Pirates of the Caribbean’s New Leading Lady Kaya Scodelario #PiratesLifeEvent
This installment of Pirates of the Caribbean introduced quite a few new faces to the franchise. In addition to Javier Bardem and Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario is introduced as the newest leading lady in Dead Men Tell No Tales. Young, vibrant, feisty, and full of energy, Kaya brings all these elements to her character Carina Smyth. If you thought the dynamic between Captain Jack and Elizabeth Swann was explosive in the previous films, wait until you see how Carina interacts with both Jack and Henry (Brenton Thwaites character). She even does a great job at holding her own against grumpy ole’ Barbossa.
Who is Carina Smyth?
To the townspeople, she is a witch, but if you ask her she is an educated astronomer and horologist. Orphaned at birth and carrying here most prized possession, a diary, left to her by her father, she is on a quest to find the mystical Trident of Poseidon. However, along the way she discovers so much more about herself, her journey and things she once believed could not exist because they were not supported by science. She is strong willed, determined, witty, super smart, and she brings this to a male-dominated storyline.
Kaya on the importance of playing a strong woman:
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, there isn’t time to layer out a character too much. Because there’s so much going on. And 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 (Carina) certainly not any of those things.
If you have seen the film or the trailer, you know Carina is a Horologist (A person who studies/measures time). Well, Jack and company didn’t quite believe that Horology was a science. They had other ideas. Kaya on the Horologist Scene
That was really fun because I loved the guys that played the pirates in that scene, they’re such great guys and we had a real good friendship before that. So we kind of thought, let’s just play with this, let’s just go into it. And did it a few different ways a few different reactions and every time was just brilliant. I mean that’s their scene.
Kaya on working with Johnny Depp and improvising
What’s on the page is always the best thing possible and because 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 and they were really great about it, the directors are really open, every morning we’d sit down 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.
Kaya on being an actress who has 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 like 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 and 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, and 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 there’s 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.
Kaya shares what she wants the audience to take away from Dead Men Tell No Tales
I hope that they understand that this is an adventure for the whole family and 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.
5 Cool Facts about Kaya Scodelario
- Due to her dyslexia, it takes Kaya a little bit longer to study and memorize scripts. She shared that because of this she didn’t have as much time as she would have liked to do additional research on her character.
- Her favorite Disney Classic Movie is Dalmations, in particular, the live action version.
- Just like Brenton Thwaites, she is a new parent however, she has a son.
- During a test run of the script with Brenton she discovered that they had great chemistry and knew that it would show on screen.
- She has a personal connection with her characters’ love for Astronomy. Growing up her father lived far away and he’d always say if you look up at Orion’s Belt, we’re both at the same star.
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