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Blooming Star, Star Magazine (US) July 29, 2003
scanned and typed by Ami

HOTTIE Orlando Bloom Steals Hearts in Pirates of the Caribbean

Hunk ahoy! In Pirates of the Caribbean, Orlando Bloom is a swashbuckler who makes women's timbers shiver!

At 26, the handsome 5-foot-11 Brit sparked interest in Black Hawk Down and Lord of the Rings, but now he's exploding with popularity- especially among his adoring female fans. Between his perfectly tousled hair, penetrating brown eyes and irresistible personality, Orlando is joining the ranks of Hollywood hotties like Brad Pitt, Colin Farrell, and Ashton Kutcher.

"This is all like a dream," he says. "Its kind of overwhelming." His path to Hollywood has as many twists and turns as a treasure map. When he was 16, Orlando quit school. "I was dyslexic, so I always struggled in school," he admits. It wasn't until he enrolled in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London that his life changed.

After bit parts on British TV shows and on stage, he snagged the role of Legolas Greenleaf in The Lord of the Rings and the world started taking notice. Orlando, who has two tattoos- the number 9 inked on his forearm and a sun on his lower torso- says he's still pinching himself over working with Johnny Depp in Pirates.

Orlando's talents lean toward photography and sculpting. But the action-loving star also gets his thrills from adrenaline sports like skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding and surfing. No wonder he loved the daring fight scenes in the movie. "I couldn't believe it when I was given the opportunity to play a pirate," he says with a boyish grin. "I just said: ‘Where do I sign?' I mean, isn't it every little boy's dream to be out there on the open seas with boat-to-boat battles and swinging on the ropes?"  Orlando gets to show off his fighting and fencing skills again next year in Troy, co-starring Brad Pitt. You'd never know from his performances that Orlando suffered a devastating injury several years ago.  During his second year at Guildhall, he fell three floors from the roof of a friends apartment, broke his back and spent twelve days in the hospital.  "I blacked out," he says, "I don't remember anything from the fall to the landing. All I remember is opening my eyes and being out of it. It was touch-and-go whether I was going to walk again. I was really lucky. It sort of make me grow up. It wade me appreciate things more. I try not to take myself too seriously."

"It was a life-changing experience."  And while he's always careful, he doesn't let fear keep him from doing stunts in the movies. "The stunt guys on Pirates did video-tapes of all our fight scenes, so we could get a sense of what we were expected to do."

"I was like: ‘Are you crazy? You want me to do this stuff? This is mad' It was quite intimidating, but when you do it all shot by shot, it's OK." He also finds the hordes of female fans who mob him now a little overwhelming. "I'm just trying to figure out at the moment," admits Orlando, who has been linked with Blue Crush star Kate Bosworth. "It's kind of an odd time. Right now, my only big relationship is with work."