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Why ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ Needed An Oscar Winner Like Penelope Cruz

Captain Jack Sparrow isn't one for romance. After all, the man has bigger things on the mind, like chasing down cursed treasure chests and winning back his precious Black Pearl — or, in the case of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," finding his way to the Fountain of Youth.

That doesn't mean he can't stop for a little squeeze on the side, of course, perhaps one that even gives him some deeply troubling "stirrings" in the depths of his heart. Indeed, Sparrow's fiercest foe in this latest adventure is not the dreaded Blackbeard or the familiar Barbossa, but the seductive Angelica, the woman in his past who got away… or, to hear her tell it, he pushed away.

The chemistry between Sparrow and Angelica boils to a bubble from their very first scene together, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer credits that electric dynamic to the real-life friendship between Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz.

"Her performance was great and there is such great chemistry between Johnny and Penelope," he told MTV News. "They actually really do like each other. They worked together 10 years ago [on 'Blow']. You see that chemistry onscreen."

From Bruckheimer's perspective, an actress like Cruz — who was pregnant during the shooting of "On Stranger Tides" — was absolutely essential to find if the "Pirates" team wanted to create a character that Jack could believably contend with and, yes, possibly fall for.

"You need someone like Penelope, who's an Academy Award winner, to go up against Johnny Depp, because if they're not as good as she is, you can see it right away," said Bruckheimer. "You can't spar with Johnny unless you're brilliant."

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