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
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
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
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
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
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
in a warped door. I stepped on a piece of guttering, and it didn't
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.
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
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
So as well as LOTR. you've lived on location for Black Hawk Down,
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
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.