- Category: Interviews
- Created: Friday, 26 May 2017 17:50
- Published: Friday, 26 May 2017 17:50
- Written by Lupe R Haas
When Keith Richards wasn’t available to reprise his PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN role as Jack Sparrow’s father in DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, the filmmakers and Johnny Depp scrambled to find another rocker to join the Sparrow gene pool. Paul McCartney joined the crew and Depp shaped his look.
DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg and producer Jerry Bruckheimer reveal how the former Beatles and occasional actor became a swashbuckler for the fifth movie in the Disney franchise at a Los Angeles press event for the latest PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie.
The Norwegian directors revealed the scene between Jack Sparrow and his father played by Keith Richards was written for the Rolling Stoner, but the band’s touring schedule didn’t allow for the musician to take time off to travel to the Australian set. The filmmakers and Depp scrambled to find a replacement.
“We sat down with Johnny and made a shortlist of potential substitutes and of course, Paul McCartney was on the very top of that list,” says Sandberg. “Then the question became how to approach him with this and how do you reach him. Johnny realized that he had his number. So he texted him. And he answered.”
Once McCartney jumped on board, they re-wrote the role as Sparrow’s Uncle. The famous musician looked right at home playing a drunken, eye-liner wearing pirate opposite Depp. The directors describe working with Sir Paul McCartney as “fantastic” and “amazing,” and he didn’t need any acting pointers.
“He’s been in spotlight his whole life. He’s kind of comfortable around that,” says Rønning. “You need to be a performer. He’s an entertainer. He’s hard working. He hits his marks and he knows his lines.”
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer provided additional insight into the casting of the icon. Bruckheimer reveals McCartney was on the top of the list for Richards replacement, and the shortlist consisted of rock n’ rollers. Unfortunately he doesn’t recall the other contenders.
Not only did Johnny Depp call up Paul McCartney for the pirate role, but he helped shape his look, according to Bruckheimer.
“Johnny and Paul got together with the costume designer and created the look, and they worked together.“
Bruckheimer also confirmed the 74-year-old was a complete professional on the set and he was able to keep up with the other actors.
“Paul brought a lot. He ad libbed a lot. He came up with the song. And he did a lot of great stuff so they had a blast shooting it.”
Unfortunately for everyone on set, McCartney graced their presence for one day only.
For a rocker, Paul McCartney was quite the scene-stealer as a buccaneer in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES.