Sunday, September 4, 2011

On Stranger Tides

COURTESY PANNELL FAMILY
TFK Kid Reporter Taylor Pannell with actor Geoffrey Rush, who plays Captain Hector Barbosa.

In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth of Disney's Pirates adventures, Johnny Depp returns as the hilarious Jack Sparrow. The swashbuckling sequel finds Captain Jack aboard the Queen Anne's Revenge, the ship of the most infamous seafarer ever: Blackbeard. The evil pirate needs Jack's help to find the elusive Fountain of Youth. He'll stop at nothing to get to it, even if it means threatening to kill his own daughter (and Jack's old flame) Angelica, to get Jack to cooperate.

Now a prisoner, Jack must deal with not only the fearsome Blackbeard, but also a creepy crew of zombie men and eerily beautiful mermaids, who lure sailors to their watery graves. Will they make it to the Fountain of Youth alive? Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens in theaters today.

Getting Their Sea Legs

TFK Kid Reporter Taylor Pannell traveled to Beverly Hills, California, to interview Geoffrey Rush, who plays Captain Hector Barbossa, and Astrid Berges-Frisbey, who plays the mermaid Syrena. In this installment, Rush's Barbossa returns with a peg leg. His wooden limb and Syrena's mermaid tail both had to be added into the film later on.

How did the special effects team do it? Berges-Frisbey explains: "[I wore] a pair of shorts that were digitally recreated using computer graphics [to look like a mermaid's tail]." During filming, the actress also wore special dots on her legs to track the way she moved. This helped filmmakers transform the bottom half of her body into creature form.

While the other pirates in the movie weren't required to wear tracking dots, they certainly didn't have light and airy costumes either. "I still can't figure out why, in all the heat of the tropical islands, that pirates still wore really long hair, heavy front coats, big hats and long leather boots," Rush observes. "Pirates should have invented shorts and crew cuts! They would have been much better off."
Kid Reporter

A Rising Talent

Most people would be intimidated working on a big film with big stars such as Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Geoffrey Rush. So, how was it for a Hollywood newcomer like Berges-Frisbey on the set? "I was afraid of what I would find," the actress admits to TFK. "But everyone made us feel comfortable." She adds: "Because Johnny truly loves his part, and he's had so much fun playing Jack Sparrow all of these years, he shares that energy with the people on the set."

In fact, Depp was so supportive of the cast and crew that he even did some clean-up work, says Berges-Frisbey. "I had to be in the water a lot [for my part]. Sometimes it would get dirty, and Johnny was even in there cleaning the water for me!" she recalls. "It is possible to be a big star and still be really humble. It's inspiring. I feel really lucky to have worked with them."

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