Orlando Builds A 'Kingdom', etonline.com, April 15, 2005
Handsome ORLANDO BLOOM is reunited with another trusty sword
in 'Kingdom of Heaven,' a Crusades-era stunner from Academy AwardŽ-winning
director RIDLEY SCOTT ('Gladiator').
ETonline has exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the
incredible movie -- and Orlando gave our own KEVIN FRAZIER his take on
the epic production!
"For me to get to play a hero in a Ridley Scott movie was amazing," says
Orlando. "In a way it was like common ground for me, and I've worked on some big
movies, so to be the lead in a movie like this was definitely a blessing."
The new movie, in theaters May 6, takes place during the Crusades of the 12th
century. Orlando plays Balian, a common man who finds himself thrust into a
decades-long war. A stranger in a strange land, he serves a doomed king, falls
in love with an exotic and forbidden queen (EVA GREEN) and rises to knighthood.
"Balian is more like a hero you'd see in a SERGIO LEONE movie,"
Orlando says. "You know, one of those spaghetti westerns, those kind of dudes
[who's] got an inner turmoil, an inner conflict that he's battling with. He's
lost his wife and his child. He goes on a journey of spiritual discovery
ultimately, and it's a coming-of-age story. That was all quite close to who I am
and where I'm at in my life."
Balian must protect the people of Jerusalem from foreign invaders while
striving to keep a fragile peace. The film was shot on location in Spain and
Morocco and also stars LIAM NEESON and JEREMY IRONS.
The actor, whose movie career was launched by the mega-hit 'The Lord of the
Rings' trilogy, has been adapting to the unprecedented amount of attention he's
been receiving from audiences around the world. While shooting 'The Kingdom of
Heaven' in Spain, children -- 50 to 60 young girls in particular -- would scream
at the sight of Orlando.
"It was kind of surreal," says the star. "It was the first time it had really
happened to me, you know, like that. Because I had always been working with
people like BRAD [PITT], and Brad was the guy who was getting the
attention in that respect, so it was a little odd to be sure. But you know, it's
kind of like life, it's all a series of adjustments so you can really just
handle it and just deal with it in the best way possible, you know? They're just
kids and sweet supporters, ultimately."
Kevin points out that Orlando now is the guy that Brad Pitt became
over a decade ago. "Am I?" Orlando asks. "It's so funny because I'm like five,
six years out of drama school and I really don't feel like I'm the guy. I feel
like I learned a lot on this movie but there's still so much for me to learn,
you know? I certainly don't feel like I'm the guy. I'm still figuring it out in
my own mind."