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Orlando Bloom Sharpshooter, Empire (UK), January 2003
typed by Crissie

Legolas just keeps on hitting that spot.

In a disused power station in Chelsea, Orlando Bloom is wearing boxing gloves and silly, white shorts, his hair is dark and curly, his eyes brown. You have to look closely to find Legolas, but he's in there somewhere.

The reason is that the young actor from Kent is making The Calcium Kid, a British comedy-thriller about a milkman who becomes a pugilist. It's his first lead role and testament to the effect the slender Elf had has on his career. Since completing the trilogy, he has gone on to feature in Black Hawk Down, the upcoming The Kelly Gang, and now this. In a few days he'll be off to shoot Pirate of the Caribbean in LA with Johnny Depp. And most places he goes these days, he's followed by hordes of tearful girls, clutching, "Marry me Orly!" banners with the self control of wailing banshees.

"They're cool, that's sweet, but they don't know me - they see characters I play in movies and I'm very flattered that they respond to them in such an excited way," he says with a shake of the head. "Apparently there's a lot of mad stuff on the internet - my mum keeps trying to tell me about it but I ask her not to. I just try to keep it as realistic as possible: I'm still riding my bike around London, still living in the same sort of area." He looks at his feet, just to make sure that they’re still attached to the ground. "I do feel incredibly lucky, but that doesn't do it justice," he says of the Lord of the Rings extravaganza. "It's like, fuck, I was so happy with the way the film turned out, I was so honoured to be a part of that. If I do nothing else, I've been in these films."

Accordingly, Bloom is as ravenous to see the completed version of The Two Towers as the next fan. "When I saw Pete he was just so excited. It is just going to go off! I saw some funky stuff doing my ADR (additional dialogue recording). I'm sliding down this stair on an Uruk-hai shield, firing arrows, taking out these guys. It is like the gift that keeps giving. Here's another one..."

And even if Bloom was disappointed not to figure in the reshoots - he was too busy filming The Kelly Gang in Australia (with a beard, girls!) - he did manage to fly over for one last dinner party. "I went over anyway, like for a weekend, just to say 'Hi,'" he laughs. "Because I was like, 'This is bollocks, I feel out of it.' I met up with Viggo ," he smiles. "And let me tell you, we had one mad night in New Zealand!"