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Orlando Builds A 'Kingdom', etonline.com, April 15, 2005

Handsome ORLANDO BLOOM is reunited with another trusty sword in 'Kingdom of Heaven,' a Crusades-era stunner from Academy AwardŽ-winning director RIDLEY SCOTT ('Gladiator').

ETonline has exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the incredible movie -- and Orlando gave our own KEVIN FRAZIER his take on the epic production!

"For me to get to play a hero in a Ridley Scott movie was amazing," says Orlando. "In a way it was like common ground for me, and I've worked on some big movies, so to be the lead in a movie like this was definitely a blessing."

The new movie, in theaters May 6, takes place during the Crusades of the 12th century. Orlando plays Balian, a common man who finds himself thrust into a decades-long war. A stranger in a strange land, he serves a doomed king, falls in love with an exotic and forbidden queen (EVA GREEN) and rises to knighthood.

"Balian is more like a hero you'd see in a SERGIO LEONE movie," Orlando says. "You know, one of those spaghetti westerns, those kind of dudes [who's] got an inner turmoil, an inner conflict that he's battling with. He's lost his wife and his child. He goes on a journey of spiritual discovery ultimately, and it's a coming-of-age story. That was all quite close to who I am and where I'm at in my life."

Balian must protect the people of Jerusalem from foreign invaders while striving to keep a fragile peace. The film was shot on location in Spain and Morocco and also stars LIAM NEESON and JEREMY IRONS.

The actor, whose movie career was launched by the mega-hit 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, has been adapting to the unprecedented amount of attention he's been receiving from audiences around the world. While shooting 'The Kingdom of Heaven' in Spain, children -- 50 to 60 young girls in particular -- would scream at the sight of Orlando.

"It was kind of surreal," says the star. "It was the first time it had really happened to me, you know, like that. Because I had always been working with people like BRAD [PITT], and Brad was the guy who was getting the attention in that respect, so it was a little odd to be sure. But you know, it's kind of like life, it's all a series of adjustments so you can really just handle it and just deal with it in the best way possible, you know? They're just kids and sweet supporters, ultimately."

Kevin points out that Orlando now is the guy that Brad Pitt became over a decade ago. "Am I?" Orlando asks. "It's so funny because I'm like five, six years out of drama school and I really don't feel like I'm the guy. I feel like I learned a lot on this movie but there's still so much for me to learn, you know? I certainly don't feel like I'm the guy. I'm still figuring it out in my own mind."