At the premiere of On Stranger Tides
Johnny Depp is back in action once again as Jack Sparrow (sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow) in this new addition to the franchise – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 3D. Unlike the past Pirates world premieres, the carpet was black instead of red.
There were plenty of pirates on May 7 at the Happiest Place on Earth. Crowds of fans camped out on Friday night until 7 a.m. when Disneyland opened its gates, finding themselves rushing in, filling up the best spots on the bleachers. Nearly 22,000 fans had waited, and some of them for up to 18 hours, to see their favorite stars when the premiere began at 5:30 p.m. Oh, and don’t forget the 187 press outlets from all over the world that filled up Mainstreet. Did I mention that the black carpet ran 2,700 feet (spanning more than 26,000 square feet) down Disneyland’s Mainstreet to Rivers of America?
Pirates on stilts and jugglers roamed the carpet, starting “Yo-ho” chants among the fans and directing the off-tune choruses of “It’s a Pirate’s Life for Me.” (What do you expect? Pirates don’t sing in key!) The scallywags managed to pass the time until the stars started arriving at 6 p.m.
I had a great time talking to some of the guest stars, such as Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place), Adam Irigoyan and Caroline Sunshine (Shake It Up!), Boo Boo Stewart (Eclipse), and Fivel Stewart. Some of the stars were already in pirate mode. Zachary Gordon from Diary of a Wimpy Kid had a pirate tattoo and a swashbuckling belt. Mickey was also dressed like a pirate, posing with the stars at the front of the carpet. Fans started chanting “Mickey! Mickey! Mickey!” and Mickey turned around, blowing kisses to the crowd.
The stars were really rocking the black carpet! Penelope Cruz, who plays the first female pirate (Angelica) in the franchise, arrived wearing a black low-cut feathered Marchesa gown. Geoffrey Rush as Hector Barbossa did not arrive with Chiquida (the adorable little monkey who appeared in all four movies) on his shoulder. But Chiquida did make an appearance, carried by her trainer who constantly fed her seedless black grapes. I had a great time talking to Robbie Kay (Cabin-boy), Kevin R. McNally (Joshamee Gibbs), Astrid Berges-Frisbey (Syrena, the mermaid), Sam Claflin (Phillip Swift, a young missionary), and Ian McShane (Blackbeard).
There were lots of Jack Sparrow look-alikes imitating the swagger and the gestures. But only one managed to convince the press. He was dressed up like Johnny, not Jack Sparrow – old-fashioned suit, shades, hat, and hair. But the press caught on quick. This Johnny arrived way too early!
Finally, at about 8:15 p.m., the man of the hour arrived, signing autographs for his fans. The real Johnny Depp talked to a few major outlets, and devoted the rest of his time on the black carpet to his fans.
Soon, Depp took a shortcut to the Rivers of America where Disney hoisted up a screen (six stories high and nine stories wide) on Tom Sawyer’s Island to show the 3D adventure of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Each ticket cost $1,000, and all of the money went to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
As fans began to leave the bleachers, we left the black carpet with our Disney escort and exited Disneyland. What a (black) night to remember!
Photo: A general view of Micky Mouse at the world premiere of Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at Disneyland on May 7, 2011 in Anaheim, United States. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage, courtesy Disney)