I think I then enjoy having all my senses back for about 30 seconds. Then I got shot.
There is a sort of poignant but rather ridiculous comic madman. And I thought that was fun. Some months later, Gore Verbinski, who was director in the first three, phoned me up and said look, it’s been such a success. And it was fun. It was just fantastic to think of someone like Johnny, the king of the independent films, great characters like Edward Scissorhands and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and all of the things that he did.
For him to create such a unique, unpredictable pirate; there’s nothing like it in literature or cinema before. And he got nominated for a Best Actor, which is just fantastic. These actual adventure films just don’t really get a look in on that territory. But I remember him telling me when we shot the first film, he said, we can’t be stereotypes. We’ve got to create really imaginative kind of people that an audience will get very engaged with.
He said, I’ve been toying with the idea of the British rock stars of the ‘60s because, the pirates always had sort of clear-cut identities. The real black beard used to have fuse wire burning in his beard and when people saw him they thought he was the devil. They would go from ship to ship from port to port. I said, with Barbossa, I want to make him very arrogant and very pompous and very superior and maybe a bit slightly self-diluted about how bright he actually is. Penny Rose, the Costume Designer, gave me this great kind of flamboyant outfit and I was a bit more like a glam rock star.
Gore phoned me and said, look, we’re going to go to Asia and everything. And I said, well, that’s great. You’ll all have a marvelous time. It was really fun being in the first film. He said, oh, no, no, no. We’re go to Asia. We’re going to have a new sort of Asian villain that Chow Yun-fat played. Then he said, you’re going to come back as a very secret surprise right at the end of the second film. I said, oh, right. How? I’m dead. He said, well, it’s going to be voodoo. I asked what he meant. Movie magic? No. He said Tia Dalma needs you to get all the global pirates together to break the curse that she’s under. It’ll become a big part of the story. So, I sort of became like a politician. I was the guy getting the global pirate G20 meeting together. That was fun to play, because he’s a control freak and he loves thinking he’s the most powerful person on the planet. Then I worked for the king. I liked that in Pirates 4. I said, I really insist that I have a very elaborate wig and lovely makeup and a beauty spot. The teeth were always the same. Unfortunately, when he put on the courtly makeup with his crusty skin, he didn’t look any prettier.
On Working With Johnny Depp
The scripts are always pretty good. They know the relationship, we’ve sort of decided now that the Black Pearl is our mutual girlfriend and we both want her. Then chances are that Jack Sparrow will end up with the ship, which he does, but that sense of harmony is never always going to stay there.
On Working With The Monkey
The monkey’s great. The monkey’s trained to really have no relationship with me because if it did, it would just be looking for things to eat in my wig. They’re also very loyal to their owner if trained correctly. So, if I pulled a sword or somebody yelled fire or whatever, the monkey would just go. They’re very head strong. They would lead the way and do all that sort of stuff. The monkey is completely in the hands of the trainer and the trainers are brilliant. They’re able to sort of throw in all of the instructions around the dialogue.
Geoffrey was kind enough to take a group picture with us and even mention a Pirates 6 which included Mommy Bloggers! if you are looking for some Mommy Blog extras, you know who to call (hint, hint)! Ha!
Visit the official PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES website
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES opens in theaters everywhere May 26th!