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Orlando's Home Comforts, Kentish Gazette (UK), August 2005
from Dairwendan

HOLLYWOOD heart-throb Orlando Bloom paid a flying visit to his family in Canterbury at the weekend. But he still made time to talk exclusively to Gerry Warren.


Chief reporter Gerry with Orlando


Orlando with his mum Sonia and dad Colin Stone

IN PERSON he looks every bit the action hero and movie star he appears on the big screen.

But for someone who has become one of the hottest names in Hollywood, Orlando Bloom is just about as down-to-earth as anyone can be.

The former pupil of St. Edmund's School, Canterbury, was plucked from obscurity to play Legolas in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings films.

Since then he's been involved in a hectic schedule of filming for hit movies including Pirates of the Caribbean, Troy and Kingdom of Heaven.

Despite his travels to some of the most exotic locations in the world, the 6ft tall, 28-year-old actor says he still loves to come home to Canterbury.

Home-made soup

Pressure of filming and other commitments in the business mean his visits to the city have become rarer.

But earlier this week he spent a couple of days with his mother, Sonia Copeland, at her home.

When I visited him, Orlando was tucking in to some of his mum's home-made vegetable soup - still a favourite meal from his childhood days.

He said: "I don't get that many opportunities to get down these days, but when I do I love coming back to Canterbury. It's a beautiful city and where my roots are.

"It's also nice to get away from some of the pressures and be able to relax with my family and friends here.

"I was last in Canterbury about a year ago and the place has changed quite a lot with the new shops and street cafes.

"But it's got a great atmosphere and people are generally very good and don't bother me.

"I try to keep a bit of a low profile but, of course, I occasionally get asked for an autograph and that's no problem."

Orlando was taking a break from filming the next two sequels of Pirates of the Caribbean.

But his next big film, a romantic comedy called Elizabethtown, is out in October and is a departure from the usual swashbuckling roles he plays. He said: "I have been very lucky to get the breaks I have and, quite honestly, it's taken me by surprise as much as anyone else. But I have had some great roles."

As well as staying with his mother, Orlando also saw his father, Colin Stone, and his grandmother. The family also enjoyed at meal at Cafe Des Amis in St. Dunstan's - "one of my favourite old haunts".

Sonia added: "These days I tend to go and visit him because it's a bit easier but it's lovely to have him home once in a while.

"He's a very level-headed and kind boy and hasn't taken his success for granted.