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Pirates Star's Early Promise, BBC News, August 8, 2003

Sonia Copeland-Bloom Bloom's mother said she admired his ability to stay grounded
The mother of one of Britain's biggest up-and-coming movie stars has been watching his rapid rise in Hollywood from her home in Kent.

Orlando Bloom, from Canterbury, starred as Legolas in Lord of the Rings and is currently appearing alongside Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.

The film opens at UK cinemas this weekend after huge US success, having taken nearly $210m (130m) so far at the American box office.

His mother, Sonia Copeland-Bloom, said the 26-year-old's sudden fame had taken his friends and family by surprise.

"Orlando was a very normal boy, full of action, full of ideas, totally and absolutely normal - so it was very hard to foresee all of this," she said.

"It is overwhelming in a way but he phones me such a lot and I know him - our relationship hasn't changed except now I suppose I don't tell him off for doing things as much.

"I really do admire him tremendously, how he's coping, because he is so grounded and doesn't let it affect him - it is so important to him."

Bloom started acting while at St Edmund's School, Canterbury, with one early role in a production of Pirates of Penzance.

Orlando Bloom Orlando Bloom plays hero Will Turner

His former drama teacher Richard Parsons said: "I think it's easy to forget that Orlando was an excellent actor.

"Even at 14 or 15 he was getting lead roles against people who were 17 or 18.

"It's easy also to think he's a good looking chap and that's why he's getting roles in Hollywood but he was a very good character actor."

As a student at London Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Bloom won roles in plays including Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night.

In Pirates, he stars as Will Turner, a blacksmith who is in love with the wealthy Elizabeth Swann, played by Bend It Like Beckham's Keira Knightley.

When she is kidnapped by a band of cursed pirates in search of Aztec gold, Will is forced to spring to the rescue.