A fan comes on board

Aussie ac­tor says he’s watched all the Pi­rates movies

Life & Style Weekend - - SCREEN LIFE - With Seanna Cronin

IN JUST a few short years Bren­ton Th­waites has gone from a Pi­rates of the Caribbean fan to a star of the hit Dis­ney fran­chise.

The Cairns-born ac­tor was just 14 when the first Pi­rates film, based on Walt Dis­ney’s theme park ride of the same name, was re­leased and Johnny Depp’s ec­cen­tric trick­ster Jack Spar­row took the world by storm.

“I haven’t been on a movie like this with an al­ready es­tab­lished fan base like this one; I’m one of them, to be hon­est,” Bren­ton tells Week­end.

“I’ve watched th­ese movies since I was a kid and I know how it feels when a new Pi­rates movie comes out; the ex­cite­ment and buzz that comes with that.”

Now 27, and a new fa­ther, Bren­ton joins the cast for the fifth in­stal­ment, Dead Men Tell No Tales.

The film fol­lows Spar­row as he searches for the tri­dent of Po­sei­don, a pow­er­ful arte­fact that will al­low him to bat­tle his old neme­sis Cap­tain Salazar (Javier Bar­dem), who has es­caped from the Devil’s Tri­an­gle and is de­ter­mined to kill every pi­rate at sea.

Bren­ton plays Henry, a sol­dier in the Royal Navy. “When we first find him in the movie, he is a green­horn on board a ship,” he says.

“He’s ba­si­cally warn­ing his cap­tain of an on­com­ing dan­ger, a su­per­nat­u­ral threat, and they don’t be­lieve him and throw him in jail.

“He’s busted out of jail by Ca­rina, who catches wind of what he’s say­ing and be­lieves him. She is af­ter the same thing, so to­gether they form an al­liance and try to find Jack Spar­row, who’s the only one who can help them.”

While Bren­ton says he was mes­merised by Johnny Depp in their scenes to­gether, he was most ex­cited to work with Javier Bar­dem.

“He was one of the high­lights of the movie for me. For one, he’s a re­ally nice guy and was su­per ex­cited to be part of the movie,” he says.

“Then as soon as ac­tion is called he turns into this mon­ster; it’s quite in­tim­i­dat­ing. You know the guy is the same guy from No Coun­try For Old Men and he will kill you (laughs).

“His trans­for­ma­tion phys­i­cally and the things he was do­ing with his face were phe­nom­e­nal. I was geek­ing out all through my scenes with Javier.”

The film brought Bren­ton back to Queens­land for the first time in six years, when he starred in Fox­tel’s teen drama SLiDE.

He now lives in Los An­ge­les with his part­ner Chloe and their one-year-old daugh­ter Birdie.

Shot on the Gold Coast, north­ern NSW and in the Whit­sun­days, the pro­duc­tion boasted im­pres­sive set pieces in­clud­ing an en­tire town built in the Gold Coast hin­ter­land and a “ship arena’’ with 11 mech­a­nised ships at Movie World.

“The great thing about this movie was the bud­get al­lowed th­ese guys to cre­ate such won­der­ful set pieces and we could jump into the space and play,” Bren­ton says.

“On other films my ex­pe­ri­ence is there have been more bound­aries in terms of the bud­get for CGI is this much; you’ve got to pre­tend this and this. On Pi­rates it wasn’t like that. For the most part we’re act­ing on real pi­rate ships, with set pieces and real walls. It re­ally gave the film­mak­ers and ac­tors the chance to come up with ideas and be a lit­tle bit ir­rev­er­ent with their way of shooting things.”

And no Pi­rates char­ac­ter is worth their salt un­less they get to do a bit of swash­buck­ling. “I did a few sword fights in this one,” Bren­ton says. “I have to say I en­joyed it. I think my sword skills are pretty good.” Dead Men Tell No Tales opens on Thurs­day.

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