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Bowling Green native lands dream role in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean' film

Actor Anthony De La Torre is young Jack Sparrow

After watching the L.A. premiere of the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film Thursday night, getting his picture snapped with Johnny Depp, and seeing his name in the film credits, Bowling Green native Anthony De La Torre was beside himself.

“It was so much fun,” he said in a telephone interview Friday. “I hadn’t seen it until last night. It was everything I hoped it would be — so, so great.”

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Johnny Depp poses with Bowling Green native Anthony De La Torre at the premiere of ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales.’ Mr. De La Torre wanted to work with Mr. Depp since childhood.

COURTESY OF LANA CONDOR Enlarge

Mr. De La Torre, 23, landed the role of a young, 20-ish Jack Sparrow — the iconic and eccentric pirate played in four previous films by Mr. Depp.

“To have Johnny Depp watch you play Jack Sparrow was one of strangest experiences of my life but also the coolest — just getting to play this character that is loved by millions of people,” he said.

Mr. De La Torre’s friends back home may have to catch the credits to know it’s really him, though. Disney used computer-generated imagery to meld a de-aged version of Johnny Depp’s face with Mr. De La Torre’s.

“You’re seeing what was a really cool collaboration between Johnny and I,” he explained. “It was a really interesting process. We dressed up the exact same. He would do a bit. I would watch him, study him. He’d get off the boat, and I’d walk on the boat and do exactly what he did.”

Working side-by-side with Mr. Depp was a dream come true for Mr. De La Torre, long a Pirates fan. Mr. Depp, he said, was sweet, energetic, focused, “super encouraging and obviously insanely talented. It was really inspiring for me as a young actor.”

In a 2006 interview with The Blade when he was just 12, Mr. De La Torre already was an aspiring performer and declared that he must work one day with three people: Jim Carrey, Nicolas Cage, and Johnny Depp.

“I said Nicolas Cage at the time because I had just seen National Treasure, but my two childhood obsessions were Jim Carrey and Johnny Depp,” he said. 

“It’s crazy that I got to work with him. I was so humbled, and I felt so insanely blessed.”

Filming of Mr. De La Torre’s scenes took place in Vancouver in March, 2016, and he had to keep quiet about it until just recently when he posted the big news on Facebook.

Back in Bowling Green, his mother, Esther Garcia-Tio, said she’s proud of her son, who also plays in the band De La Torre, and made two other movies set to come out this year, Johnny Gruesome and Lords of Chaos.

“Things just keep happening to this kid,” she said. “When it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”

Though Mr. De La Torre didn’t know how much of his Pirates footage would make it to the big screen, he was impressed by what he saw at the premiere.

“I can’t say much because the film isn’t really out yet, but I can say it’s definitely a significant part of the plot, and it’s not five seconds,” he said. “That’s what I was afraid of.”

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens Friday.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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