DEAD Men Tell No Tales, but an Inverell man has a few tales to tell about being on the set of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, which premieres in Australia next week.
Nick Rhoades will attend the red-carpet premiere on the Gold Coast on Thursday, after being an extra in the filming in 2015.
Moveigoers should keep an eye out for a bewigged banker in a scene involving an unusual theft, mouthing something along the lines of, ‘Shit, they stole my ---- [redacted].”
Confidentiality rules mean Nick has no photos or video to share from behind the scenes, but he was prepared to bend the rules to tell some interesting stories about life on set and brushes with Hollywood bigwigs.
Nick said his aunt, actor Colleen Saunders, got him involved in the project because, well, “I’m her nephew and I’m a bucketload of fun”.
And unlike Jerry Seinfeld in the iconic “puffy shirt” episode, Nick did want to be a pirate.
It might have been assumed he’d be playing one due to his long hair, but he was brought to costume designer Penny Rose to be fitted out as a blacksmith.
“She looked at me and said, ‘Don’t be stupid – he’s an aristocrat’. I joked, ‘That’s what I would have thought, too’ and she told me to shut up and get over there to be dressed,” Nick said.
“It was in a lighthearted way, but there was no mucking around.”
Yes, Nick did meet Pirates star Johnny Depp, and he said it was the pits, so to speak.
“Johnny always comes onto set in character; if he’s supposed to be half-drunk, he comes on half-drunk and that’s how he starts,” Nick said.
“I met him purely because I didn’t realise I was blocking his way. A bunch of us were standing around working and he was trying to get through.
“I heard behind me, “Excuse me, mate’. I turned around and he had both his armpits up.
“He said, ‘Yes, I do smell that bad. Get out of the way’.”
There was also a don’t-you-know-who-I-am? close call with “a very dodgy-looking character going around taking photos” on the Gold Coast set.
“I went up to a security guard and said, ‘That weedy bastard taking sneaky photos, shouldn’t we lob him out of here?’
“The guard said, ‘We probably don’t want to do that – that’s Jerry Bruckheimer’ [producer of the Pirates films].”
Nick said his scenes were filmed in three roughly week-long blocks over four months in 2015, and 3D photos were taken in case his image needed to be digitally inserted into other scenes.
“They were about 14-16-hour days; we might start at 4am and might finish about 10pm or midnight,” he said.
“The weather was a big thing, too – a couple of days it rained, and we literally sat there all day in costume doing nothing. Lucky I had a good book.”
Nick has three projects keeping him busy – his restaurant/function centre, making Kingfisher Lures, and his guided bowhunting and fishing tours – so he would only act again “if it fits my curriculum”.
“It’s a lot of fun – very boring, too, at some stages – but the thing I enjoyed most about it was the other extras I was working with,” he said.
“They were nearly all professional – there was an investment banker and an archaeologist – so I enjoyed finding out what other people were doing in their lives … 90 per cent of the people there were like me: doing it for a laugh and having fun.”
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens at Inverell’s Majestic Cinemas on June 29.