Pregnant – and a pirate!

By admin
03 June 2011

She knew only two English sentences when she first moved to America 17 years ago. “How are you?” was the first and the second, “I want to work with Johnny Depp”.

Spanish actress Penélope Cruz has learnt many more English phrases since then – but one of her favourites still involves working with the man who plays Captain Jack Sparrow with such flamboyant flair.

The sultry star teams up with Johnny Depp in the latest adventure of the world’s favourite pirate. And judging by the numbers it has drawn into cinemas around the world their union in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is box-office gold.

In its opening weekend the fourth instalment in the series grossed $350,6 million (R2,4 billion).

Neither kid-friendly Kung Fu Panda 2 nor adult-only The Hangover 2 could knock it off its perch – and critics slamming it for being a rehash of the first Pirates film had little effect on fans.

The producers planned to make the film as close as possible to the original, the films’ star says.

“The two previous films became too sub-plotty,” Johnny explains. “This one is closer in tone to the original picture. It’s a straightforward action adventure.”

There’s as much buckling of swashes and swinging on ropes as there was in the first film. And this time there’s no Keira Knightley or Orlando Bloom – but there is one very sexy señora.

Penélope (37) plays Angelica, long-lost daughter of the feared pirate Blackbeard. She’s also Jack’s former flame, the one who gave him “stirrings”, and she tries to get him to help her and her father find the famed fountain of youth.

Filming with Penélope again after they worked together on drugs drama Blow 10 years ago was wonderful, Johnny (47) says. “She’s one of my best friends. I adore her.”

Penélope is as crazy about Johnny as he is about her. In fact she wanted to work with him so much she accepted the role of Angelica before she’d even read the script.

“Johnny and I’ve been friends for 10 years and I was desperate to work with him again,” the Oscar-winner says. “I can’t stop laughing when we’re working so we had a few problems on the set. You have to be very alert around Johnny because he likes teasing people.

“He has this machine with a remote control which he puts on your chair. He presses the button when you’re rehearsing a dramatic scene and it makes a rude noise. Everybody thinks it’s you! He loves that. He’s very addictive and just gets better over the years.”

They had plenty of laughs during the six-month shoot but it was also difficult at times because Penélope was pregnant with her first child. The crew were caring and protective, she says.

“It was funny to be dressed as a tough pirate but being treated with delicacy by everybody.”

Read all about the movie in the issue of 9 June 2011.

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