English actor Bill Nighy is probably one of the most underrated character actors in Hollywood. While not necessarily a star, his roles have been key to many well-known films over his nearly 40-year career.
In a recent interview with GQ, Nighy explains what it was like playing Davy Jones Pirates of the Caribbean.
Davy Jones was a soul torn by lost love
He turned his feelings of sadness into evil, terrorizing the seven seas and forcing sailors to become his undead servants. Nighy said Davy Jones only spoke with a Scottish accent “because everyone else stole all the other accents”.
In preparing for the role, the actor wanted to know what direction it should go, how Davy Jones sounds when he speaks, and the director simply said, “Wet.”
And the raunchy Scottish accent was born.
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Many other accents and voices appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise. Many of the main actors are English and simply used a close approximation of their natural voices. Celebrities like Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush and Ian McShane all had some semblance of English accents in the films.
Johnny Depp is, of course, American. His accent for Jack Sparrow was an interpretation of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, a sort of mock London accent.
Considering the source material from Pirates of the Caribbean Dating from the historical golden age of pirates like Edward Teach (Blackbeard) and other famous villains like Henry Morgan, Bartholomew Roberts, Anne Bonny and Captain Kidd, the accents aren’t entirely inaccurate.
But not all of these real pirates were English. Morgan and Roberts were Welsh. Bonny was Irish. Kidd was from Dundee, Scotland, according to History Extra. In the 1700s and 1800s the Royal Navy was desperate to contain British claims in the western hemisphere.
So hearing about Bill Nighy giving Davy Jones a Scottish accent isn’t far from historical accuracy. However, most other pirates in films have an English accent thanks to Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel treasure island from 1883, Notes The Voyage.
Bill Nighy said it was ‘sad’ on the set of ‘Dead Man’s Chest’
In his review of the role of Davy Jones, Nighy said it was sad to see him on the set Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
Since Davy Jones’ visual effects were all CGI, Nighy was the only actor not wearing a costume. He was adorned with 250 blurry white dots all over his face, a skullcap and what he called “baggy computer pajamas” so Industrial Light & Magic could get the octopus-like images into the final shots.
Nighy felt it was a very lonely place to be dressed up as an “idiot” on an American film set, even though he played the main villain in the film.
Rather than being a jerk, Nighy’s performance was creepy and slimy, perfect for a pirate villain, though his final look was vastly different from what the cameras had captured of hundreds of white dots and baggy pajamas.
No wonder Nighy has appeared in more than 100 projects during his tenure as a character actor. He can obviously take on many types of roles when asked to do so.
RELATED: Bill Nighy said it was ‘lonely’ on the set of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ while he was ‘dressed as an idiot’
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/bill-nighy-davy-jones-pirates-of-the-caribbean-scottish-everybody-else-nicked-other-accents.html/ Bill Nighy Said Davy Jones In ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ Is Scottish Because ‘Everyone Else Stole All The Other Accents’