What to Watch: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’

This week for What to Watch, we're highlighting the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series: On Stranger Tides.

In the film, the beloved Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is on the hunt for the fabled Fountain of Youth. He also crosses paths with a former lover named Angelica (played by the gorgeous Penélope Cruz) who forces him aboard the ship of the fearful pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane).

Cruz, who was our cover girl back in 2000 and 2005, described her character as a woman full of contradictions in a recent interview.

“Angelica is very tricky, manipulative and dangerous when she has to be,” Cruz said. “She loves games, but she has a good heart and she has a religious background with very strong values.” Sounds peligrosa!

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, now available on Blu-Ray 3D and in a 5-Disc Blu-Ray Combo Pack, was a bit of a family affair for Cruz. Both her siblings were involved in the project. Her brother Eduardo (who’s currently dating Mexican American actress Eva Longoria) wrote some of the tango music in the action film and Cruz’s sister, Monica, stood in as a body double for her towards the end of filming due to Cruz’s pregnancy.

Check out what else Cruz said about Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides below:

Is your character Angelica successful at manipulating Jack Sparrow?

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. 

How did you approach this interesting relationship?

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. 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.

Angelica dances the tango with Jack Sparrow in the movie. Were those scenes fun to film?

Johnny was a little scared about the tango. 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!" 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.

Johnny Depp has talked about Rolling Stones star Keith Richards being a huge inspiration behind Jack Sparrow. Who inspired your pirate, Angelica?

Angelica isn’t inspired by anybody you would know. 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.

It sounds like making the film was an adventure in itself….

It was exactly that. One of the beautiful privileges of this job is that we get to travel so much and to discover beautiful places. Film shoots take us to places that you would never see if you weren’t making a movie. We’re very lucky.