Exclusive with Kaya Scodelario aka Carina Smyth- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales #PiratesLifeEvent

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Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com 

Last week as part of the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales press trip we had the opportunity to sit down with the beautiful and talented actress, Kaya Scodelario who plays Carina Smyth. It was such a pleasure to listen to her speak about what it was like wearing a corset, working with Johnny Depp, being the only woman in a male dominated main cast, and lots more. There are a few spoilers below so heads up. Here are some of the things we learned:
© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved
© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

On Wearing A Corset

There’s something really cool about a corset, it does feel quite empowering actually, because you have to sit up strong. 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.  But it does feel very strong. I like that Carina’s dress, it isn’t perfect, it’s actually tattered and old and ripped up and dirty. That helped me 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.  

On Getting Her Role as Carina Smyth

I was actually 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 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. We sat down and did a chemistry read. We just got on really well. He’s a really nice guy. And as an actor we kind of bounced off each other and we really enjoyed fleshing out the scene, working out what we wanted to do with it, and it went from there.

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved
© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

On Being the Only Main Female In a Male Dominated Lead Cast

I’ve been incredibly, I shouldn’t say lucky because it should be like that- but 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. I’ve grown up with guys, I love them my best friends are guys and I like that energy.  I think they can- 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.

On the Differences Between the Set of Maze Runner Movies and Pirates of the Caribbean

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 it was a lot of fun.  But there’s also Maze Runner we shot for a relative small budget for what it is and in a very short amount of time. But this 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.  

On Working With Johnny Depp

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 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. My first day on set with him I had to be really serious in a scene and I just laughed and laughed and laughed. I was like “I’m going to get fired, there’s no way they’re going to put up with me”. He really just brings it every single time.

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

On Being a Strong Female Character in a Male Dominated Storyline

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. 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.

On Studying Astronomy For Her Part

Yeah I did 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. 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 really research it.  I made sure that I was comfortable with the timepiece 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.

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

On Doing Her Own Stunts

I do I really love to do all that stuff. 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 Pearl of all places.  So afterwards 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. And it was a lot of fun. I love having the opportunity to do that stuff.

On Input and Improvisation Of Her Character

With this the words are always great, what’s on the page is always the best thing possible and 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. They were really great about it, the directors are really open, every morning we’d sit down and 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.

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

SPOILER ALERT- On Tapping Into Emotions To Bring the Final Scene With Barbossa To Life

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. Also getting to work with an actor like Geoffrey.  When 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 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.

On the Audience Takeaway of the Movie

I hope that they understand that this is an adventure for the whole family. 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.

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

On Having Dyslexia 

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. And that instantly to me was like, oh okay, well he’s doing all right.  Maybe I’ll be okay. 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. Just have an open conversation about it and then to find support groups and to make sure that the school also understand what it is. Because it’s 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.

On Her 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, really good. I’ve always loved that.

"PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES"..The villainous Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) pursues Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as he searches for the trident used by Poseidon..Pictured: Kaya Scodelario (Carina Smyth)..Ph: Peter Mountain..© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

SPOILER ALERT- On What She Would Like To See For Her Character Going Forward

I would really like to see her exploring her love of the stars and astronomy.  And going out to the ocean.  Also this new identity that she has, she’s the daughter of an infamous pirate. I think that’s it’ll be cool to see whether she takes that on or not. What she does with that new kind of mission in life.

On What She Would Like Her Son To See For Her Character Going Forward

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. “Oh toes!” So I just hope by the time we do the next one that he’ll actually like to interact with it a bit more.  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.

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com
Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

Go see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in theaters NOW!!! It is sooo good. Make sure to stay after the credits for a bonus scene!

POTC PosterCheck out my Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales review and Los Angeles Premiere experience.

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Disclosure- I was invited by Disney to attend this all expense paid press trip but all opinions are 100% my own.

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