Though it doesn’t seem like it, Captain Jack Sparrow first sashayed onto movie screens over a decade ago in The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
The movie became an instantly beloved adventure tale, and has spawned a number of sequels, video games and certainly a few careers. But what have the stars been up to since then? Read on to find out.
In the years since the release of 1984 horror classic, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Johnny Depp has portrayed more iconic characters than most actors could in several lifetimes. From mafiosos to cops, from Willy Wonka to Ed Wood, he always brings something unique and memorable to the screen.
This was never more true than in his role as Captain Jack Sparrow, whose quirky, dandyish persona was inspired by Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and, says Depp, Pepé Le Pew. Whatever the inspiration, the performance struck a nerve with audiences.
Since the first Pirates hit theaters in 2003, Depp has stayed wildly busy. In addition to the three additional Pirates films already completed, a fourth—subtitled Dead Men Tell No Tales—is set for release in 2017.
In the Terry Gilliam curiosity, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Depp helped fill in for the late Heath Ledger. Harkening back to his criminal roles in Blow and Donnie Brasco, he portrayed two real life characters who had spent time on the FBI most wanted list: John Dillinger in 2009’s Public Enemies and James “Whitey” Bulger in this year’s Black Mass.
In addition to the newest Pirates film, Depp is set for a reprisal of his Mad Hatter role in a Alice Through the Looking Glass, plus a starring role in Yoga Hosers, a new Kevin Smith flick about teen yogis battling an ancient evil presence…or something.
Geoffrey Rush brought a swaggering, unpredictable presence to the screen as Captain Hector Barbossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, a far cry from his breakthrough role as a fragile pianist in Shine (1996).
Since then, the 64-year old Australian actor has acted in The King’s Speech (2010), portraying an unconventional speech therapist who helps King George IV (Colin Firth) master his impediment, and guide his country through war. This film took home several Oscars and earned Rush a nomination for best supporting actor.
As a voice artist, he’s worked in several projects recently, including a role as the narrator in this year’s animated film, Minions.
Outside of the newest Pirates of the Caribbean, Rush has several upcoming projects including a biography of the Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti and a role as Ra in Gods of Egypt, about a common thief teaming up with a mythical deity for a quest in Egypt.
Angel-faced actor Bloom seems to have had a charmed career. After a few small roles, Peter Jackson happened to see him performing on stage and offered him a role in The Lord of the Rings. That same year, he appeared in the action flick Black Hawk Down, and two years later, he starred as Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Since then, he has taken roles in several other larger-than-life action adventure projects, including parts in the Homeric tale of Troy (2004), the crusades-centric Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and 2011’s The Three Musketeers.
More recently, he took on the role of Romeo in a stage production filmed for broadcast in theaters, and had a role in this year’s indie sleeper hit, Digging for Fire. 2016 will see the release of Unlocked, a thriller about a possible biological attack on London, co-starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Douglas.
Keira Knightley first turned heads in the admittedly terrible Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace and followed it with a well-received role in Bend It Like Beckham. Since then, she hasn’t left the big screen—or the various “Sexiest Stars Alive” lists.
In her role as Elizabeth Swann opposite Captain Jack Sparrow, Knightley memorably burned up all the booze while the two are marooned on a desert island, leaving him to utter the immortal question: But why is the rum gone?
Apart from her recurring role in the Pirate world, Knightley has appeared in everything from Love Actually (2003) and Pride & Prejudice (2005) to Seeking A Friend for the End of the World (2012), where she co-starred alongside Steve Carell, and the 2014 action thriller, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
This year, she is starring in the mountain adventure film, Everest, which is based on a true story.
Playing the straight man to Depp’s lunatic pirate, Jack Davenport’s Commodore James Norrington is Knightley’s fiance and embodies the respectable, obvious path for her life. But an obvious path is not in the cards for a movie about pirates, and he lays down his life to save hers. So it goes.
Luckily, through the magic of movies, this didn’t stop him in appearing in two of the Pirates sequels. Since then, he’s worked steadily in both television and film. Last year he had a part in the Colin Firth “millennial James Bond” copycat, Kingsman: The Secret Service. He currently has several projects in development, including a TV movie with Sarah Silverman, and a role in Americana, about an “alcoholic film editor putting together the pieces of his movie star sister’s murder.”
The son of a Welsh coal miner, Pryce was already an accomplished, diverse actor before some of his co-stars were even born. A winner of multiple Tonys from his stage work, the 68-year old actor truly shot to fame as protagonist Sam Lowry in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.
In his role as Governor Swann, the father of Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth, he played a pushover bureaucrat with a good heart. Since then, he’s appeared in everything from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra to the indie film Listen Up Philip.
Still, most fans will know him from HBO’s Game of Thrones, where he portrayed the increasingly dangerous High Sparrow.
Like co-star Jonathan Pryce, Mackenzie Crook also had a memorable stint on Game of Thrones (as Orell, one of the Wildlings).
Born in England to a hospital manager mother and a father who worked in the airline industry, he worked at Pizza Hut and pursued comedy before finding acting success in the original, British version of The Office.
Recently, Crook has popped up on television screens more often than in theaters, taking on recurring roles in Almost Human, Detectorists, and Ordinary Lies. Next year, however, he is set to co-star in Dark Ascension, a film about the battle between good and evil.