Grin and Bear It, Juice (UK), Issue 21 November 2003
Transcribed by Gizmo LittleWing, scan from Helen
[On the cover is a picture of Orlando in close-up looking suitably moody.
Inside, above the article, there is one of him and Kiera Knightley at a POTC
premiere, and beside the text is one of just him smiling slightly
apologetically in his black sweatshirt and necklaces.]
As Orlando Bloom hits the big time, he may look out of place among Hollywood's
forced smiles. By Sarah Donaldson
Here, at last, is a young British actor to take on the new generation of
American stars, and Orlando Bloom's very Britishness seems to be key. One of
his many fansites is devoted to his "gentle smile", and his thoughtful, shy
looks are an antidote to brash celebrity. When Hollywood stars flash their
rows of bleached veneer, we mere mortals can simply squint in the glare. But
when Orlando offers us his apologetic grin, we want to give him a big,
Indeed the 26-year-old is, if we are to believe the Internet, the most adored
actor in the world. More than 1.6million websites currently mention his name,
compared with 1.4m for Johnny Depp, 1.5m for Tim Cruise and paltry 760,00 for
Leonardo DiCaprio. His smitten fans call him "Orlie the hottie". A tabloid
kiss-and-tell-er preferred "greatest love god on the planet".
Bloom's British modesty reflects a whimsical middle-class upbringing in
deepest Kent, indulging in horse riding and Bible and poetry-reading. At 16,
he left Canterbury for drama college in London.
His career got off to a stuttering start with an E in theatre studies A-Level,
a role in Casualty and a brush with death when he fell three storeys and broke
his back. But a role as a rent-boy in Wilde caught the eye of Lord of the
Rings director Peter Jackson, and Bloom found himself on the film's New
Zealand set two days before his graduation.
His Rings role, as Elvin good-guy Legolas, brought Bloom overnight success,
which he continued as swashbuckling good guy Will in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Next summer, he will move away from what he calls "wholesome" roles, as a
womanising baddie in Homeric blockbuster Troy. "I don't want to be a pretty
boy", says the reluctant heartthrob. Hate to say it Orlando, but your genes-
and that smile- have other ideas.