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Our Flag Means Death's Rhys Darby reveals how Stede Bonnet transforms into a real pirate for love

It all starts with a costume change.

Blackbeard and Bonnet in season 2 of Our Flag Means Death
Image credit: Max

They say that clothes make the man, something that Rhys Darby noted about his character’s transformation throughout season two of Our Flag Means Death. Darby’s Stede Bonnet started as a fish-out-of-water character before becoming someone more at home on the high seas toward the of the season, and the actor has shared how that change took place.

Beware as you read on, me hearties, for there be spoilers for Our Flag Means Death Season 2 in the waters ahead.

During an interview with TV Insider, Darby explained that a big part of Stede’s change started with his clothes, explaining “Once he starts wearing different gear, he looks at himself and goes ‘Oh my God, I’m a different man.’” According to Darby, Stede’s new costume was the first sign that the character was adapting to his new life on the high seas, abandoning the “beautiful gowns with high heels” to become a more rugged, swashbuckling hero.

In the interview, Darby goes on to explain that the finery that Stede had insisted on wearing throughout the first season wasn’t just keeping him from being the man he would eventually become. It was creating a barrier between himself and the man he loved, Taika Waititi’s Blackbeard. It wasn’t until he dropped “the battle armor of the gowns and actually became the pirate he imagined being” that Stede was able to truly fight for their love.

The insight into Stede Bonnet’s transformation is a prime example of how design choices, when used correctly, can help drive home the themes and stories of shows like Our Flag Means Death. While we wait for the (hopefully) upcoming third season of the show, we are still reeling from comments made by both Waititi and Darby about the future of their characters.


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Trent Cannon avatar

Trent Cannon

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Trent is a freelance writer who has been covering anime, video games, and pop culture for a decade. (He/Him)

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