Although he plays a not-so-nice pirate, Geoffrey Rush is oh so nice in person! On my recent Hollywood trip, I was honored to interview Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Let me just say I absolutely adored him, and could sit and listen to him talk all day. He’s quite the storyteller, and knows how to fill any silence. Geoffrey is also extremely humble and gracious, and happened to mention his interview with us mom bloggers was the best part of his week (which included the premiere)!! Geoffrey would have given us all farewell kisses, if he’d had the time!
Here’s what I learned about Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa:
Playing a different Barbossa in film 5
Barbossa evolves over the many Pirates of the Caribbean films, and ends up being a different type of character in Dead Men Tell No Tales. Here’s what Geoffrey Rush had to say about it:
“In the first one he — before I actually entered into the story, he was described rather fearfully by the two pirates that are now my assistants. He’s spat out from the mouth of hell. He had to break the curse. I think it was a great twist of the story that we were actually having to put all of the treasure back to reverse the curse, which I think I then enjoyed having all my senses back for about 30 seconds. Then I got shot.”
By film 5, Geoffrey likes that Barbossa is kind of wealthy because of Blackbeard’s magic. Something big happens in Dead Men Tell No Tales, but Geoffrey thinks if you go back and watch the other films, the secret still fits.
Captain Barbossa’s costume
Geoffrey loved the costume he was offered by Penny Rose. “He wouldn’t care if he mixed checks with stripes. And what else does he spend his money on, you know. I love the fact that the wooden leg — I said this is a great way to show how ridiculously wealthy he is.”
I asked Geoffrey if he actually had to walk with a peg leg, and here’s what he had to say. “No. Well, you know, I think back in the days when Robert Newton played Long John Silver I think he did with the leg strapped up. So, I went down that path and talked to a prosthetician who specializes with amputees. He said it takes these people maybe 12 to 18 months to really get all their musculature and their core muscles to train it to move.” Geoffrey tested out a prosthetic, but it didn’t go so well. He couldn’t stand up! So he decided to act the leg. He was given a blue sleeve, which he made sure had a point at the bottom, and he got good at acting a dead leg.
Geoffrey and Johnny Depp Chemistry
When asked if the back and forth between Geoffrey and Johnny was natural, here’s what Geoffrey had to say.
“The scripts are always pretty good. We’ve sort of decided now that the black pearl is our mutual girlfriend and we both want her, you know. Then chances are that Jack Sparrow will end up with the ship, which he does, but that sense of harmony’s always gonna stay there.”
Geoffrey told us the monkey was great, but it was trained to have no relationship with Geoffrey, otherwise it would be constantly looking for things to eat in his wig. Between all of the movies, he worked with three different monkeys. The first one’s owner decided to raise her price to some outrageous number after film 1, so they got cheaper monkeys (Pablo and Chiquita). Pablo was bigger and did the stunts, while Chiquita was smaller and fit under Barbossa’s hat better.
To get Tara (the first monkey) to look where they needed her to, they would squirt water at her, until they accidentally squirted Geoffrey in the face, while saying lines with Elizabeth Swann.
Five years went by between seeing Pablo in Pirates 4 and 5, so Geoffrey was curious if the monkey would remember him. “He looked across the room at me and went [SMACKING]. And it was so sweet. I said to Martin, what — you know, it looked like he was going, Geoff, it’s been five years. We’re baaaack. And I said to Martin, would he remember me over five years? He said, yeah, he’d remember the smell of your ear wax.” Geoffrey even got a Pablo painting as a wrap gift after the movie!
Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa is phenomenal and you just have to watch Dead Men Tell No Tells and find out what secret Barbossa has been keeping! Out in theaters tomorrow, May 26th!
I was provided an all expense paid trip for the purpose of covering the new Pirates of the Caribbean and Bambi releases. All opinions expressed are my own.