You might not know him by name, but you would definitely recognize actor Greg Ellis if you saw his face. Ellis has appeared on dozens of popular television shows such as X-Files, Nip/Tuck, Trust Me, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and season three of 24 as biological weapons dealer Michael Amador. He’s also had roles in several successful feature films including the Academy Award-winning Titanic, Beowulf, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek where the actor had the honor of being the new franchise’s first official “red shirt” (a stock character who dies soon after being introduced). But Ellis is best known for his role as Lieutenant Theodore Groves in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, including last summer’s mega-hit Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.
Ellis first played Groves in the original Pirates movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and while he did not appear in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, he did return to the series for the third chapter, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. But the actor’s largest role in the series came with the most recent edition to the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In the film, Groves is promoted to Lieutenant Commander while working with Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) aboard the H.M.S. Providence to find the Fountain of Youth. He aids Barbossa and Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) on their quest to find the Fountain and claims it for the British Empire before ultimately battling Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and the Spaniards.
I recently had a chance to speak with actor Greg Ellis about Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The actor spoke candidly with me about the film, his character’s evolution, playing sidekick to Geoffrey Rush’s Barbossa, the differences between working with the film’s director Rob Marshall and former Pirates director Gore Verbinski, his reaction the first time he saw Johnny Depp play Jack Sparrow, playing the first “red shirt” in Star Trek, and the loophole that J.J. Abrams has come up with so that Ellis can possibly appear in Star Trek 2.
Captain Jack Sparrow is back! Opening in theaters today is the long awaited forth chapter of the beloved Pirates of the Caribbean series, this one entitled Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The first film in the series, 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, was based on the Disney theme park ride of the same name and surprised everyone by becoming a financial and critical hit, as well as rejuvenating Johnny Depp’s career and earning him his first Academy Award nomination. The filmmakers followed up on the success of the original movie by shooting two sequels back-to-back, ‘2006s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, as well as ‘2007s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. While both films were financial successes, neither movie scored as well with fans or critics as the first one.
But now, with the series having earned almost $2.6 billion worldwide up to this point, super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer (National Treasure), as well as actors Johnny Depp (Rango) and Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine) return once again to the popular Pirates franchise for another fun-packed thrill-ride. In addition to the return of Depp and Rush, the film welcomes several new cast members including Oscar winner Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) as Jack Sparrow’s love interest, and Ian McShane (TV’s Deadwood), as the film’s dangerous new villain. The series also gets a new director with this installment as Academy Award nominee Rob Marshall (Chicago) takes over the duties from Gore Verbinski, who directed the first three films in the franchise.