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The British Bomb Explodes in ‘The Return of the King’, Star Club (France), January 2004
translation and scans by Veronique

Orlando Bloom:” I could have been disabled for life”

Three years ago, Orlando Bloom was still unknown, but now he sees his popularity grow rapidly in Hollywood. This month, we find him back on a poster of the last episode of Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King as Legolas, an elf. This ladies’ favorite talks to us about the wonderful experience in New Zealand during the filming, about his likes and his work.


First big role

"LOTR has been my first long film, not mentioning Wilde then, which was shot in one weekend. On the contrary, LOTR has been a real project for several months: my first genuine job. (laughs) It was fantastic that Peter Jackson, the director, explained to us from the beginning on what he wanted. All the preparation he made us do was incredible. In this way, we all had the feeling of really mastering the characters we played."


The start

"I will carry Legolas, my part in the film, and the experience of filming in New Zealand with me wherever I go. While you’re an actor, the most beautiful thing is that every character you play becomes a part of your personality forever. Right now, I really have the feeling to be blessed by having taken part in this project. The entire experience was amazing: living in New Zealand, working with excellent actors, a large team and being surrounded by very good friends. It was a dream job!"


Family feeling

"The filming was done in a happy atmosphere and everybody was in a good mood. The technical team was friendly; we all had the feeling of being one big family: all prepared to unite our forces. There wasn’t any resentment; there was only the will to get started and to make this trilogy. It was great."


The original books

"I started reading the books of JRR Tolkien (the author of LOTR) when I was young, but I put them aside ‘cause I was more interested in girls! (laughs) Back then, I had read halfway through the second book, TTT. I took reading up again when the casting started and I reread all three of the books just before the filming started. It was like a Bible for all because the original books describe each character with lots of details."


His wig

"The wigs we wore were incredible! They had cost a fortune because they were made of real hair. One day, during a fight, I tore Viggo’s wig to pieces and the girl who did his make-up wasn’t too pleased! (laughs) With my natural hair colour it is now more difficult for Legolas’ fans to recognize me."


Time off

"When I have some time off, which is rare, I dedicate it to my family and friends. I go to the movies, listen to some music,… But most importantly, I try to be with the ones I love."



The roles I have played so far have all been quite different, so I don’t have the feeling of being trapped in a routine. Even the duels and the battles are all different. For example: The fights in POTC have nothing in common with those in LOTR. In Troy (release in May) I don’t incarnate a warrior, but a man madly in love who gets dragged into an armed fight by circumstances. It’s a miracle that I can get all those roles because a few years ago, I fell from the third floor and that fall could have left me disabled forever. My back was in a terrible state, I was in a wheelchair for a while. The doctors thought I would have to stay in it for the rest of my life… An X-ray revealed that there was a twist in my spine. Luckily enough, I was able to leave that place behind two weeks later walking on both legs.


Hard worker

The schools of Performing Arts that I’ve been to, have given me the taste of working and of devotion. The success of LOTR made no changes to those values. Playing a comedy is difficult when you want to deliver quality.


Crush on Krystle

When I was younger, I had a weak spot for Linda Evans (Krystle Carrington in the cult series Dynasty). My aunt, who works in the communications business in New York, had asked her for an autograph for me one day, when she was filming an ad. I was so happy, I still cherish that photo.



On January 12th, filming will start for Kingdom of Heaven in Morocco. It was written by William Monahan, directed by Ridley Scott and produced by 20th Century Fox. This is the scenario: a young smith (Orlando) becomes a knight and will help to defend Jerusalem against the 12th century crusaders. He falls in love with a princess… The budget is $100 million, it will be big!



What’s new?

-For ‘Haven’, one of his future films, he got involved quite early on because he is one of the co-producers. He will play alongside Bill Paxton (Titanic) and Gabriel Byrne (The Man with the Iron Mask). This film will take place in a weekend and will follow two businessmen who have been given bad financial advice. They have fled to the Cayman Islands in order to escape from lawsuits filed against them by the government. This escape causes a chain reaction and will drive an Englishman to murder with unimaginable consequences. This film should be followed up because it’s the first time that Orlando plays the main character.


-Sir Ian McKellen, aka Gandalf, will play the magician Dumbledor in the third Harry Potter film.


-And Viggo Mortensen will be on the big screen again in Alamo, a film that tells the story how in 1836 a group of 300 men defended the fortress of Alamo against the attacks of the Mexican army.