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Pirates Of The Carribean’s Davy Jones On His Hilariously Sad Costume

Bill Nighy describes the elaborate process of creating Davy Jones in Dead’s Man Chest and subsequent Pirates of the Caribbean films. The English actor, known for his roles in Love Actually and Shaun of the Dead, famously appeared as the monstrous villain Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. The adventure film was the second installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley. It broke several box office records upon its release in 2006. Nighy’s character was inspired by sea lore, and though Davy Jones was human once upon a time, his appearance gradually became more sea-like, growing octopus-like tentacles on his face and hands.

Bill Nighy describes the challenges of creating Davy Jones’ iconic look for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. In a Vanity Fair video on YouTube where the actor revisits acting experiences throughout his career, Nighy describes the complex and often isolating experience of portraying the character. The actor admits that he expected to inhabit the character wearing a physical costume, only to be informed that Davy Jones would be created with CGI.

Related: It’s Too Late For Bill Nighy To Return As POTC’s Davy Jones

Fortunately, Nighy resisted the temptation to jump ship on Davy Jones. The result garnered much praise following Dead Man’s Chest‘s release. Davy Jones’ appearance earned the film’s creative team the 2006 Academy Award for Visual Effects and was named the tenth most impressive use of CGI in cinema by Vanity Fair in 2007. Some film critics even mistook Davy Jones’ appearance for special effects makeup and prosthetics.

However, Nighy’s comments touch on an important aspect of the relationship between actors and CGI. Wearing movement detectors and skin-tight outfits in a bare green-screened studio is a challenging and arguably unnatural process for an actor. After reprising the role of Gandalf in The Hobbit franchise, Ian McKellen lamented the use of CGI and its unfortunate effects on his craft, describing the difficulties of delivering lines to a green screen instead of feeding off the energy of a living, physical counterpart. As Nighy describes, it can be both physically uncomfortable and socially isolating on set. CGI demands a lot of imagination on the part of the performers and can’t be as inspiring or creatively satisfying as diving into the character’s clothes, environment, and physicality.

Since Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest came out in 2006, the use of digital effects has not only skyrocketed but also improved exponentially. However, Bill Nighys recent comments address the challenges that intensive digital processes can put on the performer. With the never-ending rise of Marvel, Star Wars, and other fantasy productions, here’s hoping Hollywood will strike a balance that showcases the jaw-dropping possibilities of CGI in storytelling while also creating an environment that allows actors to thrive.

Next: Margot Robbie’s POTC Reboot Cancellation Is Bad News For The Franchise

Source: Vanity Fair/YouTube

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