Geoffrey Rush and Andrea Bentschneider in Hamburg

Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-Star Geoffrey Rush is inspired by his German ancestors

On Thursday/Friday, 25/26 May 2017, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" starts in cinemas. Again, Geoffrey Rush can be seen as Captain Hector Barbossa. In 2015, Beyond History had the pleasure to research the Northern German ancestors of the Australian actor for "Who Do You Think You Are?" Soon afterwards, the shooting of the newest Caribbean-adventure started.

Andrea Bentschneider accompanied Rush on his search for traces in the surrounding area of Hamburg to Brokdorf und Wilster. The actor told her that he would afterwards travel to Australia to shoot the new Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-film. It was the first time that the filming took place in his home country. Now, two years later, the film is released.

Rush was fascinated by the findings of the genealogist. He learned that he descends from a family of musicians – not as he always thought from farmers. Johann Willms was a court musician at the count of Ahlefeld at the early 18th century, afterwards he fought in vain to be able to work as a musician in Wilster. Only his son received the official permission to practice in this profession. Rush described this story in detail in his acceptance speech for Berlinale Camera in February 2017. He closed: "I’m inspired by this simple family story. For me it is a great privilege to work as an actor […]."

05/23/2017 created by Heike Leiacker

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