What it’s like to play Captain Jack Sparrow at Disneyland

It’s not the cleanest of articles, but offers some interesting insight, perhaps PG13-ish.  A few hightlights:

  • Disney wanted us to tone Jack down, so they put us through an acting class to discover reasons why Jack walks and talks the way he does. Obviously he is based on Keith Richards, who’s always messed up, which is why they came up with the class. “Don’t be flirtatious,” they told us. “See women as trouble.” And they said as far as alcohol goes, don’t even mention drinking. But the Pirates of the Caribbean song is all about drinking, and they’re drinking all along the ride. So I eventually broke that rule, because it would have taken me out of character. When parents took pictures, I’d say, “Everyone say ‘rum,’ ” and the parents loved it. The kids would just ask, “What’s rum?”
  • When training started, I found out the park allowed mustaches but had a no-facial-hair policy for all employees. I had the Jack goatee, and I threw a small fit.
  • I also had to sign documents that stated if I was in the park and out of costume, I could not tell people that I played Jack Sparrow. I was told that the thing for employees to say was, “I am friends with Jack Sparrow.”
  • Disney had invented a Jack Sparrow autograph the three of us learned, and immediately the line for autographs was gigantic.
  • We were told Disney prefers that the characters don’t date, and the characters even have a slogan: “Don’t Date Disney,” or DDD. Dating at Disneyland is difficult. But I already had a thing for the Ariels when I arrived.


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