Celebrities & Pop Culture

Then And Now: The Cast Of ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’

Can you believe it's been 15 years since the first 'Pirates' film came out?

Jack Sparrow first came to life on the big screen in 2003, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” hit theaters. One-and-a-half decades later, there are reports that Disney has a reboot of the franchise in the works. Whether new “Pirates” films will include any of the original cast remains to be seen.

If this has you wondering where those stars now and how much they’ve changed, you’re in luck. Take a look back at the actors in the roles they played, and see what’s going on with them now.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp once said that, when preparing for the role of pirate Jack Sparrow, he took inspiration from the music world.

“I sort of thought that pirates would be the rock and roll stars of the 18th century, you know?” he told IGN. “Then, when you think of rock and roll stars, the greatest rock and roll star of all time, the coolest rock and roll star of all time, in my opinion, is Keith Richards. Hands down.”

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Getty Images | Frederick M. Brown

Johnny Depp

No stranger to music, Depp has performed in several rock bands himself. As of 2015, he has played alongside Joe Perry and Alice Cooper in a group called the “Hollywood Vampires.” He has acted in many films as well, from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in 2005 to “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” in 2018.

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Getty Images | Andreas Rentz

Geoffrey Rush

Captain Hector Barbossa was a villainous marauder in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Portrayed by actor Geoffrey Rush, Barbossa became the first mate alongside Jack Sparrow aboard “The Black Pearl.” He also led a mutiny against Sparrow.

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Getty Images | Kevin Winter

Geoffrey Rush

The Australian actor portrayed Barbossa in four more “Pirates” films. Rush also won a Tony for his role of Berenger I in “Exit the King” on Broadway in 2009 and was named Australian of the Year in 2012. In 2018, the actor found himself in a negative spotlight, accused of sexually harassing an actress. A defamation suit on his behalf soon followed.

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Getty Images | Mark Evans

Orlando Bloom

Twenty-six-year-old Bloom played blacksmith Will Turner in “Pirates.” He first discovered that Rush was involved with the film.

“…Then I found out Johnny was doing it,” Bloom said. “I was like, where do I sign?”

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Getty Images | Amanda Edwards

Orlando Bloom

The actor has since starred in films such as “The Three Musketeers” and “Zulu.” He became a father when his son Flynn was born in 2011. Bloom has been in a relationship with Katy Perry for several years.

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Getty Images | Andreas Rentz

Keira Knightley

She was just 18 when “Pirates of the Caribbean” first hit theaters. In fact, she was only 17 when she began portraying the adventurous daughter of Governor Weatherby Swann. Her mother had to travel with her while Knightley was on location.

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Getty Images | Amanda Edwards

Keira Knightley

Although she has been mistaken for a number of other actresses, such as Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz, Knightley has become a celebrity in her own right. Now in her 30s, her credits include films such as “Love Actually,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Anna Karenina.” She also played the Sugar Plum Fairy in Disney’s 2018 film, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.”

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Getty Images | Jeff Spicer

Jack Davenport

The actor portrayed James Norrington, an officer of the British Royal Navy and the East India Trading Company who wanted Elizabeth Swann as his wife. His costume required many layers of clothing.

“Actually I did keep fainting at one point,” Davenport told the Hollywood Reporter. “I think I had the most clothing on, that’s for sure… It was intense.”

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Getty Images | Amanda Edwards

Jack Davenport

Davenport has stayed quite busy since “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He has starred in and directed films and television programs. However, even with dozens of acting credits, his young son is not impressed.

“The only thing I’ve got in reserve to impress him with is my Pirates Of The Caribbean Lego character,” Davenport told The Mirror.

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Getty Images | Gareth Cattermole

Jonathan Pryce

The veteran actor portrayed Elizabeth’s father, Governor Swann. Although he has long been known for classical and musical theater, he opted to take on the role of the colonial governor.

“It was one of those why-not movies,” he told The Telegraph.

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Jonathan Pryce

The actor has now enjoyed nearly five decades of success in the industry. He has had parts in everything from James Bond films to “Game of Thrones.” In 2018, he starred opposite Glenn Close in “The Wife.”

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Getty Images | Gareth Cattermole

Lee Arenberg

Arenberg played Pintel, a member of the Black Pearl pirate crew. The actor kept a video diary while making the film. Not only did he require a great deal of makeup for his role, but he even let his fingernails grow out for six months.

Arenberg reprised his role in the two following “Pirates” films.

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Lee Arenberg

Not only was he a convincing pirate, but Arenberg has gone on to portray a number of interesting and unusual characters. The actor has played an alien on “Star Trek: Enterprise” and a dwarf on “Once Upon a Time.” He remembers his time filming “Pirates of the Caribbean” fondly, though.

“It’s so fun to be a pirate,” he told Fox Force Five News. “Just the whole being on the boat, in the water, having long hair, to fire cannons, I love sword-fighting, I love the action.”

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Getty Images | Amanda Edwards

Mackenzie Crook

Crook played Ragetti, the counterpart to Arenberg’s Pintel.

“Pintel and Ragetti are Laurel and Hardy on acid,” director Gore Verbinski said in a press release. “They’re dangerous villains, but you like them because they’re funny.”

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Mackenzie Crook

Fans might have wondered why Ragetti was not in the fifth “Pirates” film. He turned down the role, opting to create his own television series instead.

“When it comes down to it,” he told Radio Times, “it’s a choice between doing a character again that I first did 12 years ago — and it’s a little part in a big Hollywood movie — or doing my own passion project.”

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Getty Images | Jeff Spicer

Damian O’Hare

O’Hare played devoted British Royal Navy officer Lieutenant Gillette. He was the first officer to Captain James Norrington. Gillette took part in the capture of Captain Jack Sparrow. O’Hare must have a face for playing characters from centuries ago because the actor also appeared on an episode of NBC’s two-season drama “Timeless” as none other than George Washington.

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Damian O’Hare

Since his “Pirates” days, O’Hare has been a busy man. The Irish actor has had roles in film and on television. He has also loaned his voice to numerous video games.

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Getty Images | Valerie Macon

Zoe Saldana

You may or may not recall that one of Saldana’s first major movie roles was in “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Although her portrayal of female pirate Anamaria was her foot in the door, the experience left a bad taste in her mouth.

“The cast was great,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “I’m talking about the political stuff that went on behind closed doors. It was a lot of above-the-line versus below-the-line, extras versus actors, producers versus PAs. It was very elitist. I almost quit the business.”

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Zoe Saldana

Thankfully, Saldana stuck with acting, despite her experience on the set. Her talent has given the world Neytiri in “Avatar” and Gamora in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It seems sci-fi was right up her alley.

“You just gravitate naturally to what your heart yearns for,” Saldana told The Hollywood Reporter. “And I grew up in a very science fiction-driven household.”

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Getty Images | David Livingston

Isaac C. Singleton Jr.

Singleton’s character Bo’sun was part of Captain Hector Barbossa’s crew. The pirate served as the Boatswain and First Mate. However, his loyalty had its limits. Singleton appeared in “Breaking Dawn” the following year.

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Isaac C. Singleton Jr.

Even if you haven’t seen the actor lately, you may well have heard him. Singleton has had parts in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” as well as “Bones.” In addition, he is a prolific voice actor, with parts in myriad animated shows and movies, as well as in video games.

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Getty Images | Jason Kempin

Kevin McNally

He was often referred to as Mr. Gibbs, Master Gibbs or just Gibbs. However, the character played by Kevin McNally (below, right) was actually named Joshamee Gibbs. Sparrow’s first mate, Gibbs was as devoted and skillful as he was inebriated.

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Kevin McNally

The English actor has worked in film, stage, television and even radio. He began acting as a teen and has never looked back. His credits include “Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera,” “Valkyrie” and the title role in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre production of “King Lear” in London.

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Getty Images | Rich Polk

Treva Etienne

Etienne’s role as Koehler in “Pirates of the Caribbean” may have been minor, but he was certainly memorable. Koehler was part of Barbossa’s crew. He and his pirate companion Twigg had no problem carrying out orders, even if those orders were to kill. Like the other actors who played bad-guy pirates in the film, Etienne looks much lovelier out of character.

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Treva Etienne

The actor and director has had a hand in several films and television shows, including sci-fi series “Falling Skies.” The British-born actor of Dominican parents has called for more opportunities for black and mixed-race British actors in Hollywood.

“Acting should not just work for one class of kids,” he told The Guardian. “It should work for all kids.”

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Lucinda Dryzek

When she was only 8 years old, Dryzek landed a role on “Pirates of the Caribbean.” She played young Elizabeth Swann, who opened the film singing about the life of a pirate. She also met young Will Turner before all went awry.

Dryzek, who now goes by Lucy, recently shared her first head shot on Twitter — taken around the time of her “Pirates” role.

Lucinda Dryzek

The actress is now all grown up. She did not outgrow acting, however. She has been the star of and has had supporting roles in numerous BBC television series. As seen on her Twitter feed, she’s also fond of changing her hair color — and seems to look stunning in every shade.

Vanessa Branch

Branch’s character Giselle was a prostitute living on Shipwreck Island. After receiving a ring and a promise of marriage from Sparrow, she discovered the truth. Not only did he give the same ring and promise to her friend, but it was all a ruse to sell them both off to the highest bidder. Ouch!

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Vanessa Branch

Branch has found success as an actress and model. Not only does she hold dual citizenship (she’s an American born in London), but she is also fluent in two languages.

“When I got older and went to college I graduated with a double major in Chinese language and English,” she told The Morton Report. “My parents hoped I would choose a career that was slightly more stable and would allow me to use my Chinese language skills. There are so many things I love to do and that I might do simultaneously in the future, but acting has always been it for me.”

Vanessa Branch 2012 photo
Getty Images | Dimitrios Kambouris