Exclusive Q&A with Brenton Thwaites aka Henry Turner- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales #PiratesLifeEvent

This post may contain affiliate links.
Thank you for visiting Cori's Cozy Corner! Please make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our E-mails!

Brenton Thwaites as Henry

Brenton Thwaites, who portrays Henry Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales has been a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies since he was a young boy growing up in Queensland, Australia. No one was more delighted than he to discover that not only had he been cast as the young lead of the film, but that it would film almost entirely in Queensland, Australia! Last week we sat down with him for a Q&A session. He was so friendly and warm. Just look at that charming smile:

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

How did you become involved on the film?

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. I met Jerry Bruckheimer and the producers and got the part.

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What’s it like stepping into a role having Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner as your parents and having to take that story on?

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, Dead Men Tell No Tales, with the boy version in my character, basically saying I believe there’s a treasure that can break your curse and I can spend more time with you.  And he says, okay, well if there is, 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 and that gives Henry a lot more drive and focus for the whole movie.

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What was it like working opposite Johnny Depp, the iconic Captain Jack Sparrow?

It was terrifying. It’s still terrifying. It’s always terrifying because you never know what he’s gonna say or do and it always results in humiliation for me.  You are always entering a scene thinking this guy now has done five movies worth of Jack Sparrow. And he’s on the ball, irreverent, and impulsive.  You just anticipate what he’s gonna do and say, so that’s great because as an actor it kind of improves your acting in the sense that you’re always open and free and relaxed to go with the flow, but it’s also pretty terrifying.  

So what’s a typical day on set?  

Typically a day on a set for me is I get out of the house at seven; I run down for a quick surf. I get out of the water at eight, rush home, I’m half an hour late. I get picked up eight o’clock so my driver speeds down the highway and risks our lives trying to get to work on time. And then I get made up and sit in the trailer for five hours and then we start working.

The logistics, sets change, and everyday there was something crazy happening.  For this one they like to give the directors all the tools to play around with so we would all come to work. Javier would get made up. Geoffrey would get in makeup. We would all be ready in case they wanted to do some improvised shot or something. They could kinda use any actor at any time.  So it was cool way of shooting but it meant that I got better at my guitar very quickly.  (Oh what I would give to be serenaded by Brenton with his guitar!)

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Since filming you’ve become a father. So what is it like now having done a few Disney films that your baby’s going to see one day?

Well, it’s great being a part of Disney because as a studio it really plays for the younger audiences. I did Maleficent which was released in 2014. It is something I can’t wait for my daughter to see.  Pirates may take a while just because it’s quite scary.  Maleficent is, as well, but there’s moments in Pirates where I even get scared. So I think it might take a while.  I don’t know when- maybe until next year when she’s two.  

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

So you came in the fifth movie  and you’re a real newcomer to this whole universe. Do you feel like they value your input as a newcomer?

I think they did value my input as an actor- as an newcomer.  There were so many different characters coming into this one to make it a fresh new thing and I think all the old-school dudes really wanted to make it fresh and exciting. It’s something they hadn’t done before.  So Javier coming on board, myself, Kaya, and the two new directors who- that primarily done independent films were supported and encouraged on this one.

Did you do any special training for your role?

Just sword fighting.  I had a few hand combat fights that we more or less did on the day and the sword fighting stuff we trained three weeks before the principal photographer. I also 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.

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

© Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved

You were recently named the breakthrough performer of the year.  How does that feel?

It’s great. When I first heard of CinemaCon and that I was to get that award, I had no idea what it was to be honest. I did a bit of research and looked at the guys that had received that award in the past five/ten years and kinda just went, “wow, I don’t think I’m in that caliber of actor with those guys”.  But to be even considered or thought of in that same group of actors is really exciting.

You had a lot of scenes with Johnny Depp.  Was he doing things to make you laugh?

Everything. If you guys look closely, me and Kaya, behind the scenes are like this, [covering his face to not laugh], just trying not to laugh. I was looking down and away.  I was shaking [trying not to laugh].

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

What was it like when you first walked onto the set and see it all?  What were you thinking; what were your emotions?

I was thinking, “wow, it’s really rained” because my first day on the set, it had been pouring for months or weeks and the town of St. Martin which was a farm town called Maudsland, which was about twenty minutes west of the studio, was covered in mud.  Everything was [muddy and] 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 I’m gonna have to get some new shoes.   It’s squelching and you’re squelching around.  I had a scene where my character Henry 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, whole parade of red soldiers trying to catch him.”

How many locations did you film at and did you have a favorite location?

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- both Hastings Point for our entrance into Saint Martins, I think the coastal element.

And 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, and it looks beautiful, and I think we had the most fun right there. Javier’s like a five year old kid.  As soon as he finishes a scene, he stripping off,jumping in the sea, playing, and fighting in the sand.  It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

Photo credit- Louise Bishop at MomStart.com

Once the film is put together and you got to see what they did, can you tell us what that was like for you?

The visual effects side of things for this one was mostly behind the actor’s consciousness.  In Maleficent, it was a lot of work that we would have to do with our imaginations to be specifically creating creatures that weren’t there.  On Gods of Egypt, we did the same thing, but on Pirates, we were lucky because all of Javier’s makeup and 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.  The CGI (computer generated imagery), I was surprised to see Javier’s hair. It was mainly in the background, the CGI stuff which gave it this great depth of field when you watch it.  But for us, we were luck that we had so much given to us on the day.   

Speaking of set pieces, did you take anything from the set?

I didn’t, but if this ever gets back to the producer, I would’ve liked to have taken a rowboat because my mom’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.

What is your hope that audience takes away from the film?

I just hope they’re entertained. This kind of movie with all the genres slotted into this two hour gap. It’s the kind of movie that never loses its drive and has so many action pieces, set pieces,comedic elements, romance,supernatural. There’s something for everyone in this movie.  So I hope everyone takes something from it and connects with the characters.

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

Check out my Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales review and Los Angeles Premiere experience. Go see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in theaters TODAY!!!

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.

Follow Walt Disney Studios on Instagram
Visit the official website here


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

Cori's Cozy Corner Disclosure Policy