Brenton Thwaites, 27, is the Australian actor playing Orlando Bloom’s son in the summer blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Salazar’s Revenge. And just like Orlando, Thwaites is already turning heads as a charismatic leading man who’s also got the heart-throb good looks of his on-screen father.
But when asked if Bloom offered any paternal acting advice about dealing with Johnny Depp or taking on the challenges of life on board the Black Pearl, Thwaites jokingly retorts: ‘No, none, the bastard.’
‘He was just such a legend on set,’ Thwaites says instead, ‘it really wasn’t a father son thing at all, it was all just such a fun, professional set with these huge talents like Orlando that things didn’t feel like an education in that sense. It was just watching absolute pros working their arses off, you know?’
Having taken the Australian rite of passage by appearing in Home and Away, Thwaites soon booked jobs in films appearing in the 2016 blockbuster, Gods of Egypt, opposite Gerard Butler (300) and Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Then at the age of just 20 Thwaites moved to LA to pursue his acting career. ‘Its such a strange place,’ he says, ‘I was ready to come and work for a living but at the same time I was too young to even buy drink.’
It was all just such a fun, professional set with these huge talents like Orlando [Bloom] and Johnny [Depp]
Now Thwaites is set to appear in the fifth instalment of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean. Although by no means a reboot, the latest Pirates franchise has reunited many of the original cast members including Kiera Knightly, Orlando Bloom, and Geoffrey Rush.
‘It was just such an honour,’ Thwaites adds. ‘When you get the whole crew back together like they have on Pirates 5 it can feel a little like being the “New Kid”, sure, but the franchise is huge enough that when you step foot on production everything, down to the smallest detail, has been thought through.’
‘It was a huge deal being on set with everyone, I mean Johnny Depp c’mon,’ Thwaites explains, ‘but its not like I was going to school or anything. I’d been on set with Geoffrey [Rush] before and he’s an Aussie film legend so that was great. We hadn’t spent much time together last time so getting to spend more time with him was great.’
‘Also having Kaya [Scodelario] on set too made everything just tonnes easier,’ he adds. Scodelario (25), like Thwaites is a new addition to the Pirates of the Caribbean cast. Also similarly to Thwaites, Scodelario first found fame as a regular on the cult classic television show Skins.
‘She was new too so it wasn’t just me and Javier [Bardem] and Johnny [Depp] chilling, you know? And as fun as being on set can be she really was there to work, you know? That just makes you step up even more when you are both new and you you look over and see Kaya working that hard – it’s inspirational.’
But you only have to spend a short amount of time with Thwaites before you realise that he doesn’t seem to need much extra “inspiration”.
Thwaites looks every bit the “creative type” from his goatee beard to his long hair. But perhaps the most telling sign of the fact that he’s a genuine free spirit is the enormous leather-bound journal he brings with him to our interview.
‘Oh that’s just my journal, I’ve always kept one,’ he says when asked about the book. ‘It gives me a sense of home and just tells my story you know.’
‘I keep maps of where I’ve walked that day, like today,’ he says pointing at a street nearby the hotel we are sat in, ‘here’s me in London.’
I’ve always kept a journal. It gives me a sense of home and just tells my story, you know?
As he flicks through it’s clear that he isn’t exaggerating when he says his life is in these pages. Everything from leaflets to receipts to pictures are contained within the leaves of this journal.
‘Most important to me is my family and the pictures and updates about my kid and wife,’ Thwaites says. ‘Its about where I am at a specific time in my life and luckily, right now, thats about them for sure.’
Though he still looks young, and in many ways Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is a breakout role, Thwaites is actually a family man. He might be playing Henry Turner, the son of Orlando Bloom’s character, but Thwaites already has a daughter of his own.
‘I was so lucky to be able to shoot so much of the film in Australia and actually spend time with my family at home.’ While filming Pirates 5 he and his partner was expecting the arrival of their daughter.