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Posted on May 6th, 2011 - Filed in "Pirates of the Caribbean" (2011), Press - 0 Comments / Leave one

When Penélope Cruz signed on to play Angelica in Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides she was excited—and for several very good reasons.

In the movie Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds himself on an unexpected journey to the fabled Fountain of Youth when a woman from his past (Penelope Cruz) forces him aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane).

First of all, it was her first role in a high-budget action movie. “I love working in Europe and most of the times when I’m working in America, I tend to choose smaller projects with less action, because that’s where I find the most interesting characters,” Cruz says, “but I have to say that here I found both. I found a very interesting character in a movie that is really big and it gave me the opportunity to see how those movies are made. And I love the pirate world because it’s so attractive and so interesting.”

Then there was the opportunity to reunite with both Rob Marshall and Johnny Depp on a film. Cruz last worked with Johnny Depp ten years ago on Blow, where she played his character’s wife. “When we were together in Blow, we got along really well,” Cruz recalls. “We became friends. Then I didn’t see him for a long time, but now that I’ve spent a lot of time with him again, after all these years, it just gets better and better every day.

“He’s so kind to everyone and so sweet and he has a really brilliant mind—smart, really clever, fast, really funny. He’s one of the funniest people I know and he has a very big heart. When you work with somebody like that, it’s special. He’s a very unique human being.”

The first time Cruz was in a film directed by Rob Marshall was when she starred in the film version of the musical Nine. Her standout portrayal of Carla garnered her Screen Actors Guild®, Golden Globe® and Academy Award® nominations and Cruz has nothing but praise for the award-winning director.

“I love Rob,” says the Academy Award®–winning actress. “He creates this beautiful family of people working in the same direction, and everybody wants to make him happy because of the way he is, the way he treats everyone.

“Rob can really handle an enormous amount of pressure and he will never lose his temper. He will never be disrespectful to anybody. I’ve never seen that and I’ve done two very long movies with him. So I really respect him for that,” concludes Cruz.

Cruz plays Angelica, the first-ever female pirate in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, and says she enjoyed being a pirate every bit as tricky and cunning as Captain Jack Sparrow. “They are both trying to find The Fountain of Youth and Angelica has information that Jack Sparrow needs, and he has information that she needs,” explains Cruz. “And for many different reasons, they need each other. So there they are, stuck on a boat, trying to play this card.

“The whole time they are tricking each other but at the same time, they are helping each other. They have this dance with dialog that is very clever, very well written. I think we had a great script to work with.”

Angelica isn’t an ordinary pirate by any means. She handles a sword as well as anyone, including Captain Jack, and can go toe-to-toe with him in any situation. Perhaps this is because she is the daughter of the most feared pirate of all time—Blackbeard, played by Ian McShane.

Cruz feels that McShane was the perfect choice to play Blackbeard. “I think it’s very clever to cast Ian McShane because he’s such a great actor and he brings something to the character that is completely anti-cliché,” Cruz comments. “He brings truth to everything he does. And there is something in the eyes of that character that really makes you feel real fear.”

Describing Angelica, Cruz says, “Angelica is a pirate and she has the pirate mind; tricky, manipulative, dangerous when she has to be. She loves games, but she has a good heart and her motivation is always a good one. But she has a religious background and very strong values.

“Angelica doesn’t want to admit that she cannot trust her father. She wants to give him a chance to change and she keeps fighting for that, but it’s very hard.

“So she’s full of contradictions and I think that’s what makes the character so interesting. She knows that to get what she wants, she has to be tricky and she has to manipulate, for example, Jack Sparrow. And she knows that to be his equal, she has to be a very good liar, a very good actress in life, a very good manipulator. So to get what she wants she’s capable of tricking anybody, but at the end, what she wants is something good.”

To prepare for her role, Cruz had to learn how to sword fight. “I trained for two months before we started shooting,” she says. “So I knew all the choreography. I trained with all the specialists and all the stuntmen and with

my double…she’s amazing.”

Director Rob Marshall approached the fight scenes like a dance number, and according to Cruz, that method helped the actors learn the movements more easily. “In ‘Nine’ we had a couple of very big musical numbers, and the same way we trained for those is how we trained for the fight scenes,” says Cruz. “Rob choreographed the fights almost like a dance. So that helped all of us to get it quicker.”

Cruz had a chance to act with some of the scariest characters in the film—the zombies who make up Blackbeard’s crew. But she’s quick to point out that they didn’t scare her one bit. “I cannot really get scared of the zombies because they were all such great guys and we were together for six months. They were in makeup for five or six hours a day, some of them, and it’s amazing what the makeup department has created.”

According to Cruz, everyone on set was enamored of the mermaids, who play an important part in the quest for The Fountain of Youth in the story. “Everybody wants to see mermaids. We all fantasize about how mermaids would be if they were real,” Cruz says. “And the mermaids in this movie are beautiful, but they are dangerous. I remember on the set everybody wanted to see the girls, the mermaids, and to see the drawings of the pictures of how they would look at the end after all the special effects were finished. And now that I have seen it, it’s really beautiful. It’s very attractive and very sexy, and mysterious.”

Filming On Stranger Tides took Cruz to many exciting locations as well as onboard Blackbeard’s pirate ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge—an experience that Cruz fully enjoyed. “It was so beautiful and we were shooting in the middle of the night sometimes until the sun came up. It was really magical to shoot on that boat.”

“But we were lucky we were in so many beautiful locations in Hawaii, in Puerto Rico, on that little island, Palominito, that was beautiful, in London, Los Angeles. We went to so many places with the movie,” Cruz adds.

Academy Award®–winner Penélope Cruz has proven herself to be one of the most versatile actresses in the world by playing a variety of compelling characters, and becoming the first actress from Spain to be nominated and win an Oscar®. Cruz won the Oscar®, a BAFTA, a New York Film Critics Circle and a National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Other credits for Cruz include Blow, opposite Johnny Depp, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, opposite Nicolas Cage, Vanilla Sky, with Tom Cruise, Sahara, with Matthew McConaughey, Elegy, opposite Sir Ben Kingsley, Nine, opposite Daniel Day Lewis and Nicole Kidman and Pedro Almodovar’s Volver and Broken Embraces, and many others.

Q. Were you a fan of the first three films and how exciting was it to be offered the part?

A. Yes, I had seen the three of them and I loved them. I laughed out loud watching them. I was amazed by the character that Johnny created. I remember when I saw the first one, I was, like, “Wow, that’s so brave and so brilliant.” And I was very happy when Rob told me about the possibility of doing this together. We were in London finishing Nine and he asked me, “Would you like to be part of Pirates 4 with me and Johnny?” And I said, of course. I have never done a movie like that and to go back to work with them again was something that made me very happy. Of course, Johnny and I hadn’t worked together for ten years.

Q. What did you like about reuniting with Johnny and working with him on this?

A. When we were together in Blow, we got along really well. We became friends. Then I didn’t see him for a long time, but now that I’ve spent a lot of time with him again, after all these years, it just gets better and better every day. And when I met him, one of the things that I was most surprised about was how humble he is. He’s so kind to everyone and so sweet and he has a really brilliant mind—smart, really clever, fast, really funny. He’s one of the funniest people I know and he has a very big heart. When you work with somebody like that it’s special. He’s a very unique human being.

Q. You mentioned also reuniting with Rob. What is it about him as a director that you enjoy so much?

A. I love Rob. I had a great experience working on Nine. I had always wanted to do a musical. He comes from the dance world. He’s a dancer and a choreographer, and I’ve been a student of dance. I’ve never been a professional dancer, but I danced for 17 years, so I know the discipline and the sacrifices that are required to become a professional dancer. And he was one, plus a choreographer, so the work ethic that he has, he brings to the movies. He brings it to the movie set and that affects the whole tone of the movie, affects the whole crew. He creates this beautiful family of people working in the same direction, and everybody wants to make him happy because of the way he is, the way he treats everyone.

Rob can really handle an enormous amount of pressure and he will never lose his temper. He will never be disrespectful to anybody. I’ve never seen that and I’ve done two very long movies with him. So I really respect him for that because I know how hard it is when you are in charge of such a huge movie like this one and you have 400 people every day asking you questions and driving you crazy. And he has this sweet, soft tone all the time with everyone, and even when he was just sleeping three hours a day, he’s a gentleman, and it’s real, what you see from him.

Rob has brought a lot of new things. He has brought more humor; also the movie is 3D for the first time and he’s brought romance for Sparrow for the first time. I play the first female pirate and that’s a tone that feels very fresh and very new, and very, very funny, and I’m very happy about that. I’m happy that I sat down to watch the movie and it really makes you laugh and it flies. It’s like a bullet. And then it’s over and really? That’s two hours? I don’t know exactly how long the movie is, but it goes by as if it was five minutes, and that’s all because of Rob.

Q. You mentioned the first female pirate. Tell me about her character and what she’s like.

A. Angelica is a pirate and she has the pirate mind; tricky, manipulative, dangerous when she has to be. She loves games, but she has a good heart and her motivation is always a good one. But she has a religious background and very strong values. So she’s full of contradictions and I think that’s what makes the character so interesting. She knows that to get what she wants, she has to be tricky and she has to manipulate, for example, Jack Sparrow. And she knows that to be his equal, she has to be a very good liar, a very good actress in life, a very good manipulator. So to get what she wants she’s capable of tricking anybody, but at the end, what she wants is something good.

Q. She’s particularly good at tricking Jack. Tell me about the dynamic and what we find out about her.

A. Angelica wants a type of personal revenge with Jack. But at the same time, she needs Jack because they are both on a mission where they need each other.

So the whole time they are tricking each other but at the same time, they are helping each other. They have this dance with dialog that is very clever, very well written. I think we had a great script to work with. It was great to create that type of relationship with Johnny, but he and I are always fighting in the movies we do, because in “Blow,” where we were married, we fought in every single scene. And in “Pirates” we fight a lot, too, so we have to find one someday where we are not enemies. But it’s always enemies that love each other, you know.

Q. Why does she need him? What’s the mission? What’s going on?

A. They are both trying to find The Fountain of Youth and Angelica has information that he needs, and he has information that she needs. And for many different reasons, we need each other. So there they are, stuck on a boat, trying to play this card. And that was a lot of fun, very fun to do, to create that relationship.

Q. What did you think when you first saw the ship; when you first stepped onto a pirate ship?

A. It was incredible to shoot on that huge ship. It was so beautiful and we were shooting in the middle of the night sometimes until the sun came up. And it was really magical to shoot on that boat. But we were lucky we were in so many beautiful locations in Hawaii, in Puerto Rico, on that little island, Palominito, that was beautiful, in London, Los Angeles. We went to so many places with the movie.

Q. What was it like getting to do that? Is it like being on an adventure to make this movie?

A. One of the beautiful privileges of our work is that we get to travel so much to discover beautiful places. All the places we saw in Hawaii were so beautiful. And sometimes they take you to places that you would never see if you didn’t have this job or places where it’s hard to get to, or places where you need a special permit, like all the buildings they shot in England. We also get to learn to do other strange things like sword fighting.

Q. Tell me about learning the sword fighting. How do you prepare to be a female pirate?

A. I trained for two months before we started shooting. So I knew all the choreography. I trained with all the specialists and all the stuntmen and with my double…she’s amazing. I couldn’t do anything that was dangerous, and I was very protected by Rob and Johnny and Jerry and the studio and everybody.

Q. Do you like the physicality? Do you like doing that kind of stuff?

A. Yes. We approached the fight scenes like a dance number. In “Nine” we had a couple of very big musical numbers, and the same way we trained for those is how we trained for the fight scenes. Rob choreographed the fights almost like a dance. So that helped all of us to get it quicker.

Q. You mentioned Blackbeard. What do you think makes Blackbeard such an interesting villain?

A. Well, he’s really

dangerous. I think it’s very clever to cast Ian McShane because he’s such a great actor and he brings something to the character that is completely anti-cliché; he brings truth to everything he does. And there is something in the eyes of that character that really makes you feel real fear. It’s never, “Oh, there’s the bad guy.” He created a very complicated personality and I love that and it’s very, very clever on Rob’s part to cast him for this. I think Ian’s great. I couldn’t imagine anybody better to play that because he’s really an amazing actor, and what a great voice he has.

Q. Your character wants to save him, but he also has edginess about him. You don’t know where he stands, correct?

A. Yes. Angelica doesn’t want to admit that she cannot trust her father. She wants to give him a chance to change and she keeps fighting for that, but it’s very hard.

Q. What do you think about this film? What is it that you enjoy about it? What is so special about this film?

A. Well, there are not a lot of movies like this being made and I think there will be maybe less and less because it’s such a big production to put together. As an actor, to be part of one of these is a big privilege. Because first of all, you get to see from the inside how these movies are made. I love working in Europe and most of the times when I’m working in America, I tend to choose smaller projects with less action because that’s where I find the most interesting characters, but I have to say that here I found both. I found a very interesting character in a movie that is really big and it gave me the opportunity to see how those movies are made. And I love the pirate world because it’s so attractive and so interesting. So, for many reasons, it was great. I feel so lucky that I can be part of this movie.

Q. Can you comment on the new things that people get to see, the mermaids and zombies, and how exciting those characters are?

A. Everybody wants to see mermaids. We all fantasize about how mermaids would be if they were real. And the mermaids in this movie are beautiful, but they are dangerous. I remember on the set everybody wanted to see the girls, the mermaids, and to see the drawings of the pictures of how they would look at the end after all the special effects were finished. And now that I have seen it, it’s really beautiful. It’s very attractive and very sexy, and mysterious; really, really beautiful images that the filmmakers created.

Q. And the zombies? What did you think when you saw them?

A. I cannot really get scared of the zombies because they were all such great guys and we were together for six months. They were in makeup for five or six hours a day, some of them, and it’s amazing what the makeup department has created. All of them worked hard to get that look; they would wake up at 3:00 a.m.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opens in theaters May 20, 2011, in Disney Digital 3D

Source: MyFoxOrlando.com






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