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Sea monster devours bickering Cypriots October 9, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Movies Life, Movies Life Greek.

‘There’s your metaphor for all of our problems: arguing over a hat’

The first use of Cypriot dialect in a blockbuster took place in the recently released Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest. The scene involved two pirates arguing over a hat in Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot dialect in a fishing boat out at sea.

Their bickering finally comes to an end when the mythical giant squid, the kraken, devours them and their the ship.

Jimmy Roussounis is a Greek Cypriot actor who played one of the pirates. He said in a recent interview, that he had auditioned in London and was chosen for the role along with the British actor of Turkish Cypriot descent Nej Adamson (best known for his role as Ali Osman in the BBC soap opera EastEnders), whom he had never met before.

“They picked us without even realising that we were both Cypriots. So we ended up going out together to St. Vincent Island in the West Indies to act in the scene.”

Roussounis, who heralds from the Paphos village of Pano Arodhes, said that in the scene he and Adamson were supposed to argue over who would wear the hat of Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp).

After Sparrow’s hat is retrieved from the water, the two pirates bicker over it until they hear the rumblings of the kraken below, which is out to kill Jack Sparrow. A squabble ensues as the two hand the hat to each other but are sucked under as a massive jet of water erupts over where the boat once was. Roussounis and Adamson were not provided with the dialogue for the scene.

“I’m not really sure why they didn’t give us a script. They just asked us to improvise it,” Roussounis said, adding that the only condition was that they did not swear.

“So I suggested that, instead of speaking in Turkish or Greek or English with an accent, that he should do it in Turkish Cypriot dialect, which he learned from his mother, and I do it in Greek Cypriot dialect. And that’s what we did. We just made it up.”

The surprise dialogue has been noted by a number of viewers, some who have even translated some of the exchange on the internet.

Roussounis, who also acted in the Cypriot film Akamas, which aired in September in the ‘New Horizons’ section of the Venice Film Festival, said that he and Adamson weren’t sure that the director would keep the scene, but it was to their surprise.

“So you have a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot arguing in the middle of nowhere, and this outside force swallows them and drags them into the sea. So there’s your metaphor for all of our problems: arguing over a hat,” Roussounis said. “That’s why we did it.”

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