“A pirate's life for me?” These stories from the sets of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies might make you think twice about that one... When the beleaguered film crew set sail on the Pirates adventures, they could never have predicted that they'd have to battle hurricanes, injuries, or 300 weeks in a single production. Given their sea-faring troubles, it's amazing they even managed to make one of these beloved movies, never mind five. Drink up me hearties, yo ho!
Jack Sparrow was the rock star of his day
Captain Jack Sparrow is easily one of the most recognizable characters in modern cinematic history. But have you ever stopped to wonder where Johnny Depp got his inspiration from? To bring to life this fictional 18th-century pirate, the actor looked to a surprising 20th-century source: Rolling Stones rocker Keith Richards! "When I was thinking about Captain Jack [the idea was] that pirates were the rock and roll stars of that era, of the 18th century," Depp once said in a behind-the-scenes featurette.
"First and foremost, the myth or the legend would arrive months before they would ever make port, that kind of thing, which is very similar to rock and roll stars, and it was about freedom." Keith Richards even made a cameo in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
The production spent millions of dollars on snacks
We know the budgets for these movies are huge, but you usually think of all that money being spent on actors, locations, and camera equipment, right? You never really consider how much is spent keeping the hundreds of people who work on these shoots fed!
Actor Jack Davenport — who played Commodore James Norrington — said he once asked the craft services chef about this. Davenport told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, "I remember saying to him one day, 'What is your budget for all this?' He looked me square in the eye and said, 'Essentially unlimited.' I was like, 'What does that mean?' He was like, 'I don't know, $2 million.'"
The crew used planes and boats to get to the set
Creating the feeling of an actual pirate fight on the high seas is no mean feat. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, the production charted jumbo jets to fly the crew to the Caribbean and even used boats to get the makeup crew to the set. Such gargantuan efforts would at least get the actors to focus.
"I remember thinking just don't F it up, because the reset for this scene is going to be like an hour and a half," Jack Davenport said. "And that was every scene I was in." The actor said director Gore Verbinski needed respect for keeping it all together.
People's cell phones went into the drink
Actor Lee Arenberg, who played Pintel in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 about a "legendary speech" given by the line producer Eric McLeod. In it, McLeod detailed just how big these film productions were.
According to Arenberg, McLeod said, "Well, we've finished up shooting. The caterers prepared 170,000 meals. We bought like 700 cellphones and 240 of them went in the water. There was enough rope on this movie to go around Earth five times." Arenberg added, "You would have driven around the Earth 120 times with all the fuel used."