French Newcomer Dives Into the Fourth ‘Pirates’ Film

angchen
Movie Talk
May 1, 2011
Astrid Berges-Frisbey Walt Disney Pictures
Astrid Berges-Frisbey Walt Disney Pictures

For young actors and actresses -- both in the U.S. and across the globe -- a break in a Hollywood movie can be the culmination of a lifelong dream. Especially if it's means working for two months in Hawaii on the fourth "Pirates of Caribbean" movie alongside Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz.

That dream became reality for 24-year-old Astrid Berges-Frisbey when she was cast as the ethereal mermaid Syrena in this summer's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." Born in Spain and raised in France, Berges-Frisbey makes her English language debut in the highly-anticipated sequel. But don't think she spent every free moment lounging around the beaches of Oahu where much of the film was shot. According to the studio, Berges-Frisbey was prohibited from spending too much time in the sun and ruining her pale complexion.

To see why mermaids are so important to the story of "On Stranger Tides," watch the exclusive new theatrical trailer below. And keep reading to learn more about this young European actress who is just getting her feet wet (so to speak) in America.

Watch it in HD >>

Astrid Berges-Frisbey originally hails from Barcelona but now resides in Paris. She made her acting debut in 2007 on French television, and has since appeared in films alongside notable talents Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Perez and Daniel Auteuil. She was already fluent in French, Spanish and Catalan, but she had to brush up on English after being cast in "On Stranger Tides."

Berges-Frisbey's character Syrena is one of eight mermaids featured in the film, but she plays a vital role in the story. Both Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and the villainous pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane) are hunting for the Fountain of Youth, and as Jack learns from Angelica (Penelope Cruz), you need a mermaid. Syrena is captured, and she develops a relationship with another new character, a missionary named Philip (Sam Claflin).

The actress told Digital Spy that the mermaids in the world of "Pirates" are different from what you're used to seeing in movies. She said, "It's not the pretty girl with a tail and her legs together, it's more kind of a woman-fish." She went on to say that when underwater, the mermaids will be entirely computer generated, like the skeleton pirates and Davy Jones's crew from the early films.

See posters and photos from 'On Stranger Tides' >>

Berges-Frisbey is joined by Australian actress Gemma Ward who plays the mermaid Tamara. The 23-year-old Ward has been a fashion model since she was 14, appearing on the cover of Vogue over 20 times. She was twice listed in Forbes Magazine's rankings of the world's 15 top earning models Ward previously acted in the Australian drama "The Black Balloon" and the American horror film "The Strangers."

To see Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Gemma Ward, and the rest of the dangerously alluring mermaids -- in 3D no less -- you'll have to catch "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" when it sails into theaters on May 20.

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