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Will the Real Orlando Bloom Please Standup?, More! (UK), December 2002
typed by The OB Files, scans from LittleMiss

more! gets to grips with movieland's Mr Shy Boy - and finds he's anything but!

For someone who has most of the female population on their knees in lust, Orlando Bloom seems to be a shy one. The dark handsome star won MTV's Breakthrough Performance award and Empire's Best Debut gong for his cool portrayal of Legolas the elf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, yet shuns virtually all publicity. Interview requests are often politely refused, and questions regarding his personal life batted back unanswered. "The fact that many people are taking an interest is scary," he admits. "It really freaks me out." Well, hard luck, fella - we just had to find out the truth about Hollywood's hottest new star. And this is what we discovered...

HIS DAD WAS A HUMAN RIGHTS HERO...
The magazine covers and red carpet premieres are a long way from England cathedral town Canterbury where Orlando grew up. Sadly his dad, Harry, a campaigner against apartheid in South Africa who was jailed for his beliefs, died when Orlando was only four, but his son believes his spirit has carried on: "Harry was a great man and it was as if he'd done his job, then left the world," he says.

HE'S A BIBLE-READING EXPERT WHO STARTED ACTING TO GET LADIES...
Orlando may have his dad to thank for his grit and determination, but it's thanks to his mum, Sheila, that he got into acting. "My mum used to make my sister and me compete in Bible-reading competitions, and I'd do quite well," he says. "That's how I got the taste for performing." And it wasn't just Bible reading that gave him the acting bug - it was girls, too. "Aged nine I had this girlfriend and we used to have running races in the park to see who would be her boyfriend for the day," he smiles. "I wanted to be Superman and fly in and rescue her. Once I realised that Superman was an actor, I thought, that's for me! I got into acting for the women."

HE GOT INTO SEX WHEN HE WAS VERY YOUNG...
Orlando has had a thing for the ladies ever since he lost his virginity aged 14 to "an English Rose". His mum ran a language school so he was never short of admirers while growing up. "I used to meet all these hot European chicks," he grins. And as far as he's concerned, women remain a high priority. "I'm not motivated by money. Frankly, if I get the chance to kiss someone in a movie, they wouldn't need to pay me at all!"

HE RECKONS LOVE IS BETTER THAN SEX...
Orli, as he's known to his friends, reckons that there's no romance any more. "Maybe our generation is more about sex, but it feels like romance is dying out," he says. "In England, when you meet someone, you're normally quite drunk and end up having some messy little snog in a cab on the way home. But I love that feeling when you start falling for somebody and you can't stop thinking about when you're going to see them again." Awww.

HE'S HAPPY TO BE SINGLE...
His legendary shyness comes into play when he's quizzed over the current object of his affections. Although rumours suggest that he's enjoying the company of Hollywood starlet Christina Ricci, Orlando claims to be single after breaking up with his "first big love" while filming Lord Of The Rings. "She spent seven months with me in New Zealand and then two more later on. We tried to make it work, but we couldn't handle it. It's very difficult to keep a relationship going when you're not in the same country. Right now the only think I'm in a big relationship with is my work."

HE'S NOT WORRIED ABOUT BEING ALONE...
"People come into your life and people leave it. I have quite a philosophical view on it. Certain things happen for a reason. You just have to trust that life has a road mapped out for you."

HE DOES CRAZY STUNTS AND HURTS HIMSELF. BADLY...
"I've broken my back, my ribs, my nose, both my legs, my arm, my wrist, a finger, a toe and I've cracked my skull three times!" he admits. Unfortunately, this appetite for destruction almost stopped Orli in his tracks at the age of 21. "I was round at a friend's house in London and I was trying to get onto a roof terrace. I stepped out of the window onto a piece of gutter which didn't hold, and I fell three floors. I was rushed to hospital and the doctors thought I'd never walk again. I spent four days contemplating that as a serious reality, then I had an operation and 12 days later I was walking out of hospital on crutches. It was a total miracle."

IF HE GETS ARROGANT, HIS FRIENDS WILL PUNCH HIM...
He's currently filming The Pirates of the Caribbean with his hero Johnny Depp, he just finished The Kelly Gang, and the final installment of Lord of the Rings is on the way - so it looks like 2003 is going to be a bumper year for Mr Bloom. But will all the success go to his head? Well luckily he has a way of preventing that happening. "I've surrounded myself with friends who would beat me physically if, for a moment, I tried to get above myself," he says. Well what can we say Mr Bloom? You can do no wrong and we love you. Now get over here and give us your number!

ORLANDO ON...

Girls
"I like blondes - and nice, sweet girls." Rumor has it he was once engaged to celebrity make-up artist Jemma Kidd, and dated actress Joanne Morely.
Relationships
"I'm a good boyfriend, but pretty intense. When you're with me it's exciting, fun and very serious."
Diet
"I'm a vegetarian and stay well clear of dairy products."
Bad habits
"I gave up smoking and now I'm trying to give up biting my nails."
First job
"As a clay trapper when I was about 13. I set the clay discs the gentlemen would try to shoot. It was fun to out in the fresh air."
First Hollywood Crush
"Linda Evans! I used to watch Dynasty as a kid. My aunt is a commercial producer, and she'd done a commercial with her. I can still remember getting a signed photo of Linda."
First Record
"Edie Brickell And The New Bohemians. And Thriller - that was great."
Tattoos
"A sun on my back, and a nine in Elvish on my wrist that all the actors in The Fellowship... got when we were filming."
Fears
"Sharks. Me and Billy Boyd, who plays Pippin in Lord Of the Rings, were out surfing during the NZ shootings when Billy saw a fin and started paddling towards me in panic. It turned out to be a seal, but I was so jittery I got out of the water anyway."