See the Cast of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl’ Then and Now
Making a movie based on an amusement park ride doesn’t necessarily seem like a recipe for success. But you can’t argue with the results of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise, which was spun off from the Disney parks ride of the same name. In addition to being one of the most successful franchises in movie history, the films helped turn Johnny Depp from a quirky character actor into one of the biggest superstars in the world.
A lot of that success has to do with the first movie, 2003’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl,’ being really, really good. With Depp and director Gore Verbinski reuniting for ‘The Lone Ranger,’ we thought it was time to see what those ‘Pirates’ are up to now.
Johnny Depp, Jack Sparrow
Then: Everything about Johnny Depp’s career and personal style suggested he’d one day play a swashbuckling buccaneer, and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ finally gave him that chance. The role of Jack Sparrow was initially written for Hugh Jackman, but Disney decided the Australian wasn’t marketable enough and turned to Depp, who famously based the character on Keith Richards after concluding that pirates were the rock stars of the 18th century.
Now: Depp, who recently turned 50(!), continues to be one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Depp plays Tonto in the summer blockbuster ‘The Lone Ranger’ and will take on the role of real-life gangster Whitey Bulger in ‘Black Mass.’ He will reprise his Jack Sparrow role once again in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5,’ which is set for release in 2015.
Orlando Bloom, Will Turner
Then: Bloom was already involved in Peter Jackson‘s ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ another massive film franchise, when he signed on to play blacksmith-turned-seafarer Will Turner. His other early roles included turns in ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Ned Kelly.’
Now: Bloom hasn’t been in a movie since 2011’s ‘The Three Musketeers,’ but is set to play his popular Legolas character in both upcoming ‘Hobbit’ sequels and star in the historical thriller ‘Zulu.’ He is married to Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr.
Keira Knightley, Elizabeth Swann
Then: While ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ was Knightley’s breakthrough role, it was ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ that turned the successful child actress into a full-fledged star. In 2003, she also appeared in the ensemble Christmas movie ‘Love Actually.’
Now: In 2012, Knightley was a somewhat unlikely co-star to Steve Carell in ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.’ The 28-year-old will play Adam Levine’s ex-girlfriend in the musical rom-com ‘Can a Song Save Your Life?’ and then star in ‘Jack Ryan‘ opposite Chris Pine.
Geoffrey Rush, Barbossa
Then: Rush was cast as Barbossa because director Gore Verbinski knew he would play the pirate as a straight-up villain and not try to give the character too much complexity. That’s not to say Rush can’t do complexity, as he is one of the more respected actors of his generation and has an Oscar (‘Shine’), an Emmy (‘The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers’) and a Tony (‘Exit The King’) to prove it.
Now: Rush recently starred in the romantic drama ‘The Best Offer.’ Next up for the 61-year-old is the World War II drama ‘The Book Thief.’
Jack Davenport, James Norrington
Then: Commander James Norrington has complicated relationships with Sparrow, Turner and Swann in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.’ The character, who was played by Jack Davenport, was only supposed to be in the first movie, but was brought back for the first two sequels because he clicked with audiences. Davenport first came to prominence in his native England by starring on the BBC drama ‘This Life’ and was first exposed to American audiences in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley.’
Now: Davenport most recently played womanizing theater director Derek Wills on the now-canceled NBC series ‘Smash.’ He’s been married to actress Michelle Gomez since 2000, and they have one child.
Jonathan Pryce, Governor Weatherby Swann
Then: The role of Governor Weatherby Swann in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ went to Jonathan Pryce. An extremely accomplished stage actor, Pryce had also seen his share of movie success, including a starring role in the cult classic ‘Brazil’ and memorable supporting turns in films like ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Dies.’
Now: Pryce played the president in ‘G.I. Joe: Retaliation.’ He also played the title character in the 2012 London production of ‘King Lear.’
Lee Arenberg, Pintel
Then: Lee Arenberg was pirate Pintel in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.’ If you recognized Arenberg beneath all the grime, it may have been from ‘Seinfeld,’ on which he played insincere bookie Mike Moffit, or for his numerous appearances as various characters in the ‘Star Trek‘ franchise.
Mackenzie Crook, Ragetti
Then: Pintel’s pirate partner and fellow provider of comic relief, Ragetti, was played by Mackenzie Crook. While Crook may have been unfamiliar to American audiences, he was a pretty big deal in his native England, thanks to his role of Gareth Keenan on the original British version of ‘The Office.’
Now: Crook has hooked up with another really popular TV series — you might recognize him as wildling Orell on the third season of ‘Game of Thrones.’
Damian O’Hare, Lt. Gillette
Then: Lt. Gillette, Norrington’s number two, was the work of Damian O’Hare. It was the Irish actor’s second screen appearance, after a small role in the TV series ‘Ultimate Force.’
Now: After sitting out the second and third ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies, O’Hare returned as Gillette in ‘On Stranger Tides.’ He also recently played a Hatfield in the miniseries ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ and did an episode of ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.’
Kevin McNally, Joshamee Gibbs
Then: Joshamee Gibbs, Sparrow’s right-hand man and lover of rum, was played by Kevin McNally. McNally, Depp and Rush are the only actors to appear in all four ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies.
Now: McNally was recurring character Horace Bryant on ‘Downton Abbey.’ You can hear his voice as Robert Faulkner in the ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ video game.
Zoe Saldana, Anamaria
Then: You may remember Zoe Saldana from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,’ in which she plays a pirate who bears a grudge against Jack Sparrow. Previously, Saldana had been in teen-oriented movies like ‘Crossroads’ and ‘Drumline.’
Now: Starring in ‘Avatar,’ the highest-grossing movie ever, certainly raised Saldana’s profile. She’s set to star in ‘Nina’ and ‘Blood Ties,’ and recently reprised her Uhura role in ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’ The 35-year-old is also rumored to be involved with ‘Avatar 2,’ which would likely hit theaters in 2015, and is currently set to become one of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ coming in 2014.