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Drool Britannia! J-17 (UK), July 2002
by Kitty Melrose

Why the world's going crazy for UK lads…

Orlando Bloom

Age: 25

From: Canterbury

Who loves him?: Who doesn’t!
Orlando’s sit–up–and–take–notice turn as Lord of the Rings’ immortal elf Legolas catapulted the newcomer into the inner circle of Hollywood celebs. Topping a most–searched–for person on the web poll confirmed the sticky–out ears didn’t fool anyone. Then came his man–in–uniform part in Black Hawk Down and those Gap ads.

“Like winning the lottery”: The phrase Orlando (Orli to his mates) used to describe winning the Rings part. “I was 22, I had two more days left of drama school and it was like, ‘Here, have a career,’ BOOM!” He spent 18 months shooting parts one, two and three of the trilogy in New Zealand.

Rewind: “At nine, I had this girlfriend and we had running races in the park to see who’d be her boyfriend for the day. I wanted to be like Superman and fly in to rescue her. Once I realised Superman was an actor I thought, “That’s for me.”

Now that’s magic!: Orlando broke his back a few years ago when he fell out of a window and plummeted three floors. He was told he might never walk again. But 12 days later, after an operation, he walked out of the hospital.

Career he’d most like to have: Johnny Depp’s. “He’s made some interesting choices and he’s preserved his integrity.”

Prepare yourselves: The world is gearing up to go mental over Rings sequels The Two Towers out on 18 December and The Return of the King the following Christmas. But big news is Orlando is now in Australia shooting his next movie Ned Kelly with A Knight’s Tale star Heath Ledger. Double swoon.