Sitting down for an exclusive interview with Captain Barbossa, Geoffrey Rush was just amazing. I have always been a fan of his and the diversity and complexity of his roles. It’s a mark of a great actor when they can play characters like Albert Einstein and Captain Hector Barbossa and you never once sit and think, hmm that Albert is a little too Piratey for me.
Year made: Sitting next to Geoffrey! He joked that IF there was another Pirates film Barbossa should settle down with a Mommy Blogger! We all laughed.
I seriously could listen to his stories all day. He didn’t just answer our questions with a quick blurb. No, he took us on a journey through the entire Pirates franchise in a way only the great Geoffrey Rush could.
It’s hard to believe that the phenomenon of Pirates began in 2003. Going back to the beginning, what was the inspiration for these characters?
Johnny was the king of the independent film scene. For him to create such a unique, unpredictable pirate, there is nothing like it in literature or cinema.
But I remember him telling me, “We can’t be stereotypes. We’ve got to create really imaginative kind of people that an audience will get very engaged with. I’ve been toying with the idea, I like the British rockstars of the 60s.”
I want to make him (Barbossa) very arrogant, very pompous, very superior, and maybe slightly self-deluded about how bright he actually is. I was a bit more like a Glam rockstar. (Cheers)
The back and forth between Hector and Jack has always been hilarious. It’s a lot like two siblings. The eye rolls, the one-ups, the fighting. It’s like watching my kids!
The relationship is: We have sorta decided now that the Black Pearl is our mutual girlfriend. (Laughter)
Barbossa has come a long way since Curse of the Black Pearl. He was a mutinous, devil of a (undead) man when we first met him. Then he died, was brought back, and even worked for the King for a bit. Geoffrey describes the arc of Barbossa from the first film to Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Before I actually entered into the story, he was described rather fearfully. He was spat out of the mouth of hell. To me that was the key line. I thought whenever I enter into this story if you don’t see that then he is liar.
He was pretty much the dark villain. And he had to break the curse. Which I think I then enjoyed having all my senses back, for about 30 seconds and then I got shot. (Laughter) Poignant but rather a ridiculous comic moment. And I thought that was fun.
When he found out he was coming back at the very end of the second film.
Alright. How? I’m dead. (Laughter)
Okay, he’s alive. Now what will he do?
I sorta became a politician. I was the guy getting the global Pirate G20 meeting together. And that was fun to play, because he’s a control freak. He loves thinking he is the most powerful person on the planet.
Barbosa got a nice promotion in On Stranger Tides
I really insisted that I have a very elaborate wig (Laughter), lovely makeup, and a beauty spot. The teeth were always the same (Laughter). Unfortunately, when he put on the courtly makeup, with his crusty skin, he didn’t look any prettier. (Laughter)
When he read the script for Dead Men Tell No Tales, he loved that Barbossa had become so wealthy.
I like that it brought out the vulgarity. Barbossa isn’t somebody with any sense of personal style whatsoever. He wouldn’t care if he mixed checks with stripes.
Lets talk about the one relationship in the Pirates films we all love: Barbossa and his monkey, Jack.
It really had no relationship with me. If it did it would be (mimics looking for bugs in his hair) looking for things to eat in my wig. (Laughter)
After 5 years, Geoffrey didn’t think the monkey would recognize him.
I was in having a costume fitting. He (Pablo the monkey) came in. He looked across the room at me and went (eyes wide with recognition) (Aww). It was so sweet. It looked like he was going “Geoffrey its been 5 years, we’re back! This is great!” (Laughter) And I said to (the trainer), would he remember me over 5 years? And he said yeah, he would remember the smell of your earwax. (Laughter)
Pablo even gave Geoffrey a wrap gift. A personal painting, signed by Pablo. So sweet!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is in theaters tomorrow, May 26th!
I was invited by Disney for a special press trip to share my experience of Pirates with my readers. All opinions are my own. Interview photos courtesy of Louise of MomStart.com