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Why Heartbreak Has Made Me Stronger, Sneak (UK), July 29, 2003
typed by Kyle, scans from Louise

He's one of the sexiest stars around, but just a few years ago, a long distance relationship left Orlando Bloom broken-hearted.

Next Friday Orlando hits the big screen as gorgeous, swashbuckling Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean. Here, in the second part of our exclusive Orlando spesh, Sneak reveals:
* The heartbreak he felt when filming The Lord of the Rings
* The crush he had on Pirates co-star Keira Knightley
* What his first kiss was like
* How he lost his virginity

"I had a girlfriend"
During his rise to superstardom, Orlando has been linked with a gaggle of gorgeous girls, on screen and in his real life. So how could it be that only a few years ago, he was left totally heartbroken by a girl?
"I had a girlfriend during the shooting of The Lord of the Rings," explains Orlando. But working thousands of miles away in New Zealand put an unbearable strain on the couple's relationship, until it finally reached breaking point. "The distance was too big so we broke up," he reveals.

"I had a crush on Keira Knightley"
Since the painful break-up, over three years ago, Orlando has put the past behind him and worked almost continually, making films with A-list stars and becoming one of the hottest actors around.
"I haven't had a huge amount of time for dating," he admits. "It sort of happens when it happens, doesn't it? At the moment, my works been really predominant in my life."
But Orlando has managed to find some time for girls! There were rumours earlier this year about a romance with Blue Crush star Kate Bosworth, and Sneak even pictured them together. But he insists "I try to keep my private life separate from everything else."
He has even been linked with his current co-star, Keira Knightly, but has quickly quashed the rumours.
"Keira's beautiful," he says "I think I had a crush on her while we were filming, actually. We got on really well, but I got on really well with her boyfriend, too."

"My first kiss was terrible"
Unsurprisingly, while growing up in Canterbury, Orlando was popular. "I've had quite a few girlfriends," he says, shyly "My mum ran a language school and I met lots of European girls there."
Like most teenagers, though, he has had his share of embarrassing moments. Remembering his first snog, Orlando hides his head in his hands and cringes, "My first kiss was terrible. I was 12 and I didn't know what to do with my teeth!" Two years later, his confidence has grown and he felt ready to take things one step further with girls. "When I was 14, I met this very special girl, I lost my virginity to her," he says.
"Lets just say that my interest in women grew more then!"

"I get nervous snogging on screen"
Orlando is now an international sex symbol, and has fine-tuned his romantic skills, but he denies that he became an actor just so he could kiss beautiful women for a living.
"I never said that," he fumes "I want to kill the magazine that wrote that 'cos I get asked that question all the time now! Beautiful women are great, but I wouldn't take a job just so that I could kiss a girl. Are you crazy?!" Regardless of denial, Orli does get to kiss a lot of gorgeous girls in his films. In Pirates of the Caribbean, he snogs Keira Knightley, who has admitted that kissing Orlando "came naturally." Yet he still gets worried when filming those intimate on-screen snog scenes! "It's definitely a sort of nervous thing," he admits. "You're sort of like - to tongue or not to tongue? Should it be real or shouldn't it?!"

"I like to think I'm romantic"
Thankfully, Orlando is less nervous with his real-life loves. And any girl who's lucky enough to date him can be assured that he'll treat her like a princess!
"I like to think I'm romantic," says Orlando "It's all the little things that count, I suppose. When I'm in love, that woman is the most important thing in my life. I do everything for her."
Having clearly learned from his previous heartbreak, Orlando would never let distance rip a relationship apart again.
"I flew all the way to Dubai once to be with a girl that I dated at the time," he says. "And when I was in love with an Irish girl, I sent her plane tickets and asked her to come and visit me in London."
So what is is about falling head-over-heels in love that Orlando loves so much? "When you start falling for somebody and you can't stop thinking about when you're going to see them again, I love that."

Would Orlando fancy you?
We can reveal Mr. Bloom's ideal girls! She's gotta be...
* Blonde: "I like blonde girls," he reveals.
* Nice: "She has to be sweet," he continues
* A big softy: "I respect tough women but I'm not attracted to them."
* A shopaholic!: "I really love shopping, it's like a therapy. I love buying clothes or funny things antique things you only find in flea markets."
* Tolerant: "I bite my nails and I'm pretty intense"
* Funny: "Sense of humour is important," he reckons
* Generous: "I like kind girls," he concludes.

ORLANDO'S ON-SCREEN SNOGS

Pirates of the Caribbean - Keira Knightley
Keira's character, Elizabeth, is swept off her feet and saved from evil pirates by Will Turner. "My character, Will, is a romantic," says Orlando.

Calcium Kid - Billie Piper
In the movie, which is due for release later this year, Billie plays Angel, and snogs milkman by day/boxer by night, Jimmy, played by Orlando.

Ned Kelly - Rachel Griffiths
"Heath Ledger plays Ned and its kind of Ned's story. I play his right-hand man, and a bit of a ladies' man, too," explains Orlando.

Troy - Diane Kruger
"I play Paris - this young foolish lad who falls in love with Helen, steals her away and doesn't care about the consequences," explains Orlando.