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A Blooming Success Spot On (Germany), November 8, 2002
translated by Marny

Actor Orlando Bloom, 26, never forgets how lucky he is. If he hadn't been so lucky five years ago, he wouldn't be able to walk today. Or worse, he'd be dead. Orlando became a huge star for his role of the 2,931-year-old elf Legolas in the Lord Of The Rings films. The third film, The Return Of The King, will be in cinemas here next month. But in 1998, a few month before he got the role, Orlando fell three storeys from a house. He broke his back and doctors told him he might never walk again. Twelve days later, Orlando left the hospital on crutches. He says: "It was amazing that I didn't die. I was young and stupid. My back reminds me every day how lucky I am." Luck might be a big reason why Orlando is one of the most popular stars in Hollywood. But it's not the only reason. Orlando started acting at school in his home town of Canterbury in Kent, England. When he was 16, he left home to go to London and act with the National Youth Theatre. Then he got a scholarship at the British American Drama Academy. And when he was 19, he got his first role in a big film, Wilde, about the famous Irish author Oscar Wilde. After he made Wilde, many people wanted Orlando to be in their films. But he decided to got to London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama instead. Three years later, on the day before he graduated, he got the role of Legolas in the $270-million Lord Of The Rings film series. He spent 18 months in New Zealand working on the three films. Orlando says he had a lot of fun with the other actors during filming - especially with Viggo Mortensen, who plays Aragorn. "Vig called me 'elf boy' and I called him 'filthy human'. As an elf, I never got dirty. And Vig was always covered in blood and sweat. He was always saying how prissy elves are. And I always answered, 'Well at least I'm going to live forever. Did you hear me? Live forever!" Orlando also had a lot of fun preparing for his role. He spent two months training in archery, swordplay and horse riding to play Legolas. He also often went bungee jumping and snowboarding. Orlando has always been a bit wild. But he knows being wild has its price. "I've broken my back, ribs, nose, both legs, my arm, my wrist, a finger, a toe and cracked my skull three times." Luckily, since he finished the Lord Of The Rings series, Orlando has been to busy to break any bones. He's in five more big films, including this year's hit Pirates Of The Caribbean.