What is this? From this page you can use the Social Web links to save ‘Pirates’ 4: Keith Richards ‘still shocked’ to work for Disney [updated] to a social bookmarking site, or the E-mail form to send a link via e-mail.

Social Web

E-mail

E-mail It
May 08, 2011

‘Pirates’ 4: Keith Richards ‘still shocked’ to work for Disney [updated]

Posted in: Movies

keith richards 1 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

Johnny Depp and Keith Richards at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland (Kevin Winter/Getty)

keith richards 2 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

Keith Richards and his wife Patti Hansen arrive at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

keith richards 3 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

Johnny Depp and Keith Richards at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland (Kevin Winter/Getty)

keith richards 4 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

Keith Richards at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland (Frazer Harrison/Getty)

keith richards 5 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

Johnny Depp and Keith Richards at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

keith richards 6 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

Keith Richards at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland (Jason Merritt/Getty)

keith richards 7 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

Johnny Depp and Keith Richards at the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland (Kevin Winter/Getty)

keith richards 8 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

arrives at the World Premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday, May 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

After decades of dark excess, Keith Richards seems wildly out of place at family-friendly Disneyland, but on Saturday, there he was, a rock ‘n’ roll exile on Main Street USA. “No one is more surprised by all of it than me,” the Rolling Stones guitarist said with a wink. “I never expected to work for the Disney organization for a while. I’m still shocked, but, hey, it’s all good fun.”

Richards first got on board for a cameo in the 2007 film “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” – he played the scoundrel father, Capt. William Teague, to a scoundrel son, Capt. Jack Sparrow. Sparrow is, of course, portrayed by Johnny Depp, whom Richards describes as a “blood on blood” friend, and it’s quite apparent they have a jolly good time playing pirate together. “If Johnny says he wants to do something, well, it doesn’t take much to get me to show up,” Richards said with a rasp of a laugh.

On Saturday, Disneyland was given over to the massive premiere of the fourth movie in the franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” and with a pared-down cast (Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy and Jonathan Pryce missed the boat — or at least their characters did), Richards was given a surprising amount of spotlight during the six-hour event, which was sort of a pop-culture pep rally. More than 700 fans paid $1,000 each to attend and watch the 3-D film on a six-story outdoor screen, eat dinner, see the stars up close and listen to a concert where Disney performers dressed as buccaneers performed “Billie Jean” and “Poker Face” like wedding singers walking the plank.

johnny depp and keith richards Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

Johnny Depp and Keith Richards at the premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland. (Mario Anzuoni / Reuters)

Richards, with a big pirate grin, went through it all, shrugging, bowing and staggering, the same bleary ballet that famously inspired much of Depp’s on-screen shtick as Sparrow when he was first putting his now-signature character together for the 2003 film “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” In this new movie, Richards is on screen maybe two minutes, but it’s enough time to kill a man, pass on some key knowledge to his offspring and deliver a line that gets one of the biggest laughs in the movie.

“Well, basically, I tell Johnny what to do at one point, and then I get out of there,” Richards said on Saturday.

He had just arrived at the theme park in a black SUV and was waiting in a green room where two makeup artists stood by to touch up the Disney Channel starlets and MTV faces who showed up for the all-hands-on-deck media event. It was a different world than a Stones stadium show, but there was one thing Richards recognized. “You can hear ‘em screaming already,” he said, nodding toward the wall and the thousands of fans beyond who lined the park’s sidewalks and already had waited hours for a glimpse of the celebrity parade to the premiere.

“This is so different than what I usually do, and I love to see how’s it made, you know, and this is one 3-D with the big cameras and all, and I’m interested in that, and I get to see the latest techniques. And I don’t have to really do a lot of work. We did it in London at Pinewood Studios, and it was the usual thing. You get there early, and you wait around a long time. The makeup takes a long time; it’s an incredible amount of makeup, and sometimes you’re sitting there next to a guy who’s getting scales put on. ‘Hey, how you doin’?’ It’s a lot of preparation to do something that will be short, but it’s amazing stuff, as you expect.”

A few days earlier, Rob Marshall, the director of the new film, said the set crackled with excitement on the day that Richards was scheduled to do his pirate duty. “What an amazing guy; he can’t help but be himself, and it was just an honor to have him come in,” said the Oscar-nominated filmmaker (“Chicago“) who picked up the franchise after the three-film run by Gore Verbinski. “We were in London too, so people were just freaked out that he was coming.”

keith richards 6 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

Keith Richards at the premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" at Disneyland. (Jason Merritt / Getty Images)

Marshall himself wrote the funny line that Richards delivered (a line went over big at the Saturday night screening), but he brought it to the rock star with some trepidation. “It required him to have some fun with himself, and I wasn’t sure how he’d feel about it, but it was great, he loved it,” Marshall said. “He is just so self-effacing and funny in general. I told him he was doing some great acting and he said, ‘You should see my Hamlet.’ “

Marshall made it clear that the whole scene with Richards, which takes place and in and around a scabby old tavern early in the film, was put in to satisfy the star of the franchise.

“He and Johnny have an extraordinary chemistry together, and they really love each other,” Marshall said. “When Johnny said to me and to us, ‘I want Keith in this one’ and what worked out really nicely is that instead of a cameo he’s actually really part of the storytelling and he puts the plot in motion in a way. He sends Jack on his quest, and it really brings a smile to your face when you see them on screen together.”

Richards only enhanced his real-world desperado aura and rock stature with “Life,” the bestselling memoir released in paperback just this month. The publisher – Little, Brown and Co. – paid $7 million for the book of 500-plus pages (which was written with veteran journalist James Fox), and the investment has paid off. Richards said the wave of positive reviews for the book was more than he expected.

life Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]

“I was blown away, actually. I don’t know what I expected, but what we heard back was so strong,” Richards said. “There were really good reviews from some really hard critics too, and I was amazed that we were able to get the story across to people and to those critics and they all mostly liked it. I mean, my records don’t get such good reviews.”

The book’s accounts of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll led to a breathless Drudge Report post in October that quoted an unnamed “inside source” and stated that alarmed Disney executives might cut Richards from the film. That only made sense if the Disney leadership and the moviegoing public were somehow unaware that Richards was a demigod of debauchery; perhaps the author of the post was unaware of a similar sort of rumor circulated before the release of the third “Pirates” film. All of it misses the point that Richards was imported into the project to bring a whiff of authentic danger to the amusement-park pirating.

“If there is a pirate soul among us, it’s Keith Richards,” Marshall said.

Richards walked the same carpet path at the previous “Pirates” premiere, but he said his first trip to the “happiest place on earth” was as paying customer. “I once brought my kids here, back in the ’60s. I was a punter then; I rode all the rides,” Richards said, although that might be slippery memory considering his first child, Marlon Richards, was born in 1969, and his second, now known as Angela Richards, arrived in 1972. [FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post misstated the name of his daughter.] No matter, Richards was in a good mood on Saturday, and it was time to go meet the screaming masses, who reached out to shakes his hand or pleaded for an autograph. The fact that the youngest of those fans knew more about the Black Eyed Peas than they did “Black and Blue” didn’t bother Richards one bit. It actually provided a special sort of satisfaction.

“Not everybody that likes pirate movies necessarily likes rock ‘n’ roll, right, and so this all gives me another chance to communicate with different people,” Richards said. “Now everywhere there’s all these young people who know me as Capt. Teague, not as Keith Richards. ‘That’s Jack Sparrow’s dad!’ And that’s cool, man.”

– Geoff Boucher

RECENT AND RELATED

pirates of the caribbean stranger tides2 Pirates 4: Keith Richards still shocked to work for Disney [updated]“Pirates” director Rob Marshall on the joys of Johnny

Keith Richards talks (like a pirate) about pal Depp

“Pirates” king Jerry Bruckheimer gets royal treatment

Depp: “There’s a crack in my enthusiasm” for “Pirates 4”

Is the “Pirates” franchise sailing into rough waters?

VOTE: Who should star with Depp in “Lone Ranger”?

Author Tim Powers finds himself aboard “Pirates” ship

Gore Verbinksi and Depp will reunite for “Lone Ranger”

Ahoy matey: Johnny Depp stuns D23 fans


Return to: ‘Pirates’ 4: Keith Richards ‘still shocked’ to work for Disney [updated]