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The Brazenness of Youth, Focus (Germany), May 10, 2004
by Catherine Mayer
translation by Conny, scan by Koshka at ka-Bloom

The most handsome youth of cinema plays the most beautiful hero of the ancient world: Orlando Bloom about his role as Paris and the fans.

Focus: You are shooting in Morocco right now, the place Warner Bros. decided was too dangerous for the filming of “Troy”. Are you not as ‘hollywoodized’ yet as to be afraid of that? 

Orlando: Quite the reverse, in fact that’s the part of the job I really enjoy. I’ve always liked getting to know new cultures and different countries. You cannot stay back in fear - you have to face things. 

F: “Troy” is an ancient war movie. Did you have to flex your muscles or did you rather prove your power in the bedroom? 

O: Well, you can say that I’m more active in bed. For me it hasn’t been as much action as in ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ or ‘Lord Of The Rings’ for example – a thing I found rather appealing. Paris is Hector’s younger brother, and Hector is the undisputed leader and heir to the throne. That’s why Paris grew up in the shadow and safety of the royal family, is more interested in the temptations of flesh and pleasures of life. Or to put it differently: He’s more of a lover than a fighter. The first time I met Brad Pitt and Eric Bana, those two men with such an incredible presence and impressiveness… 

F: Do you mean physically? 

O: Yes, both of them had been exercising extensively which had been a condition for their roles. So while I was hanging out with them and feeling rather small and unimportant, I realized what my character was about and who Paris really was. He doesn’t compete with his brother, he isn’t even able to – and he doesn’t want to. But being a prince of Troy he is spoiled by the luxurious lifestyle, and that’s probably the reason he stayed back at home with the women when the men had to leave to take care of the business. That’s how he changed to be more sensitive, he discovered his feminine side along with the women, something he really loves. 

F: So that’s the reason he can seduce Helen immediately? 

O: Yes. Although I had some difficulties, justifying this for myself and my character. 

F: It’s because morals are of no importance in Homer’s original. They are heroes, half-gods, so it doesn’t matter whether Paris’ deeds can be justified or not. How did the movie solve this problem? 

O: For me his was one of the obstacles I had to overcome; trying to justify this character’s actions. In fact that’s the brazenness of youth. Every action leads to reaction – but Paris had been leading a life that didn’t allow him to understand this up to then. In a community there is this universal rule that determines what’s right and what’s wrong. If you have gone too far, you have to look how to get back. It’s like a pendulum. 

F: And when does it swing back? 

O: At the end of the movie there’s this moment – the definite low point and one of the most humiliating situations a character has to go through. It’s the moment where I go out to fight against Menelaos… 

F: … Helen’s husband whom she cheated with you. 

O: Exactly. In front of Helen, the woman I love and stole from this man, my brother and the whole of Troy I am being punished and defeated. And after the humiliation of this fight I’m not even allowed to die a honourable death, but cower at my brother’s feet. I really had nightmares because I didn’t know how to play this. You know, you have to leave a hint of honour to your character. The story goes on, and things improve when I realize the consequences of what I have done. 

F: Do you see any relations in cinemas’ hero epics and the world after September 11th? 

O: Yes, I think the fall of Troy is a triumph of human weakness, that that’s still relevant today. You get to see war in its most obvious and cruelest form, and the message is that the whole thing is even more ridiculous than you can imagine, that this abuse of power is so wrong… 

F: So is it wrong to see this movie as war propaganda? 

O: Absolutely. The story is so human and profound that you have to accept this. Everybody can imagine to fall in love with their neighbour’s wife, everybody knows the stories of crimes committed because of passion. Okay, only Achilles wants his legacy to live on forever. He might not be a god in the movie, but he is as godlike as a man can be. And the only way to let your legacy become immortal is to die for your cause. 

F: You are on your way to become a movie-god your own. How do you cope with this insane fuss and fan-hype? 

O: I can live with it. Having worked with Brad and Johnny Depp I have experienced how they handle it. When I’m at home in London, I feel really comfortable and I don’t have any problems with it. This tends to change on set. Some time ago while still in Spain, the people knew we were shooting there and it was a little bit frightening. We are expected to be seen. A friend of mine has told me the following then, “There will always be a new girl that is super hot at the moment or a boy because there will always be an audience for them – young people like to attach their hopes and dreams to somebody.” But that’s not me, it’s just the image, the characters I play. Come to terms with that and you will be able to handle it. But it really is an insane trip.