While in LA a few weeks ago I was able to interview the beautiful talented Kaya Scodelario who played Carina Smyth in Disney’s latest Edition To the Pirate World Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Setting sail on their newest adventure we are able to meet two new characters that introduce us to what seems like many more movies to come. Kaya plays the spunky Carina Smyth who sets out to figure out the mysteries of a book her father left her with many years before. Carina’s search to find answers in this book leads her to meet the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow, as well a newcomer to the Pirate Wolrd Henry (Played by Brenton Thwaites).
Photo Credit: Louise Bishop / MomStart.com
This adventure would not be so grand if it weren’t for her strong female lead role that she played immaculately. I love her she was able to keep up if not surpass the other lead male characters who we are used to seeing in these films. I love her spirit that she brought to her character, and in person, you can see this gentle yet strong woman who brings forth an energy that you can’t help but love. I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Kaya and cannot wait for you to check it out.
To refresh your memory of what you’re in store for, check out this full trailer below.
You can read my full Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review (No Spoilers) as well as check out my My High Sea’s Adventure at The Pirates Of The Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales Blue Carpet Movie Premiere.
What It Was Like Wearing The Costume
I mean there’s something really cool about a corset, it does feel quite empowering actually because you have to sit up strong in 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. 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 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.
Photo Credit: Louise Bishop / MomStart.com
What It’s Like Being A Strong Female Lead In A Male Dominant Cast
The guys have never made me feel like the only woman, especially on Maze Runner, especially with this, they always treat me exactly the same. I’ve never felt like, you know, I’ll walk on the set and they’re like the girl is here, we have to stop farting. They continue to do that anyway and I’ve grown up with guys, I love them, my best friends are guys and I like that energy. I think once they get over you being a woman, it can actually be kind of bonding and nice and but yeah it was interesting. And the last two movies have been very male dominated.
What It’s Like Being A Brand New Character in this Movie
Yeah I mean 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 multiple 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. 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.
Photo Credit: Louise Bishop / MomStart.com
Where Kaya Would Like To See Her Character Grow In The Pirate World, What She Would Like Her Son To See Progress Wise In This Pirate World
I’d just like him to be a bit more interested, I took him to a screening with his little baby headphones and he just seemed to look at his feet the whole time. I just hope by the time we do the next one that he’ll actually like to interact with it a bit more. No, I think he’d like to see mommy wielding a sword and getting to do some more action-y stuff, I think that would be really cool.
Did Kaya Do Her Own Stunts?
I do I really love to do all that stuff. Because it’s not things you do every day in life. 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. But I actually injured my shoulder, I popped out something in there on the black pole of all places. And so afterward it was kind of tough we had about four weeks of filming still so I had to wear a sling in between takes and I had to go quite easy on it.
But I did all the swimming, I swam in the Australian ocean with the sharks and every other thing that can kill you there. It was a lot of fun, I love having the opportunity to do that stuff.
Kaya’s Relationship with Her Character Carina and The Loss Of Her Father
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, Aad 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. You look in his eyes, he’s wonderful. He’s just a really giving actor. and for me a film like Pirates, you don’t expect to have that really strong emotional beat, especially as an actor, to get a chance to be 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 really thought it was important and we wanted to treat it with as much respect as possible.
What Kaya Would Love To See Her Character Carina Explore More In Future Pirates Movies
I would really like to see her exploring her love of the stars and astronomy, going out to the ocean. And also this new identity that she has, she’s the daughter of an infamous pirate, and I think that’s kind cool to see whether she takes that on or not, what she does with that new kind of mission in life.
What It’s Like Working With Johnny
It’s wonderful. 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. 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, -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.
Johnny Depp Improvising and Kaya’s Into Her Character, in Terms of Improvisation
With this 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.
That was really fun scene because I loved the guys that played the pirates Adam Brown, Danny Carin, Steven Graham, they’re such great guys and we had a real good friendship before that, so we kind of thought, let’s just play with this, let’s just go into it. And did it a few different ways a few different reactions and every time was just brilliant.
Kaya’s History With Astronomy
I did know some basic stuff, unfortunately, I had about three weeks between being cast and then moving my life to Australia for six months and learning lines and with my dyslexia, it takes me a lot longer to learn a script. So I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to kind of really research it. I made sure that I was comfortable with the time piece that I have to use.
I made sure I knew how that worked and all the ins and outs of it. But since promoting it, it’s something that I feel like now I’d actually really like to get into a little bit more.
Photo Credit: Louise Bishop / MomStart.com
Kays Recommendations For Kids or Young Adults that Have Dyslexia that are Interested in Theater, Tips for them That Have Helped Her
Well the biggest thing for me was just knowing that I wasn’t the only one. I remember when I was twelve and I was diagnosed, I was really freaked out by it because I didn’t understand what it was. For me it meant I’m dumb, that’s all I knew, I thought well this just means that I can’t ever achieve what other people can. And then they had a poster up in my school saying Tom Cruise has dyslexia.
That instantly to me was like, oh okay, well he’s doing all right, maybe I’ll be okay and it’s just about having an open conversation about it. There are great resources out there, my school was wonderful, they gave me extra time in exams, I had a one to one teacher in classes for my reading because that’s where I really struggled, and just have an open conversation about it and then to find support groups and to make sure that the school also understands what it is. Because it’s a kind of a taboo subject, we don’t really know much about it. So the more we can discuss and the more resources we can bring into schools, I think the better.
How Kaya Landed The Role Of Carina
I heard about it years ago, maybe four years ago they had a first draft of the script and the character was two characters, because they still hadn’t really decided what they wanted to do with her. And then it came back around couple years later and I was shooting in Albuquerque with my Maze Runner guys. And I had to do a self-tape and I didn’t have enough time.
So I said boys please help me. And I had one of them playing Jack Sparrow and just all the Maze Runner boys doing this audition tape for me, which was really sweet of them. And then I flew to Los Angeles to meet with Brenton, and we sat down and we did a chemistry read and we just got on really well, he’s a really nice guy, he’s a nice kid. And as an actor we kind of bounced off each other and we really enjoyed flushing out the scene, working out what we wanted to do with it, and it went from there.
What Want’s Everyone To Takeaway From The Film
I hope that they understand that this is an adventure for the whole family and it’s something that should be seen on the big screen and the best technology possible. We spent six months making this and two years in post-production for a reason. That’s how it should be seen and that’s how the whole family will enjoy it at its best.
Favorite Disney Classic Movie
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. I’ve always loved the animated Dalmatians movie and then also the live action I think was really good. I’ve always loved that.
What It Was Like On Set For Maze Runner
The Maze Runner Boys were family so we can kind of push the boundary a little bit more, the jokes are a bit dirtier and a bit riskier. And we have that kind of connection where no one will get offended, we can just kind of say anything. With this I didn’t really want to push the boundary with Johnny Depp too much but no it was a lot of fun. But there’s also Maze Runner we shot for a relatively small budget for what it is and in a very short amount of time.
But with this kind of you have a responsibility to make sure the work is the important thing. So I think we were all very focused and we wanted to finish our days and do the best we possibly could. But there were definitely moments of fun in between.
All Good Things Must Come To An End
I hope all of you really enjoyed this interview as much as I did. I really hope to see more of Kaya Scodelario play Carina Smyth in many more Pirates of The Caribbean movies! She is such an inspiring woman who is beautifully talented at bringing that strong female lead to the big screen. What was your favorite part of this interview? Make sure you head to the theaters and watch this epic adventure movie that I’m without a doubt sure your family will love.
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