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Orlando Bloom, Film Review (UK), December 2002
By Roald Rynning
typed by The OB Files, scan from Musings Of Viggo

With his first big-screen role out of acting school - playing a 2,931-year-old warrior elf named Legolas Greenleaf in Peter Jackson's fantasy classic, The Lord of the Rings - Orlando Bloom hit the big time. Since then, the 25-year-old heartthrob nicknamed Orli by pals has worked constantly; as American soldier in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down, as Heath Ledger's co-star in the upcoming The Kelly Gang, and now he is continuing his success as Legolas in The Two Towers.

How does it feel getting to be successful so fast?
It's incredible. I have to keep pinching myself because I just can't believe it. I feel really privileged to be an actor, to be paid to do something I love. And I graduated from drama school and just walked into Lord of the Rings - probably one of the most life changing, exciting and memorable experiences of my life.

So you like your job?
I have a great job, getting to dress up and become somebody else, especially when it's someone like Legolas, this super-cool kind of otherworldly elf. I'm lucky, man.

You have become a heartthrob, so are women throwing themselves at you these days?
Not really, I look completely different in Lord of the Rings. I have long, blond hair and blue eyes in it so people still don't recognize me much.

How does it feel being part of the trilogy?
It feels surreal to be involved in such a great project that has lead to such a lot of interest in me personally. I'm trying to enjoy it all for what it is. You can be up one minute and drop the next, so I'm trying to maintain a steady course so that I have some longevity.

Has the success gone to your head?
No, my sister (Samantha Bloom, who is following in her brother's footsteps at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama) would never let that happen. And I've surrounded myself with friends who would beat me if I tried to get above myself.

Being far away from your home in London's Notting Hill for so long must have been tough.
But imagine being flown to this amazing country and being taught how to shoot a bow and arrow, learn sword fighting and horse riding - it was sick! I was pinching myself. Not until I'd filmed a few scenes did I finally believe it.

For how long did you train for the role?
Training began two months before the start of filming (in October 1999). I was the first of the cast to arrive and the first thing they did was put a bow in my hand! I started using the bow and getting to grips with archery, so by the end of the week I was taking paper plated out of the sky. horse riding was also important, particularly for The Two Towers.

Were you ever injured?
Through the training I was injured. I did some pretty wicked stuff on horseback. I mean, it really was insane what I had to do, but I had real faith in my horse, though I did fall off him once and broke my rib. That was one of my war wounds for the movie!

How would you describe the filming?
The time Down Under was the best time of my life. I had a great house. The address was really cool: Marine Parade, Sea Town. The sea was right there. You could almost spit in it. I learned how to surf with Billy [Boyd] and then all the others joined in: Dominic [Monaghan], Sean [Astin] and Elijah [Wood]. We were all a bunch of young guys so we became really close friends. I have friends for life because of this movie.

When were you aware of the project's enormous scope?
Not until I arrived in New Zealand. One of the first things I did was go to the special effects studio, and there was a warehouse full of armour, thousands of rows of armour and weapons, and that was the first point when I realized, 'Oh my God, this is huge!' I couldn't quite believe I was in the project until about a month into filming. Then when we finally saw some very rough snippets of a few scenes, which Peter showed us to help keep morale up and I finally, really understood what I was a part of and still couldn't really believe it!

Did you go back to do extra shots for the sequel?
Yes. Really hard work - surfing, snowboarding, and skydiving, alongside the filming. And since we were working in studios that weren't properly soundproofed, all the dialogue had to be dubbed later.

How do you feel about New Zealand after spending so much time there?
I feels like home. I have a great warm feeling about New Zealand and I'm tempted to buy some land there, particularly with everything going on in the world at the moment, because New Zealand feels like a really safe place to be right now.

What is next up for you?
Ned Kelly, about the 19th Century Australian bandits The Kelly Gang, in which I play Ned's best friend, a bit of a ladies' man, Irish accent kind of thing. It was filmed in Australia with Heath Ledger and opens early next year.