Wednesday, March 09, 2011
By Sara Moore
Check out these fun facts about the fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean:
*This is the first film in the “Pirates” franchise to be shot in Disney Digital 3D™, and the first all live-action, epic outdoor adventure shot on Red 3D cameras.
*Though a well-known actress in France, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey makes her U.S. film debut in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” in the role of the mystical mermaid Syrena.
*Although she spent more than two months in Hawaii, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey was not permitted to have fun in the sun on her days off… as the unearthly mermaid known as Syrena, she had to maintain her pale complexion. *
*Australian Gemma Ward, who plays Tamara, one of the eight mermaids in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” began modeling at age 14 and has already graced over 20 Vogue covers.
*World-class competitive surfer Tamayo Perry was one of six Hawaiian Queen Anne’s Revenge crewmen cast by director Rob Marshall. But this wasn’t Tamayo Perry’s first brush with Walt Disney Studios. He was a surfing double in the film, as well as one of the title character’s competitors, in the studio’s 1999 “Johnny Tsunami.”
*Although Yuki Matsuzaki is the first Japanese actor to portray a pirate in the “Pirates” series, he’s not the first from his country to play a pirate in a Walt Disney Pictures live-action movie. That honor belongs to Sessue Hayakawa, who played the leader of a pirate band attacking the heroes in 1960’s “Swiss Family Robinson.”
*“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” appropriately enough for a pirate movie, shot on five different islands: Kauai, Oahu, Puerto Rico, Palominito (a small island off the island’s east coast), and although of a distinctly non-tropical nature, Great Britain.
*This is the biggest movie to ever film at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, shooting more of the complex than any previous production.
*In England, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” shot on three of the most important historic sites: the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, Hampton Court Palace and Middle Temple in The City.
*While filming in the vast environs of the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kauai, as well as the Coco Palms Hotel in Wailua, the long distances between base camp and the night shooting locations were marked by the Location department the Hawaiian way…with tiki torches lighting the pathways!
*While filming in the thick coconut grove at the famed and now shuttered Coco Palms Hotel in Wailua—where Elvis once sang “Blue Hawaii” for the movie of that title—773 coconut palms were harvested to prevent the heavy fruits from falling on the hapless heads of cast and crew. The harvested coconuts were taken away by local residents to take full advantage of the meat and milk of the tropical fruits.
*The fully functional Queen Anne’s Revenge is the first historical ship to be represented in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise.
*The Fountain of Youth, a legendary spring whose water was rumored to return youth to anyone who drank it, was the object of an intense, but futile, search by Spanish explorer Ponce de León in the 1500s. Now it’s up to Jack Sparrow to find the magical spring in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.” But homage is paid to Ponce de León in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, California—a model skeleton represents him in the stateroom set.
*It was reported in mid-January 2011 that a team of archaeologists discovered fragments of Blackbeard’s sword while excavating his flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, off the coast of North Carolina (where it ran aground in the 18th century). The real Sword of Triton, perhaps?
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides sails into theaters on May 20, 2011 in Disney Digital 3D.