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Orlando Interview from M magazine in The Mirror (UK), November 29, 2003
typed by §fyre

How does it feel to be a 2931 year old elf?

Great. I have a great job, getting dressed up and becoming someone else, especially when it's someone super cool like Legolas. I'm a lucky man.

Is it true you were two days away from graduating from drama school when you got the part?

It was a moment of time that is forever crystallized for me. My agent phoned and said, "You've been offered the part in LOTR". I was over the moon. I was 22, I hadn't left drama school and it was like, boom, here have a career. It was like winning the lottery. I had 18 months of work lined up because all 3 films were done back to back.

Is it true you initially went for the part of Faramir?

Yes, but my agent got a call to say that Faramir was no longer available and would I read for Legolas? I went back and read the books and tried to find out who Legolas was. After they checked out how tall I was and everything I got the call back to say I was in.

Did you know the LOTR books before then?

No, I read the books when the casting began, and then re-read them when I went out to NZ.

Did you have to do a lot of training for the role?

I had to train for about 2 months. I was the first of the cast to arrive and the first thing they did was put a bow in my hand. I started to get to grips with the archery so by the end of the week I was able to shoot paper plates out of the sky. Horse riding was important too, especially in TTT, and it's also come in handy for TROY.

Weren't you injured during filming?

It was during the training schedule. I did some pretty wicked stuff on horseback, but I did fall off once and broke a rib.

Is it true you broke your back?

I fell out of a friend's window in his London flat. We'd just had this big Sunday dinner and I was trying to get on there roof terrace to kick in a warped door. I stepped on a piece of guttering, and it didn't hold.

How come you didn't end up in a wheelchair?

I had a miracle recovery. For 4 days they didn't think I would walk again. But then after 12 days I walked out pinned and plated. They did an operation and put me back together again.

Are you accident prone?

Yes, very. I broke my back, nose, ribs, both legs, arm wrist, finger and toe. I've also cracked my skull 3 times

How did you make yourself look like an elf?

I thought the physicality for Legolas was essential to get right. Elves are immortal and have a super human strength. They are so graceful and elegant like cats. You know how cats can jump and land steady on there paws? That's how I tried to be. Its very balletic.

How uncomfortable was it to wear those ears?

Not at all, other than the 2 hours it took to put them on. I went home one night without the wig but with the ears on, because I had a 4 hour break and crawled into bed with my girlfriend at the time, and woke up with on ear stuck to my pillow and the other still there, perfect, and my girlfriend taking pictures and laughing.

Are you still going out with Kate Bosworth?

Yes. Kate's a great girl, but I don't like to talk about her. I try to keep my private life separate from my professional life.

Were you aware of how big LOTR was going to be?

Not until I got to NZ. One of the first things I did was visit the special effects studio and there was a warehouse full of armour and thousands of rows of weapons. That was the first time I thought "god this is going to be huge".

Did you get a LOTR tattoo?

Yes, all 9 of the fellowship actors for tatt's that said 9 in elvish. I got mine done on my wrist. People got their's everywhere - I think Elijah Wood got his on his stomach. I already have a sun from when I was 15.

So as well as LOTR. you've lived on location for Black Hawk Down, POTC, Ned Kelly and Troy?

Yeah, it's been exhausting working so much and being away from my friends and family, but I'm living my dream. I love my job and I'm having a ball.

What did you learn from Brad Pitt in Troy?

I didn't have many scenes with Brad, but he is a gentlemen. Going out during filming, I had my first experience of someone getting properly mobbed. The whole town came apart. He was very gracious with everybody and I found that very admirable.

How would you describe your life so far?

I've had an interesting life and feel very grateful. If I died tomorrow, I'd feel I lived a very full life. I've loved every minute of it, and have learned about people and relationships. I try and apply a set of rules to life to make it easier and that normally means being open and honest so you can enjoy it.