The fourth film in the wildly popular and successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is due to be released on DVD/BD next month. To help drum up some excitement for it Go,See,Talk got to speak with one of the beautiful mermaid syrens of the film. Taking some time out from her whirlwind of popularity, the lovely Ms. Astrid Bergès-Frisbey (who played Syrena) talked about becoming part of the Pirates phenomenon.
What follows is the transcription of my all too brief interview with her yesterday. For such a young actress to be thrown into such a beloved franchise she’s taking it all surprisingly in stride. Still not sure she’s dreaming all of this but very much enjoying the ride Astrid, with excitement in her voice, fully appreciates and is grateful for her role in it all.
Good Morning…or wait, what time is it in France?
The time? Oh, it is 6PM here.
Well then, Good Evening. From what I’ve read it sounds like you had a pretty exhausting casting process. Can you take me through your experience?
Exhausting, hmm, I don’t know if I’d use that exact word but it was three steps in the casting. The first audition was in Paris, the second one in L.A.a few days after and the last one in London. I won’t say exhausting but I will say it was quite an experience because it was so surprising. When I did the first audition, for me I was sure it they’d never pick me because my English was not very good and because I was a nobody. I just focused on my English and try to feel as comfortable and professional as I am in French and Spanish and finally I was comfortable doing the audition and acting the scene I had to play. I couldn’t believe the surprise when my agent called me the day after or two days after and saying”oh my God, you’re going to LA for a second audition”. It was so surprising you know. It was my second time in the US, the first time was a few months before but it was my first time in LA.
It was really different from any previous casting I did before and full of surprises. When I was in London for my third audition, just the evening before, my agent called me as said “you’ve got the part”. I said “are you serious? ” I had just gotten to my hotel room and I told her “I’m doing an audition tomorrow with two actors. Is this a joke?”. She said “no, no, no, you got the part. We’re looking for schedules and things and they want you”. I remember screaming in my room and thinking my God and then took the good news and put it aside so I could be rested, focused and professional for the two guys, actors who were auditioning the next day even though I got the part.
Was one of those actors Sam Calfin?
Yes Sam, it was him. It was a casting full of surprises and honestly I could have never thought before that I’d be part of a American blockbuster film or franchise of which I was a fan as a teenager. It’s extraordinary and I’m so lucky and grateful.
OK so you were a fan before which I guess is always important. But now that you’re part of this series, which is you favorite film?
I would say number 1 and number 4
Good choices. But I bet you might have been biased to part of your answer.
What do you think was your favorite part about shooting the film?
I would say everything. The entire experience was really intense. It was a 6 month filming schedule and again I would say everything because you have so much to learn and you have so much to discover.
Even in my time off I used to go on set just to watch and learn how the 3D camera works, how the make-up artists work and all those sorts of things. There’s so much to watch and learn and live in a film but it what made it easy is that the people were so generous and welcoming so I really felt comfortable while going through this great experience.
Must have been a lot to take in. What did you find most challenging?
For the challenges I would say my English. The beginning of my time on set it was quite uncomfortable for me so say a sentence in English so that was the biggest challenge for me. Next was just my character because it was such a special character and I had to create something and something physically too. It was full of challenges. I remember I was really anxious about what to expect when I got there becasue I didn’t know what the set would look like. And then I arrived there and understood how it worked and then I felt at home.
As Syrena did you need or get a lot of direction?
Yes I worked together with Rob Marshall and the CGI team to find the way that this character moved. Everybody was so amazing working with me and supported me. I felt like I was in really good hands.
Being a fan and now being part of the series and working with these actors, who is your favorite character and why?
Oh, favorite character, um, I would say Jack Sparrow *laughs*
Yeah that’s an easy answer isn’t it?
You know, it’s one of the most fantastic characters of all time. It’s a character that permits Johnny Depp to do anything he wants to do. And Johhny Depp is one of the best actors ever making it just fascinating to watch him as Jack Sparrow.
I completely agree with everything you said Astrid. Well I think that was the last question. Thank you for your time.
*and told we’re completely out of time* Thank you very much
A huge thanks from Go,See,Talk to Disney and Astrid Bergès-Frisbey for arranging time for this interview and for their work on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Astrid’s favorite character is, not surprisingly, Jack Sparrow but let me ask you this: Who is favorite your character in the series?? Also, out of the four films, do you have a favorite??