Swashbuckling and seafaring agrees with Ian McShane, the newest member of the Pirates of the Caribbean cast.For drama veteran Ian McShane, whose résumé includes work on Deadwood and NBC’s short-lived Kings, making this month’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in London, Los Angeles and various cities in Hawaii was “like a six-month vacation” — even if he spent most of it soaking wet and brandishing a giant sword. “You never know if you want it to be over soon or if you wish it would never end,” laughs the 68-year-old Englishman. “Either way, I’m a part of Disneyland forever now, and they made a doll out of me. That doesn’t happen on every film.”
American Way: Audiences seem to have an insatiable hunger for sequels these days. Why should we see Pirates 4?
Ian McShane: It’s better than the others. We’ve gone back to the first episode’s character and plot development. Everybody’s double-crossing everybody and having a high old time.
AW: How’s the Blackbeard doll?
IM: It almost looks like me. [Laughs] God help the child who plays with it.
AW: You’ve always had a knack for playing villains.
IM: I went to drama school at a time when Albert Finney and Alec Guinness had laid the dramatic groundwork. I quickly warmed to playing the rebel. The Devil gets the best tunes, you know.
AW: You’re the son of a former Manchester United soccer player, and you played a bit yourself. What’s the difference between stadium cheers and theatrical ovations?
IM: As a footballer, the abuse you get in public, while you’re playing, is just unbelievable. Relentless. They tear you apart. In theater, they wait to savage you in print. [Laughs]
AW: A couple of years ago, GQ named you Man of the Year. What was that like?
IM: I got to have dinner with Dustin Hoffman, which was nice. And they gave me a watch, which was also nice, because a man should always be punctual. The next year, I got to watch someone else be named Man of the Year, and I wondered, “Well, why aren’t they giving me this award every year?”