Exclusive Interview with Disney Pirates Directors Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg

For the final interview in our #PiratesLifeEvent series, we have Directors Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg. We already shared interviews with Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, and Kaya Scodelario (click the names to read any of those previous interviews). It was great to interview the directors though too, getting an even deeper insight to some aspects of the movie. One thing that I especially love is that Joachim and Espen WANTED to direct this movie – like they had a dream and chased it! So, it’s really cool to talk to people that have pursued a dream and fulfilled it!

On getting to direct the movie…  

It didn’t fall into our laps. We chased it. We really wanted to make this movie.” The pair shared that they started making movies together when we were 10!! TEN! Can you believe that ?! It’s amazing! They shared that they were inspired by Spielberg, Lucas, and Zemeckis films. They were drawn to this franchise because it reminds them of movies by their inspirations. They like the unique blend of spectacle, humor, scary parts, but also with a lot of heart. They also loved the idea of doing something that there kids could see & be involved (and by the way, their 5 kids are all apparently best friends. How full circle is that?!)! “It was a big part of it to make something that we saw ourselves in when we were kids and to make something for our kids.”

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On working together…

We were curious what the directing process looks like for them – if they each have more individual roles or if it’s all a “team” thing. They shared that it’s definitely collaborative. And, from what numerous stars of the movie shared, they definitely DO value discussion and the actors’ input. “You know we don’t really know any other way of doing this than being together. For us, it’s a very natural process. And I think it’s a collaborative one. We include the actors and the crew and everyone as part of the discussion basically. And we try to create “safe work environment” as you could say. Everybody can be a part of the discussion. And that’s important to us. I think that’s like probably one of the strong advantages that we have as a directing team.”

On working with Johnny…

Of course, we HAD to ask about what it’s like working with Johnny Depp in an iconic role like Captain Jack Sparrow. The directors had NOTHING but praise!

Working with Johnny is amazing. He is SO funny. What you see with Jack Sparrow is ALL Johnny. He’s a genius. I mean for us he’s like up there with Chaplin and the other ones because his timing is just perfect and he has such a weird imagination. So he comes up with the craziest ideas. And for us, the highlight was always going into his trailer in the morning and going through the scenes and the lines and trying to come up with even more cool stuff to do to make it even more funny. And of course when we started shooting he would do something completely different. And everyone was sort of thrown off but that also makes it come alive and funnier.”

On Captain Jack’s Origin Story…

Speaking of Captain Jack, we actually get to see some of Jack’s origin story (in that we get to see HOW he became Captain Jack Sparrow) “The origin story in the movie came from us actually. That was something we wanted to explore.” They explained that as fans of the franchise, it was something they were really curious about. And, when they were making the rounds in trying to get the job, it was something they were presenting. And, they said, “Disney liked it, and Johnny liked it too. He was a little bit more reserved though because he’s very protective of this character of course. And the character is a tricky movie character, Jack Sparrow,  because he doesn’t really have you know what they call the character arc. He doesn’t you know, he learns nothing during his journey. He’s not richer for the experience. So Johnny was very curious to where we would go with it. And then I think that we just you know it was you know creating basically now in the fifth installment, creating how he got his name and all of that. It’s a little bit risky you know. But then when we presented it and then we started shooting, he really embraced it and that was cool. So that was a big part of what we brought to get the job in the first place.”

On doing another Pirates movie… 

Let’s just say, that they are definitely hoping that this isn’t the last one! “We wish we had that position. We are fans of the franchise so we certainly hope that it continues. We’re just going to enjoy this now and see how it goes. But we’re crossing fingers. It’s up to the audience I think now. And then Disney will make a decision.”

So, if you like these movies and want them to do another – be sure to GO SEE THE MOVIE IN THEATERS! 🙂 It’s playing in theaters NATIONWIDE! It really does have a good overall message that the directors pointed out…

“A treasure is not always a chest of gold. Even for a pirate.”

Interviewing the directors was such a pleasure! Now, fingers crossed we get to see more storyline about the new character sand maybe some old favorites! 

Go see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in theaters NOW! 

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! Photo credit:  Disney and MomStart.com for all images.

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