Exclusive Disney Pirates Interview with Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar

The 5th installment in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (Dead Men Tell No Tales) sails into theaters on Friday, May 26th and brings with it a new villain, Captain Salazar, played by Javier Bardem.
Creepy right?! Bardem plays what is probably the scariest villain in the series and does a great job with it! So, we were thrilled to sit down with him during our #PiratesLifeEvent trip for a fun interview!  

On the makeup and creating the look of the ghostly Captain Salazar:

Given that creepy dead man/ghost of the seas look, the first question we had for him was about the makeup! Javier shared that he was in makeup every day for about 3 hours! Crazy! So, while the special effects are INCREDIBLE in the movie (both in general AND with Captain Salazar), a lot of Javier’s look was done with real makeup effects. He shared that one of his concerns was being able to act well  through the makeup/the mask. But, he said that the special effects people are so incredible that they brought magic into it without killing the physicality of the performance. When you seen it all on the big screen, you’ll definitely see what he’s talking about! Pay special attention to the hair – it’s INCREDIBLE! Even Javier was just incredibly amazed by what they did with the special effects on the hair. As part of the makeup talk, Javier also mentioned the black goo that comes out of the ghost Salazar’s mouth. It really adds to the overall “death” feel. Javier was hilarious when talking about it though. He said it was this thick liquid that the crew said tasted sort of like chocolate, but Javier disagrees – emphatically. He says it tastes like “monkey poo”. HA! 

On finding inspiration for the character…

Javier channeled some parts of Spanish history for the role (like bull fighting and the fact that the Spanish Army was very powerful at the time). So, Javier said he thought of the character as a wounded bull, out for revenge. In fact, he even talked about the symbolism with that and the black goo…

“I thought it was like a rage pouring out, right? It’s not blood. It’s like the rage of the character coming out, like-like something more physical, like a bull. I always thought the character was like a bull, like a wounded bull with the blood and moving like wounded- breathing like out of breath and with a very strong idea for revenge.” 

On getting the role…

We talked to Javier on how he got the part. He said he went down to the set of Pirates 4 (which was in Kauai) while his wife Penelope Cruz was filming and he was jealous! LOL!

“I was very envious because I was seeing all this amazing production taking place– the water, the special effects, the boat, the sword fighting. I wanted to be one of those. So, I talked to – Jerry. I said, ‘Jerry please, give me a job’.”

He didn’t actually think he’d get a job, but he was thrilled when Jerry (Bruckheimer) called him up about 5 years later!

I was so surprised and honored because as a movie goer, I love the franchise. So, I knew that production wise and experience wise it was going to be great. Now it was a matter of what’s the story and what can I bring to the character.  When they gave it to me, I thought it was this great thing about one  character played in two ways – when he’s alive, it’s all about pride and about honor, and when he’s dead, it’s about betrayal and pain and revenge. I liked it. And it’s a Disney movie.

On working with Johnny Depp as Captain Jack...

“He’s a great colleague and a beautiful guy”.  Javier told us a hilarious story about meeting Johnny in 1999 on the set of Before Night Falls and they’ve been friends since. He shared that Johnny, even all these years (with even more fame later), was the same guy on the set of Pirates in 2015 as he was in 1999. Javier really gushed about how humble and nice he is. Then, he talked about how brilliant and hilarious he is on set as Captain Jack!

He was the same guy except that he’s playing Jack Sparrow which is an iconic character.  Boom, he becomes Jack Sparrow and he’s so funny to watch and he will do and say anything and he will be brilliant so I had to cut sometimes the scene because I was laughing

It was a great interview, that ended much too quickly! We loved talking to him! Now, make plans to go see Javier as Captain Salazar when “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” opens in theaters nationwide on May 26, 2017!

Follow Pirates of the Caribbean on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! And stay tuned for more #PiratesLifeEvent fun with interviews coming to the blog soon!

Disclosure: Disney hosted me in LA in order to attend the film screening and to participate in group interviews & media events. As always, all opinions, experiences, and love of Disney are entirely my own!

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