How Keith Richards helped Paul McCartney land his Pirates 5 cameo (exclusive)

Hollywood uber-producer Jerry Bruckheimer has finally revealed just how – and why – The Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney ended up getting a cameo in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge’ (in cinemas 25 May).

Sir Paul revealed his surprise ‘Pirates 5’ cameo earlier this month by sharing his character poster for the film on social media with the hashtag #PiratesLife. Bruckheimer tells Yahoo Movies the rocker was a late replacement for Keith Richards (Captain Edward Teague in the third and fourth ‘Pirates’ films) who was unable to shoot a scene.

“Keith Richards, who was in a couple of previous ‘Pirates’ movies, was on tour and and unavailable,” the ‘Top Gun’ producer explains in our video above.

Keith’s band The Rolling Stones were touring North America with the Zip Code Tour in 2015 while ‘Pirates 5’ was in production in Australia, but luckily Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow) had more rock icons in his phone book to call upon. “Johnny [Depp] is very close with Paul McCartney, they’ve worked together in the past,” Bruckheimer adds.

“He picked up the phone and called Paul and said, ‘Paul, you want to be a pirate?’, Paul said ‘Sure I want to be pirate!'”

Paul McCartney shared his character poster on Twitter (Disney)
Paul McCartney shared his character poster on Twitter (Disney)

McCartney plays Jack Sparrow’s uncle – also named Jack – who appears in a prison scene when Johnny Depp’s louche outlaw is being led out to his execution. It’s a funny little scene and a great reminder of the superb comic timing of the star of ‘Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Help’.

“It was great, he came in and just shot for one day. It’s just a nice little touch,” shares Geoffrey Rush who returns as Sparrow’s rival Captain Barbossa.

Keith Richards as Captain Teague (Disney)
Keith Richards as Captain Teague (Disney)

Everyone involved was impressed with McCartney’s commitment to the role, with Bruckheimer calling him a “gentleman” and praising his professionalism revealing that the Beatle even improvised some of his own lines.

“He’s extraordinary in the movie,” adds Javier Bardem, the vengeful Captain Salazar of the film’s title.

“I’ve seen the movie three times now, and it makes me laugh every time. I think he’s so good in it.”

‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge’ sails into UK cinemas on Thursday, 25 May. Watch a new clip below.

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