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Scott and Bloom Crusade from a Muslim Perspective, Daily Telegraph (UK), November 8, 2003
typed and scanned by Michelle

It has been quite a week for Orlando Bloom. First, on Wednesday, the brooding heart-throb was named Tatler magazine's "most eligible bachelor". Now, he has secured the lead role in Ridley Scott's next film, Kingdom of Heaven.

We'll have to wait and see how popular he'll be- especially in America- when the film comes out next year. For Bloom tells Spy that the film will portray the Crusades from a viewpoint "sympathetic to Muslims".

"It's not at all Hollywood's typical, action-orientated account of the Crusades," he said at the British Independent Film Awards. "Ridley wanted it to be historically tenable. He even took the script and the storyboards to the Moroccan government to get an Islamic government's official seal of approval on the nature and content of the film."

Bloom will play a young Christian peasant who takes part in the Crusades during the 12th century. "Ridley wanted to tell the story without all the inaccuracies that would offend the Muslim world. It is amazing that such a successful film-maker can show such levels of humility," he adds.

Of the project, Scott, whose oeuvre includes Gladiator and Alien, comments: "It's a serious look at the subject and the fascinating things about these two parallel religions which come into conflict. It is not a hack-and-thrust with a lot of sword fighting."