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Orlando Bloom: Hardly a Sword, Cine Live (France), August 2003
by Marc Toullec
translated by Lily, scans from Elodie

His ears as pointy as Spock in The Lord of the Rings, Orlando Bloom raises the black flag in Pirates of the Caribbean, a role in which change unwinds into continuity.

In Orlando Bloom’s young career, there’s one before The Lord of the Rings and one after. Before, it was total anonymity, a rookie comedian like so many others. Now, celebrity, groupies, a mention in Teen People’s hottest people under 25, and above all, great offers.

“I haven’t become big-headed” confirms the star. “I just feel extremely lucky to have been in the right place at the right time.” Actually, when he went to audition for the part of Faramir in The Lord of the Rings, he was told by Peter Jackson to play the part of Legolas the Elf archer. “I never had the ambition to become a star. Improving myself while acting, working with great film makers, bringing life to good scripts and working with actors that I respect, that’s what makes me run. When things are going well, you don’t have any other choice than to give in to celebrity. That’s my case now.” Clear-cut.

At 26, calm, Orlando Bloom doesn’t expect anything else than getting his job done. And getting it done well. “The Drama schools I went to gave me the love of working, of effort. The Lord of the Rings’ success didn’t take those principles away at all. Acting is a hard job, difficult from the moment when you envision the quality of the job.”

What about money? “If a script gave me the possibility to kiss a girl, I’d be ready to do it free!” (NOTE TO READERS FROM TRANSLATOR: ORLANDO HAS STATED SEVERAL TIMES THAT HE NEVER SAID THIS)

But just how did acting fever infect Orlando Bloom?  Perhaps by Christopher Reeve’s performance in Superman? “That’s a rumor that’s going around, but that’s not actually the case. To tell the truth, when I was little, people and characters and their personalities fascinated me, attracted me, whether they were real or made-up. I wanted to be at their level, be like them. How better to do that than to become an actor?”


What makes Orlando Bloom tick, when he’s just as motivated by a few British performances than by his wish to become someone else. “Of course, I really admire some of my compatriots like Michael Caine or Richard Burton, but it’s someone nearer to my generation, like Daniel Day-Lewis who really sets an example for me.”

An example of rigor, of a strictness probably inherited from his father, writer Harry Bloom, South African citizen and staunch opponent of Apartheid, who died when Orlando was only 4.

In keeping with Daniel Day-Lewis and other British actors, Orlando Bloom climbed aboard with British theatre, with a classic education that led to various roles such as ‘Peer Gynt,’ ‘Mephisto,’ ‘Night of Kings,’ ‘The Three Sisters.’ Then a TV series, ‘Midsomer Murders.’ Then finally a movie ‘Wilde.’ “I had a miniscule part. I still remember the first day of filming. I was terribly intimidated to see all those people around me, on a stage that I found huge. I didn’t get around much.”

Since then, Orlando Bloom has walked on many a stage, much well known ones, from the Lord of the Rings to Troy, passing through Ned Kelly and today, Pirates of the Caribbean. For the most part films involving costumes. “An opportunity that I love, to go back in time, explore other eras, disguise myself. I’ve only done 2 contemporary productions, Black Hawk Down and The Calcium Kid. But I don’t have anything against doing more in that genre.” To that genre he also adds, alongside Kate Beckinsale, a TV commercial for the Gap directed by Cameron Crowe.


For the time being, Orlando Bloom handles his sword and arrows in The Lord of the Rings, his saber in Pirates of the Caribbean and his ‘glaive’ in Troy. “Each film is very different from the others. I don’t feel like I’ve entered into a routine where my characters are all alike. Even when it comes to duels and battle scenes, everything is new. The combat in Pirates of the Caribbean is completely different from the combat in LOTR. In Troy, my character is more a passionately in love man than a warrior, trapped by the circumstances of war.”  Roles with very physical aspects. “It’s a miracle that I was able to do them because a few years ago I had a fall that should have left me crippled. I fell from the 4th floor. My back was really in a bad state. Doctors told me I’d be in a wheelchair for life. But 12 days later I walked out of the hospital on 2 legs.” Aware of his unprecedented luck, Orlando remembers his extensive fracture collection he’s acquired over the years: several ribs, both legs, a finger, 3 scull fractures, a toe… a balance sheet like that of Jackie Chan! It’s sort of ironic that he plays in the Calcium Kid a slim boxer who faces off with the heavy weight world champion. The myth of David and Goliath. “Who would have thought that only a few years after my fall I’d be sword fighting with Johnny Depp?” And that, in his spare time during filming of The Lord of the Rings movies, the well known actor would be doing extreme sport activities like surfing to kill time? A way for Orlando Bloom to address an umpteenth fractured toe and nose in his fate.