Honestly, who doesn’t love Pirates of the Caribbean? It’s got A-list actors, a bunch of hilarious (and mostly improvised) moments, great action, cool costumes, romance, and a soundtrack that will make any mundane activity instantly feel epic. It’s been a while since the last movie was released, but that doesn’t mean the hype has gone down at all over the years (and that’s a good thing because we’re getting a new movie this year). This series is beloved by almost all, and is a staple of every movie lover. But even though we love these films, how much do we really know about them? If people think that they’re an expert on all Pirates trivia, this may be common knowledge, but to the average fan, some of these facts might surprise them.
1. Keira Knightley Didn’t Think She Was Good Enough
When first starting to film the Pirates of the Carribbean series, Keira Knightley felt so underqualified for her role that she only packed a few things with her for filming. She might have felt that way because she was only 17 years old at the time, and most 17-year-olds feel pretty under qualified to do a lot of normal things, let alone be the star in a major, high-budget blockbuster with sequels coming underway. Luckily, Keira was not fired, and she did an amazing performance in all of the Pirates movies. Even during the first movie that she felt so self conscious about. It also turns out that her mom would go with this teen actress to the movie sets so she could have her mom’s encouragement to get her through the work day!
2. Geoffrey Rush Was A Little Extra
Geoffrey Rush, the actor who played Captain Barbossa, had a little film theory that he tried to put into place when filming Pirates. He thought that people normally watched a movie from left to right, just like how they read a book. In the DVD commentary, he admits that he tried to use that theory for himself and always tried to be placed on the left of the screen, so that he would be noticed first by the viewers. He especially wanted to do this whenever Keira Knightley or the monkey were on screen because the thought that nobody would notice him otherwise. It’s true, Keira is beautiful and the monkey is awesome, but it’s not like we could just forget Barbossa outright either! And his theory would backfire in those countries where people read right to left, anyways.
3. They Used Chocolate Dirt
Remember how the sword-fighting scene between Captain Jack Sparrow and William Turner got real dusty? It turns out, IMDB revealed that the makeup crew decided to use some actual chocolate to replicate dirt on Orlando Bloom’s face. The reasons as to why chocolate was used as opposed to regular dirt makeup in this scene is unclear, and so is the amount of chocolate used as dirt for the rest of the movie. It probably wouldn’t be practical to give every single one of the dirty pirates a chocolate makeover (that’s such a big waste of chocolate), especially since pretty much everyone in that movie looks like they rolled around in the dirt pretty much the whole time. However, a thought we can’t help but have is a chocolate flavored Orlando Bloom, that’s what.
4. Keira Snoozed On Set
Being at sea can be a risky business because we never know how our body will react to the constant back and forth motion of the waves down below. One time during filming, Keira Knightley admitted to Empire Online that she took a pill to try and avoid getting seasick on set. While this decision was made to increase productivity, the plan backfired and she became so drowsy from the medication that she fell asleep on set. When in the interview, Orlando teased her for it, she replied by saying, “I thought it would be better to be safe rather than sorry…It was very glamorous, people puking over the sides and me falling asleep.” Keira’s always gotta one-up everyone else, even when it’s about seasickness.
5. The Cast Wasn’t As Originally Intended
By now it feels like there is nobody else in the world that could ever capture the essence of such characters as Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swan. But at some point in the early casting process, a lot of these stars we know and love as these iconic characters were never supposed to be those characters in the first place. For example, Stuart Beattie Disney told Fox News that Hugh Jackman was the writers original intended star for Captain Jack, but they were afraid that Jackman wasn’t as big of a star in 2003. So they opted to cast Depp instead. Robert DeNiro was also offered the role, but he turned it down as well. Even though the original dream cast may have been cool, we’re very glad for the actors we have now.
6. Orlando Exposes His Tattoo
After filming The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, Orlando got a tattoo in Elvish on the inside of his right wrist to commemorate the film he starred in. For most of Pirates, the small tattoo is covered, but in some scenes that got a little too action-y his tattoo is exposed! Such is the case during the sword-fighting scene—yes, the same one where Bloom’s face is covered in chocolate powder—where Will raises his sword to parry. And the angle of his hand makes his shirt drop a little bit to expose the elvish tattoo. It’s not the largest or most out-of-place tattoo that could be exposed, but an Elvish tattoo is a little out of character for this fine Englishman.
7. Davy Jones’s Crew Were Real Actors
When we first look at the crew of the Flying Dutchman, we might be thinking that there’s no way that real people played those creepy fellows, and that it was all CGI. Well, according to IMDB, this is both true and false. The crew was filmed with real actors, but they all wore those gray motion-capture suits that are used for CGI. Before filming, each actor on this gnarly crew had to be scanned so that the computer could place the animated images on top of them. For Davy Jones himself, part of his tentacles were real but the other part of it was animated as well. For a movie that came out in the mid-2000s, the CGI isn’t that bad. It could’ve looked a lot, lot worse.
8. Captain Jack Has More To Say About The French
One of the best moments in Curse of the Black Pearl is the “parlay” scene, where Captain Jack is trying to find the right word. What he was trying to say was a “parley,” which is a kind of a pirate deal where he wouldn’t be attacked until after the negotiations between him and the other pirates were settled. Once he figures out the word “parlay,” the other pirates are all like, “Who in the world thought of parlay,” and Jack replies by saying it’s the French’s fault. In the original movie, the scene ends there, but there’s a little more to this scene that was taped. In the blooper reel on YouTube, we see that Johnny Depp did a little more improvising, saying, “They invented mayonnaise.” As if mayonnaise is a bad thing!
9. Keira’s Cleavage Took 45-Minutes
Sexism is real and alive – especially in Hollywood. So it comes to little surprise that Keira Knightley had to wear extra boob padding during most of the movie to give herself a more voluptuous look. While many of us were peeved that they altered Keira’s chest, she didn’t seem to mind. In an interview with Easy Living, she said her larger chest was all thanks to make-up. “They painted my t**s on me for the films, which is extraordinary because it’s kind of a dying art form – in the past, they used to have whole sections of the studios devoted to bosom make-up. And I loved it, completely loved it. Because it was the first time in my life I had big t**s, and I didn’t even need surgery.” Even more shocking, according to the interview, the entire process took 45-minutes!
10. Captain Jack Has A Growing Scab
Throughout Curse of the Black Pearl, there is a scab on the lower chin of Captain Jack Sparrow and if we look closely throughout the movie, the scab gets bigger and bigger. This wasn’t because the makeup artist in question was doing a bad job—well they were technically—but it was on purpose as a prank! The curse of the growing scab was a joke between Johnny Depp and the makeup artist, and because we watch these movies way too many times to count, we start to pick up on these little inside jokes too. While the growing scab is hilarious, it makes us wonder how they got the idea to make this little prank in the first place. And how did Captain Jack even get that scab in the first place?
11. Jack The Monkey Has Many Faces
While animals are usually our favorite parts of movies, having animals filmed in the movies themselves can prove to be a pretty hard task. Often, since these animals don’t have the same kind of discipline and acting prowess as their human counterparts, animal actors need plenty of understudies to accommodate their needs. This is true in the case of Jack the Monkey, who in between two movies was played by four different monkeys. Fandom explains how in Curse of the Black Pearl, the monkeys who played Jack were named Tara and Levi, and in the second movie they were replaced by Chiquita and Pablo. Really, the more monkeys, the merrier. And they all did a great job playing our favorite monkey pirate.
12. ‘At World’s End’ Was The Most Expensive Movie Ever
At the time of its making, At World’s End ranked #1 as the most expensive film made. This is probably no longer the case, as the movie production costs get higher and higher every year and that this calculation isn’t adjusted for inflation. The total cost of the movie summed up to about $300,000,000, which is more than all three Lord of the Rings movies combined! This is an insane thought, just when we think about the sheer size of the LOTR cast, crew, how long each movie is, and all the special effects that were needed from it. While we think of LOTR as the Goliath in movie production, it seems that the true monster is the Pirates franchise. It seems like a massive amount of money, but it was kind of worth it, since the movie turned out awesome.