The next Pirates of the Caribbean movie probably won’t have Captain Jack Sparrow swaggering around on unsteady feet, but in the event they decide to throw in a knock-off of Disney’s most famous drunk pirate, here’s some free character development help for them.
I assumed Captain Jack was created after Johnny Depp had a fever dream about Keith Richards and a pile of loose dirty pocket change, but he says Jack Sparrow was created after boiling his brain in a 1000-degree sauna. During a speaking event with Filmpodium Zurich last month (via E! News), Johnny explained that he figured Jack Sparrow had been stuck on the high seas for the majority of his life, and therefore dealt with a whole lot of heat to the brain.
Most actors might say “I wouldn’t, I would just act like my brain had melted, because I’m a – wait for it – actor.” Not Johnny. Johnny hopped in his sauna at home, cranked the heat high, and waited for his brain to turn into an oven-baked brie.
“I sat in there for as long as I could until it started to affect me mentally. Which is to say, it was very, very hot, as was my brain. And then what happened is while I was in there, in that kind of heat you cannot stand still, but the worst of it is if you move, it kills you. So that in itself sort of gave me…yeah, like his brain has been part-boiled to some degree.”
Johnny added that sitting in a hot sauna for so long also gave him the feeling of walking on the deck of a ship.
Johnny was exaggerating, but I had to check to see if it’s possible to jack the temperature of a sauna up to 1000 degrees. 175 degrees F is typical. For reference, 212 degrees F is boiling water. So 1000 degrees is enough to burst you into flames as if you just looked directly into the Ark of the Covenant. Even the recommended 175 degrees would be enough to thoroughly steam clean the grime off Johnny from head to toe. I’m starting to think all that “sauna” time was just Johnny taking day-long naps on a pile of paint rags in a shed in his backyard.