Kaya Scodelario has become known over the years for her work in the science fiction and fantasy genre, having worked in films such as 2010’s Clash of the Titans and the Maze Runner franchise. Now she is back in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales playing Carina Smyth, a feisty astrologer who goes on a quest to discover her identity.
Screen Rant got a chance to sit down with Kaya on press day, where we discussed more about her character’s journey throughout the film, what sets Carina apart from Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann, and what we should expect from Maze Runner: The Death Cure.
I love this film. Congratulations.
Kaya Scodelario: Aw. Thank you.
You go on this amazing journey looking for a sense of meaning. Tell me about the emotional spectrum at play going on that journey and you, without actually giving away any spoilers away, you have everything towards the end of this film that you want and just as quickly have it taken from you. Talk to me about that a little bit.
Kaya Scodelario: Yeah. I mean, for me, her whole journey is about finding her identity and trying to make sense of who she is in the world. She is very progressive for her time. She is a young woman that wants to study at university and she is an orphan. She doesn’t have any identity, but she is insanely passionate and determined. For me, it was great to kind of get to play a character like that in a movie this size. And then, you’re right! She kind of goes through the motions and she discovers who she is, essentially, and what she thinks she’s been searching for. But I think it’s kind of like life. She realizes that she was there all along. She has her identity and it’s okay to kind of invent your own and I’m kind of excited to see what could happen next because she’s open to anything.
Right. Next is a great question. But Karina is such a strong character and I love that about her. But people who are familiar with the franchise, but obviously are not familiar with this character, there is going to be a lot of comparisons to Keira Knightley’s character, Elizabeth. What can you say are the major differences? Obviously, they are not the same at all!
Kaya Scodelario: No. I think for me I went into knowing that they are definitely, as I put it, they were from different sides of the track. Carina had to work for everything. She’s had to survive completely on her own. She has not been brought up in a luxurious world. The backstory that I created for her is that she left the orphanage very young and I think that’s kind of what set them apart initially. I think they have some similarities in that they are quite stubborn and, you know, they have some authority and they aren’t afraid to use it, but I think Carina’s comes from a grittier place and a place of survival. She’s always had to survive.
Where would you like to see your character go next in the next Pirates?
Kaya Scodelario: I would really like to see her explore more of her scientific beliefs. Yeah and kind of, you know, incorporate that into the pirate world and find the link between the fantasy and the science. I think that could be really interesting.
This film could be an end, but it also seems like a new beginning. Which one is it to you?
Kaya Scodelario: To me, I don’t really know. I kind of go between. No, I think it’s a new beginning. I think these two characters – Carina and Henry – are very much their own characters in this saga. It would be great to see what they could do next.
You know, we know that you have another franchise coming up – The Maze Runner. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Kaya Scodelario: Yeah. We just wrapped filming. And I think we are really saying a great goodbye to these characters and we are tying up all the loose ends. This is a rescue mission movie. They want to catch Minho. They are breaking into W.C.K.D and we are kind of trying to understand the decision Teresa she did in the last movie. That she is not just a betrayer.
Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack. Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. The executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Terry Rossio and Brigham Taylor. The story is by Jeff Nathanson and Terry Rossio, and Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay.