The Insulting Roles 'Pirates' Star Kaya Scodelario, 25, Won't Take

Kaya Scodelario at Yahoo Studios. (Photo: Casey Hollister)
Kaya Scodelario at Yahoo Studios. (Photo: Casey Hollister)

Bridezilla? Kaya Scodelario can only scoff at the very idea. The entire concept of obsessing over fabrics seems foreign to the unfussy British actress, who married American actor Benjamin Walker in December 2015.

“I wore an Urban Outfitters dress on my wedding day. It was one I had in the back of my wardrobe. It was white. We went to City Hall here in New York. I wore it with blue velvet boots my husband bought for me. I loved it. It was my favorite thing. It was chilled and spontaneous,” she tells Yahoo Style.

There was one caveat, she adds: “I did wear a Vera Wang for the wedding.”

Kaya Scodelario, in Dolce & Gabbana, and Benjamin Walker (Photo: Getty Images)
Kaya Scodelario, in Dolce & Gabbana, and Benjamin Walker (Photo: Getty Images)

During an afternoon interview, the first thing Scodelario, 25, does is kick off her Manolo Blahnik heels and curl up on a couch. She’s been on a whirlwind press tour promoting her foray into big-budget Hollywood films: as one of the leads in the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. She’s a woman of science, an astronomer who is passionate, intelligent and courageous.

It was vital to Scodelario that Carina Smyth not be a simpering, helpless bit of arm candy. “Or hook up with a 60-year-old. It’s amazing that I even have to think that, but I do. I’ve been offered parts where my love interest is in his 50s,” she says, thankful that her on-screen paramour was age-appropriate. “Brenton (Thwaites) was a year older than me. And that’s quite right.”

And she’s not concerned with any comparisons to her predecessor. “Carina is from the opposite side of the tracks as Elizabeth,” says Scodelario, referring to Keira Knightley’s performances as a plucky, pirate-sympathizing aristocrat in the first four films. “When we meet her, we don’t know a lot about her. She wants to study science and is accused of being a witch. She’s grown up hard. She’s grown up fast.”

As for Carina, the two women have a few things in common. “I left home at 16 and I’ve worked for the last ten years,” says Scodelario, who to date was best-known for starring in the British series Skins and in the YA Maze Runner films. “It was cool to play a character who was passionate about one thing. It wasn’t about being saved or finding a love interest.”

Scodelario’s personal story is worthy of its own movie. She was raised by a Brazilian mother whom Scodelario idolizes, and began acting professionally in 2007 on the British coming-of-age series Skins. Scodelario credits her mother with enabling her to realize her own dreams.

“She influenced everything about me. She did it on her own. She was an immigrant in England. She was a single parent with a 10-month-old in a foreign country. She cleaned five houses a day so I could have food and clothes,” says Scodelario. “She became politically really involved. We lived in really bad housing and she spoke to the council and got us moved. It was my vision of growing up. She was everything. I’m incredibly proud of her. I hope I can be half the mother she was. I think of women as an all-being creature.”

Kaya Scodelario, in Elie Saab, takes a selfie (Photo: Getty Images)
Kaya Scodelario, in Elie Saab, takes a selfie (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s vital to her that males view Carina as a role model, and ignore her gender: “That’s what I want to give to my son. It’s important that young boys look up to the character. We should just be good humans.”

Scodelario is raising her child, now six months old, in London with Walker. Her ultimate goal is to buy her mother a home in Brazil. “That’s the dream, to get her settled, so she doesn’t have to worry and work anymore and just enjoy life,” she says.

Another big career objective: work with a coterie of female writers and producers to make movies. Ultimately, she hopes to parlay her fame into giving a voice to the many storytellers who never get a shot — if you need further proof, look at the recent Cannes film festival, which included only three films, out of 19, in competition and created female filmmakers. “I’ve wanted to produce for a long time,” she says. “I’d love to get a bunch of my girlfriends together — a female writer, a female director — and create something. Creatively, it’s a different dimension. Why wouldn’t people want that?”

Kaya Scodelario (Photo: Getty Images)
Kaya Scodelario (Photo: Getty Images)

She jokes that while she’s on her massive press tour, her clothing allotment is the size of, well, the Black Pearl (otherwise known as Jack Sparrow’s ship). She travels with five massive suitcases, and says her son – whom she jokingly calls a “diva” – has his very own. Her husband is in charge of organization, because she’s a slob.

Maybe it’s because of how she was raised, but Scodelario is neither jaded and nor wary, and accepts every part of her job, including that thing most actors moan about: doing press.”I get to do something I love. I get to make a career out of it. I’m happy to do every side of it,” she says of acting.

As for her style sense, she’s much like Carina, who’s not fussy. If she has an ethos, it’s playfulness.

“I’m very chilled. I enjoy fashion when I’m traveling. In London I’ll wear a lot of leather, a lot of McQueen. I’ll dress like Kate Moss. In Paris, it will be Chanel. LA, I go for California hippie chic. Day to day, I have a six-month-old, there’s no way I’d wear anything but a T-shirt and jeans,” she says.

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