One of the most popular live-action franchises in the history of the Walt Disney Company is Pirates of the Caribbean. The films starred Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport, and Kevin McNally. While the first three films in the franchise were the most popular, there are a total of 5 films — The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, On Stranger Tides, and Dead Men Tell No Tales. There is even talk that Disney has an untitled Pirates of the Caribbean 6 in the works.
While people love the franchise and the actors, one of the stars of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was not an overall pleasant experience.
Zoe Saldana, known for her role as Gamora in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and her new Netflix show, From Scratch, recently revealed during an interview that her time on the Pirates of the Caribbean set was so terrible that she decided to not return for the future films.
Saldana recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about her new Netflix series and brought up her first major Hollywood experience, which was Pirates of the Caribbean. Per Entertainment Weekly:
“It was my first exposure to a major Hollywood mega movie, where there were just so many actors and so many producers and so many crew members,” Saldaña tells EW. “We were shooting in different locations, and the environments were not that agreeable, sometimes, to our shoot days. I was very young, and it was just a little too big for me, and the pace of it was a little too fast.”
She continued, “I walked away not really having a good experience from it overall. I felt like I was lost in the trenches of it a great deal, and I just didn’t feel like that was okay.” The experience led Saldaña to decide not to return to the franchise for any future installments.
While some directors and producers may write off one actor’s bad experience, that was not the case with Pirates executive producer, Jerry Bruckheimer. Saldana said that, when Bruckheimer learned of her experience, he actually apologized.
“Years later, I was able to meet with Jerry Bruckheimer, who apologized that I had that experience cause he really wants everyone to have a good experience on his projects,” she said. “That really moved me — the fact that he remembered that I had mentioned that during press, I guess, or an engagement I had done years before and that he felt compelled to bring it up and to take accountability.”Fortunately, Saldaña didn’t let her experience with Pirates impact her future career decisions about joining franchises. “To feel seen and heard as an artist, throughout the years, or even just as a person, means so much,” says Saldaña.
Saldana is still working with the Disney family and, while she is no longer a part of Guardians of the Galaxy, fans will be able to see her in Avatar: The Way of Water — which will hit theaters on December 16, 2022. Saldana will reprise her role as Ney’tiri in Avatar 3, Avatar 4, and Avatar 5.