THE large scale sets of Disney’s big-budget Pirates of the Caribbean films still impress actor Geoffrey Rush, even after five of them.
Johnny Depp returns to the silver screen as perpetually drunk pirate Jack Sparrow and Rush as the mutinous Captain Hector Barbossa in the Australian-filmed Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which sees Jack on the run from the ghostly Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), who is intent on killing all pirates.
Academy Award winner Rush said he experienced a sense of awe each time he was called back to film another entry in the series.
“I don’t think one ever gets blase about the epic nature of it,” he said.
“Every day when I go on set and I see the scale of the Black Pearl (ship) up on its hydraulic gimbal and the cranes that are holding the lighting grids and stuff and the number of bands and trailers and catering and all of that, I go ‘This is big’.”
Rush said the family atmosphere of the cast and crew and his evolving character kept drawing him back to the franchise.
“We started filming the first film in September 2002, so we’re nudging 13 years of being a kind of extended family,” he said.
“I haven’t tired of it because every time they send the next script, Barbossa seems to morph or transform his character.
“In Dead Men Tell No Tales, they’ve given him a whole new dimension, so it’s always felt very fresh in new ideas for me to take him in a different direction.”
He said he was keen to re-team with Depp after getting along so well in the previous films.
“There’s definitely a shorthand reteaming with Johnny,” he said.
“I’ve done a few stints when I’ve worked on stage over my career where I’ve been in companies on a two or three-year contract.
“And when you regularly work with the same team, you develop a comfort zone and there’s a deeper trust, a deeper sense of daring and the ensemble sense of humour sharpens up.
“In the nature of this story, without giving away too many spoilers, fortunes have changed for both these characters. Jack’s pretty much gone down the toilet; he’s hit misfortune, whereas Barbossa, on the other side, has risen very much to the top of the tree so there’s an interesting new dynamic to play with there.”
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is in cinemas now.