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A Hobbit's Tale from One (France), October 2002
Translated by Sadie

If I died tomorrow, I would feel that I've lived an extremely accomplished life.

With a few months until the release of the next installment of "The Lord of the Rings", Orlando Bloom's popularity hasn't waned. And yet, the young actor has managed to keep a cool head, even if he admits taking advantage a little bit of his fame. Today he is reflecting on the reasons that pushed him to become an actor, and reveals to us some surprising aspects of his character.

One How did you go about putting yourself in the skin of an elf who has more than 2000 years of existence under his belt?
Orlando I concentrated on the physical abilities of Legolas, on his manner of moving. I tried to illustrate with movements what is going on inside his head. Legolas' gestures are elegant and supple, like a cat. During the battle scenes I was always thinking about the image of a cat that turns and lands on his feet. The movements of Legolas should be athletic and graceful, almost like in a ballet, but it was very hard to do. But I gave it my all, because I wanted to show how strong Legolas is both mentally and physically, sort of like a samurai warrior.

One How is your character going to change in the next two installments of "The Lord of the Rings"?
Orlando He's going to become a lot closer to the dwarf Gimli. In the beginning Legolas doesn't really put up with him, because traditionally, elves consider dwarves to be dirty creatures that exploit the earth without giving anything back. But the relationship between Legolas and Gimli evolves when they are forced to become a team and to support each other mutually. They end up respecting their differences and, in the final battles, they laugh together and even compare the number of enemies they've slew.

One Who is the one person who has had the most influence on you over the course of your life?
Orlando My father, Harry Bloom, even though he passed away when I was four. He was a legendary figure in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and he was even imprisoned for his beliefs. He worked alongside Nelson Mandela to end that particular injustice. He was a great man who gave everything to this cause, and, once his work was completed, he passed on, as if he knew that he had achieved his mission.

If someone offers me a film where I'm supposed to kiss a girl, I'm all for it!

One Why did you want to become an actor?
Orlando Because of girls! (laughs) No, honestly, I don't do this work for the money or the fame. If someone offers me a film where I am supposed to kiss a girl, I'm all for it! I would even work for free. (laughs) I still have trouble believing that I get paid to do something that I love. But, seriously, when I was a kid I had a very vivid imagination and I was always drawn to heroic characters that I discovered in the theatre or the cinema. When I was old enough to understand that these characters were simply fictional heroes interpreted by actors, I realized that I could be Superman or an Indian or a gangster.

One Who are your favorite actors?
Orlando Paul Newman, it was his film "The Hustler" that made me want to act. I also like Daniel Day Lewis ("The Last of the Mohicans") and Johnny Depp for their integrity and their career choices.

One A lot of fans consider you a sex symbol. What do you think about that?
Orlando All the attention that I get is kind of scary. Luckily a lot of people don't recognize me without Legolas' blonde wig. But I also know that I'm extremely lucky and I really appreciate the life I'm leading right now. If I died tomorrow, I would feel that I've lived an extremely accomplished life.

One Are you afraid that success will go to your head?
Orlando No, because my friends and family wouldn't let that sort of thing happen to me. My older sister, Samantha, who is also an actor, will put me back on the right track if I become arrogant. And my best friends would give me a good thrashing if they thought that I was getting a big head. (laughs)

One What kind of films do you want to do in the future?
Orlando I like films with integrity that tell a great story. But, also I would really like to do a comedy. I think that the people who surround me like my sense of humour and they find me funny. That might surprise your readers, but I really have a funny temperament.

One Can you reveal to us one thing that the public doesn't know about you?
Orlando I am a vegetarian and I don't eat any dairy products.

One What role do you play in your new film "The Kelly Gang" ?
Orlando I play Joe Byrne, a thief who is part of Ned Kelly's Gang, who is the legendary Australian bandit interpreted by Heath Ledger (A Knight's Tale). The film tells the story of this gang who helped poor people during the 19th century in Australia by robbing a series of banks and trains. The members of the gang were criminals, but also were great guys and my character is a real ladies' man. So I'm going to have to kiss several actresses in the film. What a great job! (laughs)