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Lord of the Rings star Bloom learns how to fight, Middle Earth style, AP article, January 1, 2002

Sword fighting anyone? That's one of the skills Orlando Bloom picked up while training for his role as the fearless elf Legolas for The Lord of the Rings movies.

The three films in the series based on J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy were shot simultaneously in New Zealand. The first film, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, is now in theatres.

Training began two months before the start of filming, said Bloom. Besides sword fighting, he also learned archery, horseback riding and how to paddle a boat.

"The first thing I had was a bow stuck in my hand," he told reporters recently. "I started training with a bow and arrow in order to get archery going. And horse-riding training. And then swordplay.... And paddle training."

Bloom also appears in the new film Black Hawk Down.