As the mother of three daughters seeing strong and intelligent female characters in a movie is very important to me. I like for them to see that the girls in film don’t have to conform to societies ideas beauty or a woman’s place. While Pirates of the Caribbean has always has a strong female character in Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Swann, Dead Men Tell No Tales brings to us another strong female character in Carina, played by Kaya Scodelario.
Kaya Scodelario Interview Highlights
Q. When you get dressed in your costume, how do you feel, does it make you feel beautiful or does it give any more motivation for the scene?
KAYA SCODELARIO: “Yeah I mean there’s something really cool about a corset, it does feel quite empowering actually, because you have to sit up strong and then, you know, the first day is awful. And I’d get my husband to secretly loosen it up at lunchtime so that I could eat and stuff. And [LAUGHS] but it is actually it does feel very strong and I like that Carina’s dress, it isn’t perfect, it’s actually tattered and old and ripped up and dirty as that helped me kind of, you know, understand a bit of her back story. I think this is a dress that she’s held onto because it’s kind of the only one she has, and she’s managed to make it as practical as possible to her.”
Q : So Carina comes in as a brand new character in this movie for the franchise and she’s a really strong feminine character, which was actually really refreshing to see. And she can hold her own. What was it like bringing that into like she said a completely male dominated story line?
KAYA SCODELARIO : “It’s always important for me. Every role I look for a woman that I would have liked to have seen at thirteen on the big screen. And it’s a huge responsibility because people forget in blockbusters that we’re not simple, there are multi layers and there’s a lot going on and she has a lot of that. I mean, she’s an orphan, she’s a survivor. She’s also stubborn and argumentative and she’s also funny and flirty and there’s so much to her. And I’m grateful that they wrote her this way.
Because usually with a film this size, unfortunately there isn’t time to layer out a character too much. Because there’s so much going on. And I made a real effort with her to try and hit all those beats, it’s something that I hope my son grows up watching and respects in women and understands in women, that we aren’t just the Disney princess or the love interest or the damsel in distress and she’s certainly not any of those things.”
Q: Carina and Jack Sparrow have a lot of fun scenes together, what was it like working with Johnny?
KAYA SCODELARIO: “It’s wonderful. I mean when you watch the movie, you get to see the one take that’s selected, we get to see the fifty five other ones that he comes up with on the spot. And it’s he’s just a genius, he really is, there’s a reason why he’s so successful. And he’s good at what he does. And his improvisation is just- I mean my first day on set with him, I had to be really serious in a scene, and I just laughed and laughed and laughed and I was like I’m going to get fired, there’s no way they’re going to put up with me, he just brings it every single time. ”
Q: So you spoke about Johnny Depp improvising and having to work with it, how much input to you have into your character, in terms of improvisation?
KAYA SCODELARIO: “With this, you know, the words are kind of always great, what’s on the page is always the best thing possible and because we have these incredible writers that know what works for these movies, but I am very instinctual, and that’s how I like to work, I like to improvise and I like to make sure that the dialogue fits my voice and my character’s voice and they were really great about it, the directors are really open, every morning we’d sit down run through what we were going to do for the day, they’d ask if I had any issues with any of the dialogue, if there’s anything I felt would work better. There was a day where Johnny actually came into my trailer beforehand and reworked an entire scene with me, which I was amazed at, that they still do let you have that creative freedom.”
Q : The scene where Carina arrives gets the tattoo was a very emotional scene. What did you tap into in order to bring those emotions forward?
KAYA SCODELARIO: “Well I have a real personal connection with all that. My father lived far away from me and he’d always say if you look up at Orion’s Belt, we’re both looking at the same star. And he passed away.
So it was very easy for me to tap into that moment and also getting to work with an actor like Geoffrey. He’s, well you look in his eyes, he’s wonderful. He’s just a really giving actor. And for me yeah a film like Pirates, you don’t expect to have that really strong emotional beat, especially as an actor, to get a chance to in the middle of all this craziness just kind of go quiet. And really focus on that relationship, it was an honor. And I think we both- we really thought it was important and we wanted to treat it with as much respect as possible.”
Fun Facts from the Interview with Kaya Scodelario
- Kaya did many of the stunts in the film herself. “I do I really love to do all that stuff. Because it’s not things you do every day in life, you know. If you get the opportunity to do it, especially when you have a great crew that you know it’s going to be safe and it’s going to be done the proper way.”
- Her favorite Disney classic movie is “101 Dalmations.” “I was always obsessed with the Dalmatians, I don’t know why I just loved A Hundred And One Dalmatians, and I actually had a Dalmatian themed bedroom growing up, my poor mother had to paint like white walls and black splotches everywhere.”
- Though she had heard about Dead Men Tell No Tales almost four years before auditioning she got very little notice about her audition. Her “Maze Runner” colleagues helped her prep for the first tape.
- She knew some basics about astronomy but now she wants to learn even more. “It’s something that I feel like now I’d actually really like to get into a little bit more.”
- Advice for those with dyslexia that want to pursue an acting career: 1) You aren’t the only one, 2) Have open conversations about dyslexia, and 3) find support groups. “The more we can discuss and the more resources we can bring into schools, I think the better.”
GET ON BOARD AND SET SAIL WITH PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES!
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES opens in theaters May 26th, 2017 in 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D! Like PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES on Facebook and follow Walt Disney Studios on Instagram and Twitter .