Hypable attended a recent Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales press conference and learned how the new characters join the Pirates legacy.
The Pirates of the Caribbean series is notable for including a variety of interesting female characters. Most obviously, Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth in the first three films breaks Disney norms by starting as a governor’s daughter, treated like a Princess, but becomes the Pirate King. In the most recent film, Penelope Cruz stepped in as the fearsome pirate Angelica. Some other significant female characters include Tia Dalma, the Pirate Lord Mistress Ching, and Zoe Saldana’s Anamaria.
This legacy is continued in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales through Kaya Scodelario’s Carina Smyth, about which Scodelario remarks, “I think [Carina] is the most progressive [female character] that we’ve ever seen. She is just a simple woman in this time who doesn’t want to be put into a box.”
This falls in line with the other female characters throughout the franchise, but Carina is different in other ways. Scodelario says, “She isn’t a pirate, she isn’t a superhero, she’s just an intelligent young woman who’s determined and has ambition and she sticks to it.”
Carina’s strength is remarkable in the movie, especially considering her backstory, which we do not get to see. Scodelario prefaces, “She’s an orphan,” then continues, “The challenges she must have faced to get to where we meet her really fascinate me. I picture her being alone from the age of thirteen, just wandering the world, and going through the Caribbean, and trying to find her identity.”
Henry adds to the Pirates of the Caribbean legacy in another way. In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Captain Jack Sparrow is literally joined by a new generation of heroes, considering that Henry is Will and Elizabeth’s son.
Brenton Thwaites, who plays Henry, says, “[Will] passes me the torch at the beginning of the film.” This connects to overall Pirates of the Caribbean legacy “because we see [Will] in the earlier movies getting the torched passed to him by his dad and [Will] trying to save [Bootstrap Bill], and Henry is kind of doing the same thing in number five.”
Henry takes on this adventure through the motivation that Will and Henry would get to “spend more time together and get to know each other.” Thwaites says this continues the “theme right from the first movie. That idea of family, and fighting to save family members.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean series is also notable for its compelling villains. Javier Bardem said about playing villains, “I see them as people, I don’t see them as caricatures, I try to not make them as caricatures… I try to see what is behind them.” Specifically, the intrigue about Captain Salazar was “what made him become the monster he became.”
Bardem was interested in playing Salazar not because “he belongs to the franchise, but because there is something there to play with.” Bardem says that Captain Salazar is interesting because he is “a character that is seen by two different lights: the light of the success when he was alive, with pride and full of honor and in command; and the other side when he is taken by darkness and rage and pain.”