‘8-year-olds just think pirates are cool’

Taika Waititi says now is a good time to bring the pirates back into focus with HBO Max Pirate comedy “Our flag means death”.

“Because they are uncomfortable,” Waititi, 46, told The Post. “They went through a small phase where everyone thought they were cool. There have been movies coming out,” he said, referring to “But Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise, starting in 2003. “But then people realized that 8-year-olds thought they were cool. They really haven’t been prominent since there were books written about them, probably in the 1700s.”

“Our Flag Means Death,” which premieres Friday, March 3 — and created by David Jenkins (“Earth Man”) — is a half-hour comedy set in The Golden Age of Pirates 1717. The film follows wealthy landowner Stede Bonnet (Rhys Darby, “Flight of the Conchords”) as he abandons his comfortable life and finds his way to the world of fame. name “The Gentleman Pirate”, which puts his dubious crew down.

Arrogant "Gentleman's Pirate" Stede (Rhys Darby), left, with crewmate Oluwande (Samson Kayo), right, standing on the deck of a ship.
Foppish “gentleman pirate” Stede (Rhys Darby), left, with crewmate Oluwande (Samson Kayo), right.
Leslie Jones points her sword at Rhys Darby in "Our flag means death."
Leslie Jones and Rhys Darby in “Our Flag Means Death.”
Aaron Epstein

Along the way, he crosses paths with larger-than-life characters at sea like Blackbeard (Waititi, who also serves as director and executive producer on the show).

“It was fun to clear things up about pirates,” said Waititi, who is also known for “Thor: Ragnorak,” and “Jojo Rabbit” for which he won an Oscar.

“Everybody thinks pirates are rock ‘n roll. And then, to have a show where there’s at least one rockin’ pirate, and that’s Blackbeard and his crew. And then you find out that they are all losers! Like most rock stars you meet. A lot of these old rockers are still wearing their ’80s stylish clothes.”

Waititi says that, because acrobatics in leather isn’t relaxing, he infuses that unease into his performance as the infamous Blackbeard.

“The wardrobe is heavily based on the ‘Mad Max’ style. Honestly, we were so upset, it was boiling hot and I couldn’t eat it. The glue will come off my beard half the time and the food will get stuck in my beard.” he say. “I was so angry doing the show that that’s actually what happened most of the time [in the performance] – I’m just so angry I want to get out of this wig and clothes. “

Taika Waititi with a big fake beard.
Taika Waititi as Blackbeard in “Our Flag Means Death.”
Aaron Epstein

Darby, however, said his performance as Stede was more believable than making him more believable.

“I read what Stede was talking about, what little there was about him,” he told The Post. “But really, I think what I brought to it was just the bewilderment, the overconfidence of a risk-taker putting himself in a dead end. I can think of the midlife crisis, the age at which you realize, ‘Is this right? Can I throw it all away and do something completely different and get a second life? ‘”

Rhys Darby and Nathan Foad stand on a ship in "Our flag means death."
Rhys Darby and Nathan Foad in “Our Flag Means Death.”

“It’s great that a genre has been overdone and subdued and made life suffocating for it,” said Jenkins, the series’ creator. “And then you can come and do something weird with it. But it’s genre enough that it’s an old genre – some of the first movies made were pirates [films].

“So to take it and do something with it is pretty exciting.”

https://nypost.com/2022/02/26/oscar-winner-taika-waititi-only-8-year-olds-think-pirates-are-cool/ ‘8-year-olds just think pirates are cool’

Dais Johnston

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