Following his role as Legolas, he took on parts in films such as Troy, Kingdom of Heaven and Elizabethtown. Aside from Legolas, he is best known for the role of Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Born on January 13, 1977 in Canterbury, England, Orlando Bloom's plans of becoming an actor developed quite early when he realized that the characters on TV and in the movies weren't real, that they were actors. "Once I realized that I could be Superman or I could be The Hustler or I could be Daniel Day Lewis's character in The Last Of The Mohicans - I was like, "Man, I can become an actor and be all of those things." In 1993, he moved to London to improve his career, doing bit parts in TV series like "Casualty". Orlando spent two years at the National Youth Theatre before getting a scholarship to train with the British American Drama Academy. His first memorable appearance, a cameo in the critically acclaimed movie Wilde in 1997, earned him various film offers, which he all turned down in favor to play theatre. After Wilde, Orlando attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for 3 years. On stage, he appeared in plays like "The Seagull", "Twelfth Night", and "Trojan Women".
Orlando's first major movie role was in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, playing the ethereal elf Legolas Greenleaf, a role he received only days before graduating drama school in London. Two years later, when The Fellowship of the Ring premiered, audiences were in instant awe of the blonde haired, blue eyed elf with killer cheek bones, who was also handy with a bow and arrow. It didn't take long for Orlando to become a full fledged teen heartthrob, hailed by magazines as "The next big thing". In interviews and magazines, fans discovered that off-screen, Orlando was quite different than his movie counterpart. With brown eyes, dark hair, olive skin, and a keen yet quirky fashion sense, he looked right at home on the cover of GQ. Unlike the quiet Legolas, Orlando was full of energy and infectious enthusiasm, charming everyone he worked with, along with the fans. In interviews, he described himself as an adrenaline junky; skydiving, bungee jumping, surfing and snowboarding in his spare time. This live life to its fullest concept seems to come partly from a brush with death that Orlando had while in drama school. Falling 3 stories from a friend's roof terrace, Orlando faced the possibility of never walking again, but was able to walk out of the hospital 12 days later.
A walking miracle, Orlando seemed to be on the road to mega-stardom. Released shortly after the The Fellowship of the Ring was the gritty war drama, Black Hawk Down, directed by Ridley Scott. Orlando played Private First Class Todd Blackburn, and showed the enthusiasm, excitement and nervousness of an 18 year old soldier new to the world of war in Somalia. Shadowing a real life experience, his character falls from a helicopter and breaks his back. His next role was that of Joe Byrne in Ned Kelly, a historical biopic of the infamous Australian outlaw. Even though the movie had a limited release, the reviews were positive for Orlando's portrayal of Ned Kelly's right hand man. Next came the swashbuckling blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, which cemented Orlando's place as the action movie "It Boy". Playing the dashing yet straight-laced blacksmith, Will Turner, Orlando won even more hearts by showing off his sword fighting skills alongside his idol, Johnny Depp, while romancing the film's heroine played by Keira Knightley. In 2004 came another period action movie, Troy. Although the role of Paris saw Orlando again using a sword and bow, it was a departure from his past roles. Paris was an anti-hero, young and foolish at times, sacrificing all for love. Also released in 2004, although only limited in Europe, was the indie film The Calcium Kid, a mockumentary comedy about a milkman who becomes a boxer. Orlando was able to show off his comedic skills while playing a modern character, with no weapons or costumes. The indie film Haven also made its debut at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival. Orlando both starred in and co-produced the film. It has yet to be released into theaters.
Orlando's first starring role in a major production was in Kingdom of Heaven, released in 2005. Although the film was considered a box office disappointment, the reviews of Orlando's acting were positive. He was able to convey the inner turmoil of a man on a journey of spiritual and self-discovery. Orlando's next starring role will be that of Drew Baylor in Elizabethtown. A modern comedic drama written and directed by Cameron Crowe. A sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean titled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was released in Summer 2006.
Although Orlando has grown since his premiere in The Lord of the Rings, he still has the same genuine love of life and work. He likes to keep his family and friends out of the limelight, and tries to stay grounded even in the face of mega-stardom. He always has a smile and a hug for his fans, even delaying movie premieres so he can spend more time signing autographs and taking photos. Orlando's onscreen presence, along with his down to earth attitude and likeability will continue to attract new fans while sustaining the old ones.
- For LOTR, he had to learn archery, how to ride a horse bareback (while shooting an arrow), and how to fight and wield two swords. "I started off with archery, I rode about 20 different horses, I had physical training in the gym, and I had to learn the Elvish ways of speaking and fighting. Their fighting is based on ancient European and Asian martial arts, so I had a trainer who taught me how to use the blades. I also did a lot of movement training, because movement is my way into the character." - SFX Magazine;
- He originally auditioned for Lord of the Rings in the part of Faramir, Boromir's brother, who wouldn't be introduced until The Two Towers. But Peter thought he would be perfect for Legolas instead. Orlando learned that he got the part the day before he graduated from Guildhall;
- He wears a replica of the One ring that says "To wherever it may lead." It was given to him by one of the make-up artists on LOTR.
- "When you start falling for somebody and you can't stop thinking about when you're going to see them again, I love that," "Women are beautiful. They deserve to be cherished and respected." And, he adds with a laugh, "They're a handful."
- "People come into your life and people leave it... you just have to trust that life has a road mapped out for you."
- "As soon as I got to New Zealand, I went bungee jumping. I was standing on the platform for one hour contemplating whether to jump or not".
- "I'm probably a good boyfriend, but I'm pretty intense. When you're with me it's exciting, fun and very intense. At the same time, I'm easy going. But all that depends on what girl I'm with."
- "The girls have got a bit excited. I spoke to my agent and she says she's wading through the fan mail. We've got bags of it."
- "I got to dress up in funny clothes and run around New Zealand with a bow and arrow for 18 months, how bad could that be?"
- "Viggo will go on about Elves and how they're always doing their nails and brushing their long, blonde hair, and being all prissy. And I just say: Well, at least I'm going to live forever! Got that? LIVE FOREVER!"
- "I can be a little bit outrageous. I can be a lot of things. I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so I love to go out there and do kind of crazy stuff which is slightly outrageous, like bungee jumping, skydiving, surfing and that sort of stuff. But I also like to just chill with my friends and go and see movies and do normal things."
- "I mean, I have a great job. I get to dress up and become somebody else, especially when it's someone like Legolas, who's this super-cool kind of otherworldly elf. It's, like, I'm lucky, man, so why would I not appreciate that?"
- "Legolas doesn't speak a lot, you know? He's kind of the quiet type. Everyone else was saying things and stuff, and I was sort of just the guy in the background going... What's going on? I'm sensing something."
Sean Astin • Sean Bean • Cate Blanchett • Orlando Bloom • Billy Boyd •
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