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Orlando Bloom: Extreme Passion, Filles d'aujourd'hui (Quebec), April 2003
translated and scanned by Molianne

 (In the circle: Orlando has the reputation of being a real Dare-devil!)

A single movie is sometimes enough to launch an actor's career. As proof, The Fellowship of the Ring, the first segment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy has given Orlando a lot of visibility and has permitted him to have many contracts. Portrait of a nice and passionate guy.

The occasion to play a warrior elf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy appeared at an opportune moment in the life of Orlando Bloom. Effectively, the actor learned that he had the Legolas role in the film adaptation of the Tolkien trilogy, directed by the New-Zealander Peter Jackson, three days before the end of his theatre studies. Orlando had first auditioned for the human Faramir role, a character who only appears in The Two Towers, but the role was given to the Australian David Wenham. The deception of the young man was short lived however, when he learned that he'd play Legolas. The Prince of Mirkwood is an excellent archer, seconded by being a valorous warrior, and one of the members of the Ring fellowship, which is very present in the three movies. In other words, we are proposing him a more important role than planned, with all the responsibilities and consequences involved.

Realizing his dream

Orlando Bloom was born in Canterbury, a town in England, on January 13th, 1977. According to the many pieces of information that can be found on the Internet, he's been named Orlando in honour of the famous character created by the British novelist Virginia Woolf, in 1928. His dad died when he was four year old. His mother encouraged him since his childhood to be interested in arts, inciting him to participate with his sister Samantha, two years older and an actress too, to artistic events organized in the region. He made his first steps in the profession by reciting poems and prose at publics readings.

One day, Orlando realized that the movie and TV show heroes are actors. So, he told himself that he could be Superman or the Daniel Day Lewis character in The Last of the Mohicans too and decided to become an actor. In 1993, he left his native town to move to London. He did theatre for two years, then he obtained a scholarship that permitted him to improve his acting. One night, on stage, he is seen by an agent, This one helped him to get a small role in Wilde, a movie that went out in 1997 and that tells the story of the British author Oscar Wilde's life. Because of that movie, he received many offers. But he refused them all to register himself at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Then, just before ending his formation in that amazing school, he learned the big news: he'll be Legolas! 

Real Dare-Devil 

The Legolas role suits Orlando perfectly. Obviously, with the blond wig, the blue eyes and the pointed ears, he's far away from looking like the character he plays in Black Hawk Down, in 2002. Still, when we think that the young man is an extreme sports maniac, we suppose that he must have had a great time incarnating an immortal warrior which his mission requires, among others, fighting and archery mastery.

It's not for no reason that Orlando has the reputation of being a real dare-devil. In 1999, wanting to climb on a roof, he falls and fractures his spine. Result: he can't walk for four days and fears to not be able to do so anymore. Happily, he has an operation which was a success. Twelve days later, he goes out of the hospital, walking with the help of crutches. But that's not all! Through the years, the actor broke his nose, many ribs, both legs, an arm, a wrist, a finger and a toe, and hurt this head three times!

Knowing the young man's reputation, The Lord of the Rings producers ask him to abstain himself from any dangerous activity during the filming period, which is in New-Zealand. They're afraid of him being an accident victim. Despite their warnings, Orlando parachutes, bungee jumps and snowboards, besides learning how to surf with many other actors in the cast. As a matter of fact, he gets hurt, but not by practicing one of his favourite activities. During the filming of a fight scene, he falls off of a horse and fractures some ribs. But two days after his fall, he is back on the set.

Loads of work to do

Since the end of The Lord of the Rings trilogy filming (that Orlando describes as an unforgettable experience and which the third episode, the Return of the King, will be released in December), the actor hasn't stopped working. This year, he'll play in The Ned Kelly Gang, the Ned Kelly history, a famous Australian gangsterplayed by Heath Ledger. In the comedy The Calcium Kid, he'll incarnate a boxing amateur milkman who has to fight against the world champion. Then, in Pirates of the Caribbean, which story takes place in the 17th century, he'll try to save the governor's daughter kidnapped by pirates. In that action movie, he'll act with one of his idol, Johnny Depp. Finally, in 2004, he'll appear at the side of Brad Pitt in Troy, an epic movie on the Troy war. As you can see, Orlando seems to be promised to a shining career. And, as the example of Legolas, he has more than one arrow to his bow. With his talent, his passion and his dynamism, he'll find himself a place of choice in the sky of stars.