As I mentioned in my review of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES, this film introduces new characters into the PIRATES world. One of those is Henry, portrayed by Brenton Thwaites! When we meet Henry, we’ve already learning that he is the son of Will Turner and is trying to break the curse that forces Will to captain the Flying Dutchman. His desire to reconnect with and free his father is what sets the film into motion.
As Brenton walked into the room, he was surprised by our rounds of applause. He quipped that Javier Bardem had actually mentioned to him about the “mommy bloggers” out in the hall way. Guess we are kind of famous now, huh?
How did you become involved with the film?
Brenton: I auditioned a multiple amount of times with Ron and Chris here in L.A., and then I met the directors at a place in Venice Beach. Then the movie got put on hold for awhile, and I re-auditioned about a year later. Out that I met Jerry Bruckheimer and the producers, and then I just got the part out of nowhere.
What’s it like stepping into a role with Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner as your parents?
Brenton: I feel as though as it was kind of easier than not having them because they provided such a backstory for my character. We start the movie with the boy version of my character. He basically says “I believe there’s a treasure that can break your curse and I can spend more time with you.” And Will says, “Go find Jack Sparrow. He can help you find it.” So I feel like the goal and obligation for my character has already been set. It gives Henry a lot more drive and focus for the whole movie.
What was it like working opposite Johnny Depp and the iconic Captain Jack Sparrow?
Brenton: It was terrifying. (Jokingly) It’s still terrifying. It’s always terrifying because you never know what he’s going to say or do! It always results in humiliation for me…
He’s on the ball, kind of irreverent and impulsive. You just anticipate what he’s gonna do and say, and it kind of improves your acting in the sense that you’re always open and free and relaxed to go with the flow, but also pretty terrifying.
Since filming, you’ve become a father. What is it like now being you’ve done a few Disney films that your baby is going to see one day?
Brenton: It’s great being a part of Disney because as a studio, it really plays for the younger audiences. I did a movie in released in 2014 called MALEFICENT, which something I can’t wait for my daughter to see. PIRATES may take a while just because it’s quite scary. There’s moments in Pirates where I kinda even get scared! So I think it might take a while. Maybe until next year when she’s two.
You were recently named the Breakthrough Performer of the Year. How does that feel?
What was it like when you first walked onto the set? What were you thinking; what were your emotions?
Brenton: I was thinking, wow, it’s really rained, because my first day on the set, it had been pouring for months or weeks. The town of Saint Martin which was a farm town called Maudsland, which was about twenty minutes west of the studio, was covered in mud. They kinda used it in the movie which is really cool and dramatic, and adds to the dirtiness of the pirate’s world, but I remember thinking, like, I’m gonna have to get some new shoes!
I had a scene where my character is hiding behind a pillar, and he’s spying on Jack Sparrow. I remember thinking, wow, what a perfect way to start the movie. To see Jack Sparrow drinking rum in the middle of the street, and the whole parade of red soldiers trying to catch him…
The visual effects are amazing. So once the film is put together and you got to see what they did, can you tell us what that was like for you?
Brenton: Well, the visual effects side of things was mostly kind of behind the actor’s consciousness. On Pirates, we were lucky because all of Javier’s makeup; all the ghosts were there. They looked fantastic. The sets were real. They had beautiful set pieces that allowed us to play and feel like we were actually in the space.
What was a typical day on set?
Did you bring your skateboard at all?
Brenton: No, I didn’t bring my skateboard on this one. I wish I did. We were mainly in rocky fields and the studio. There was a guy there, a swords master, Thomas DuPont, who had an electric skateboard. I tried it once, and you kind of sense the whole studio thinking, “get Brenton off that skateboard. I don’t care what happens, but get that kid off that thing.”
Did you do any special training for your role?
Brenton: Just sword fighting. I had a few hand combat fights that we more or less on the day, and the sword fighting stuff. We trained three weeks before the principal photographer.
Was there anything else you had to do to get prepared for the role? It’s kind of a period piece; it’s set back in the 1790ish area.
Brenton: Accent stuff. I had to do a little accent work. But I’d done it many times before, so I kind of just started right in with that British RP dialect.
You had a lot of scenes with Johnny Depp. Were there things that you had to find yourself to stop laughing, laughing at him? Was he doing things to make you laugh?
Brenton: Everything! Listen, if you guys look closely, me and Kaya, behind the scenes are just trying not to laugh. I was like looking down and away. I was shaking.
What is your hope that audience takes away from the film?
Brenton: I just hope they’re entertained. This kind of movie with all the genres slotted into this two hour gap.
Speaking of set pieces, did you take anything from the set?
Brenton: If I told you I had to kill you. (Jokingly) I didn’t, but if this ever gets back to the producer, I would’ve liked to have taken a rowboat because my mommy’s in the corner over there. I told her before we wrap the movie, that I would bring her a rowboat home and make a veggie garden out of it.
How many locations did you film at, and did you have a favorite location?
Brenton: We shot at about five or six different locations; mainly the studios. I was talking about Saint Martins Square twenty minutes west of the studios where all the mud was. We shot there for a good month and a half, and we shot in Northern New South Wales. They had a beautiful beach, Hastings Point for our entrance into Saint Martins.
My favorite location was up on Hamilton Island, shooting out on the Great Barrier Reef. We had some days we shot at a beach called White Haven Beach which is beautiful squeaky beach. When you walk on the sand, it squeaks which is not so good for the sound, but it’s great for effect. It looks beautiful, and I think we had the most fun right there. Oh, Javier’s like a five year old kid (on the beach.) As soon as he finishes a scene, he’s stripping off, jumping in the sea, playing, and like fighting in the sand. It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen!
Check out Brenton in action as Henry in the DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES trailer.
In addition, to celebrate the film’s release, check out this PIRATES Activity Pack! Activities include a maze, creating your own spy glass, and much much more.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES is in theaters NOW in 3D, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D!
Want to see more of my adventures in LA? We can connect on Twitter (@AshBG) and on Instagram (@ashb4211). I’ve posted some photos from my trip! Make sure you follow the hashtags #PiratesLifeEvent and #BambiBluray.
While I attended an expense paid trip by Disney to Los Angeles, all opinions are 100% my own.
Interview Photo Credits: www.MomStart.com