To the Conquest of Hollywood: Ned Kelly, One (France), June 2003
translated by Amandine and Emilie, scan from Elodie
Shot before Pirates of the Caribbean, Ned Kelly
will come out in autumn in our theaters. In this movie, Orlando embodies one of
the members of Kelly's gang, an outlaw group who spread terror in Australia during
the 19th century.
Guns up! With Ned Kelly, Orlando
Bloom decides to show his dark side. Leaving his quiver of Legolas, Orlando can
attract attention thanks to the character of Joe Byrne, the right-hand of Ned Kelly
(played by Heath Ledger), an outlaw who lived in Australia during the 19th century.
Inspired by a true story, this story isn't well known to us, but it is a legend
in Australia. Ned Kelly tells the story of the tumultuous life of Ned, an irish immigrant's son.
Ned Kelly was raised with crime at an early age. He formed a gang
to commit a lot of bank burglaries, town pillaging, and murders (including three
constables). When the gang was arrested, a huge amount of money was
offered to the person who would capture the members of the gang. Since that
event, Ned Kelly and his brother Dan, Joe Byrne and Steve Hart have become myths. In
Australia, their story is studied in schools!
When he read the script for the first time, Orlando Bloom just
finished the shooting of the Lord of the Ring. Immediately, the actor was
enthusiastic to act in this movie. "At the beginning, the director didn't know
which role to give me" Orlando Bloom retells. "He hesitated between Joe Byrne's
character and Steve Hart's character. Immediately, I was attracted to Joe's
character, the right-hand of Ned Kelly. He is an honest boy and he would kill
and die for his friends". However, Joe isn't a bloodthirsty and unscrupulous
brute. The son of a farmer, he stands out by his calmness, his good education and his
knowledge. Indeed, he speaks several languages and he is a real seducer of
ladies thanks to his good manners. He smokes opium, and he has hallucinations
which change his lucidity. "In fact, the life of Joe Byrne looks a little like
my life" Orlando says jokingly. However, during the shooting, the actor
identified himself with his character. "During the shooting, we had the
impression that the ghosts of the gang members were watching us. It was
For the role, Orlando had collected
information on the life of the real Joe Byrne. He even searched rare photos of this
enigmatic personage. "The only photo that I found, showed Joe dead and hanging
from a rope. I was shocked by this photo that I found in a catalog of
auction sales. I wanted to buy it but I gave up this idea because after I saw
it, I had nightmares. This photo haunted me for days. I was so much absorbed in
the character that I saw myself hung instead of him". Orlando was often right to
carry out his own stunts, and he hurt his knee. He almost lost his kneecap.
The principal character of the film is Heath Ledger who embodies the charming leader
of the gang.
"Like Orlando, I also had the impression that I became my character" he says.
"It's the first time I've felt that."
We must wait until autumn to discover the
extraordinary and tragic adventures of these uncommon outlaws on the big screen.