He is one of the most celebrated character actors in Hollywood and after spending more than four decades in films and theatre, Geoffrey Rush says it is now that he has started looking for roles that are closer to his age. In the last few years, the 65-year-old Australian actor has played dowager Lady Bracknell, King Lear and Albert Einstein. The Oscar-winning actor says he is choosing such roles as he can identify with their stage in life.
“I have realised in the last five years that I am older. So, I look at the roles like that. I never thought about the age of the characters before. In the last five years, I have played Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, King Lear in theatre, Ra in Gods of Egypt and now Albert Einstein. These are the roles that I think I am in the right age group to do. I look at their landscape and what I can bring to them,” Rush told PTI in an interview here.
The actor made his film debut with the Australian film Hoodwink in 1981. Since then, he has starred in Shine, for which he won the Academy Award for best actor, Les Miserables, Elizabeth, Shakespeare in Love and Quills. He had nine releases between 2001 to 2003 during which he starred in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”, as Captain Hector Barbossa and appeared in all the sequels, including Salazar’s Revenge, the latest film in the franchise.
Rush is returning to the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced sea adventure franchise for the fifth time along with Johnny Depp and several other members of the cast and crew. The King’s Speech star says he loves coming back to the Pirates fold as he enjoys working in the big family set-up. “I think that is something to do with me having spent a lot of time in the theatre where I was in companies for a very long period. With this franchise, which began from 2002 till 2017, we are still on the same thing. It has expanded.”
The Australian star says the family does not only include cast members like Johnny Depp, Kevin McNally, Joshamee Gibbs and Martin Klebba but also camera operators, make-up, costumes people. “It is a big group and it has been great. A producer like Jerry does not bring out the film every two years to smash the summer season. He waits to go. He does not make it unless there is something fresh and more developed.”
In this film, Barbossa’s story has a new twist and there is a big revelation in the end. Rush says he is impressed with the graph and the development of his character who began as a villain but is now much older and has a vulnerable side to him.
“In all the five chapters of the films, I have been fortunate enough to play a character that has transformed a lot. He was first a harsh psychopathic, self-serving villain , then a politician, later he worked for the King. Now, in this story he is older. What I love in this film is that all the elements of mythology, the piracy, is coming together. You get the back story and a deep secret in Barbossa’s life and a domestic vulnerable side to him.”
Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge has been directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg. Also starring Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario and Orlando Bloom, the film releases on May 26.