Penelope Cruz is ready to head back to the world of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as it lands on DVD and Blu-Ray October 18. Cruz’s turn in the Pirate ship reunited her with her Blow co-star Johnny Depp and got the actress some time doing a little swashbuckling she would welcome doing again. Cruz talks to Movie Fanatic about the experience of joining Johnny Depp in the Yo-Ho world of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Movie Fanatic: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a family affair for you. Tell us about how your brother and sister are involved?
Penelope Cruz: My sister, Monica, is an actress and a dancer who is very good with swordfights because she had done some in a movie before. By the end of the film shoot, I was six months pregnant so we needed a little extra help. Monica very generously came in and covered for me. And my brother, Eduardo, is an amazing musician who wrote the beautiful tango music in the film.
Movie Fanatic: What did you most enjoy about playing Angelica in Pirates?
Penelope Cruz: She loves games, but she has a good heart and she has a religious background with very strong values, so she's full of contradictions. Angelica is very tricky, manipulative and dangerous when she has to be.
Movie Fanatic: After seeing the film, she is manipulative, but how did you find trying to out-maneuver Depp’s Captain Jack?
Penelope Cruz: I think that's what makes the character so interesting. In order to get what she wants, she knows that she has to manipulate people. Angelica knows that to be the equal of people like Jack Sparrow, she has to be a very good liar, a very good actress and a very good manipulator.
Movie Fanatic: Would you say she is able to influence Jack?
Penelope Cruz: Angelica has a personal score to settle with Jack, but at the same time she needs him because they are both on a mission together. They spend the entire movie tricking each other, but at the same time they help each other, too.
Movie Fanatic: It’s been a decade since you first worked with Johnny Depp on Blow. How was the reunion?
Penelope Cruz: He’s smart, clever, fast and funny. In fact, he’s one of the funniest people I know. However, he also has a very big heart. One of the things that surprised me the most about Johnny Depp is the fact that he’s incredibly humble. He’s extremely kind to everyone and he’s very sweet, but he also has a really brilliant mind.
Movie Fanatic: You dance the tango with him in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. How game was he? Is he a good dancer?
Penelope Cruz: At first, he kept saying, “I’m not going to be able to do this. I’m not a good dancer. I can’t dance!” Johnny was a little scared about the tango. But then he learned the choreography in two minutes. He’s a great dancer with a fantastic sense of rhythm. I guess that isn’t surprising when you consider the fact that he knows how to play a lot of instruments. He’s a very good singer, too.
Movie Fanatic: Your and Johnny’s characters have an interesting backstory. How did you envision their relationship?
Penelope Cruz: We played a married couple in a movie called Blow where we fought in every single scene. And in Pirates of the Caribbean, we fight a lot, too. We’re always playing enemies that love each other. It was great fun to create this fantastic relationship by working with Johnny Depp. Whenever we work together, we always end up playing characters that fight.
Movie Fanatic: Was your character influenced by anyone in particular?
Penelope Cruz: I looked at people around me who are very bossy, or people who are very good liars and are very manipulative. These inspirations aren’t actually pirates in real life, obviously, but they are still good inspirations. Most of them wear a suit and a tie, but they are like pirates in other ways. I was inspired by a lot of people like that.
Movie Fanatic: Did you enjoy the exotic locales of the film’s shoot? Did it ever really feel like work?
Penelope Cruz: We’re very lucky. Film shoots take us to places that you would never see if you weren’t making a movie. One of the beautiful privileges of this job is that we get to travel so much and discover beautiful places.