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We Love Orlando!, Teen People (US), February 2004
typed by Mithfacwen, scans by Christine

picture caption: Whether he's sporting blond braids as Legolas in 'The Lord of the Rings' or curly hair and a ruffled shirt as swashbuckling Will in 'Pirates of the Caribbean', babe of the moment Orlando Bloom is hot, hot, hot!

Who knew an elf could be so sexy? But Orlando Bloom is more than a pointy-eared Middle-earther in Lord of the Rings trilogy-much more. He's the ultimate romantic leading man: Those dark curls and deep brown eyes and that sweet, sensitive face have landed him roles like Will Turner, the valiant protector of fair ladies in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and legendary lover boy Paris in the upcoming Greek mythology movie Troy. And don't think for a minute that his allure is all smoke, mirrors and movie magic--take it from Keira Knightly, Pirates' lucky lass, who says his sizzle is genuine. But hey, don't be jealous! We've got the goods on all things Orlando right here.

A Rough Start

Orlando, 26, is a screen natural, but it took determination to make it in the movies. In elementary school, Orlando had a tough time: He was dyslexic so he struggled with his classwork. Luckily, his mom, Sonia, encouraged Orli (his nickname) to pursue acting by taking him to the theater often. But it wasn't Shakespeare that inspired the Canterbury, England, native-it was cheesy TV reruns! "When I realized the heroes on The A-Team and Knight Rider weren't real, I decided I wanted to act because I thought 'I'd love to be any number of those guys,'" admits Orlando.

At 16, the wannabe thespian moved to London and joined the National Youth Theatre; he attended the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama two years later.

A Near Tragedy

Despite his accomplishments, Orlando's career almost came to an abrupt end. In 1998, the daredevil was goofing off on his friends roof when he fell and broke his back. Doctors thought he might never walk again. "Imagine having four nurses to move you, wash you, do everything for you," Orlando says of this difficult time. But 12 days later, he hobbled out of the hospital. While he says he's not an adrenaline junkie, he has tried skydiving, bungee jumping, snowboarding and surfing. And just a few months after his spill from the roof, Orlando graduated from Guildhall, won the role of the elf Legolas and headed to New Zealand to work on LOTR. "It was fantastic because I came straight out of drama school, and it was an amazing opportunity." says Orlando.

Sexy Superstar!

Once the first installment of LOTR hit theaters, Orlando shot to mega-stardom overnight. "It's funny when you start to live the dream you'd always hoped for but never really imagined possible," he says. Especially since his fame has also made him a hit with women. Yet the notoriously tight-lipped Orlando refuses to dish on his romantic life: "I don't like to talk about that stuff. It's not necessary." All he'll say about current flame Kate Bosworth (see "What the Stars say about Orlando" above right) is: "She's a great girl." Spoken like a hero...and a true hottie. 

-With reporting by Dina Sansing

Ask Orlando

1- With fans-ok girls- flocking after you, do you ever get time for Orlando?

Although it's a little overwhelming at times, I know that it goes with the territory and I appreciate it. I've been working for the past four years nonstop-which I'm grateful for-but I always make time for my family and friends

2- I have a few questions: What's your biggest fear? What music do you like and What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

My fears: failure, being eaten by a shark when surfing and not living in the moment. For music I enjoy Coldplay, Radiohead, Jack Johnson and Kings of Leon. My favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip.

3- What was your worst acting job?

When I was four years old, I played a monkey in a monkey suit. It was really hot onstage. I itched my (butt) and the entire audience laughed at me.

4- When you see a girl, what is the first thing you notice about her?

Her eyes and smile.

5- Would you do me a favor and bring my best friend, Janal, to the prom this year? She's totally in love with you!