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Mad About the Lad, Sugar (UK), February 2004
typed by Cez

He's back this year with two new flicks. What other excuse do we need to ogle Orlando?

Yes! The good news is 2004 is going to be a proper Orlando-fest. As well as Troy, out in the summer, he'll also be appearing in The Calcium Kid - a comedy in which he stars as a young milkman called Jimmy who boxes in his spare time. You'll have to wait until next month when the film is released to find out more. But in the meantime we tracked down the boy himself to find out what else he's been up to...

It's great to see you again Orlando. Are you adjusting to life as a Hollywood hunk then?

Yeah, definitely! I get a little frazzled with it all sometimes but otherwise, life's good. I love being able to be be an actor in work, more than anything.

Did you always want to be famous?

Not particularly. I trained for three years to be an actor - not a celebrity. But somehow I got a great job out of school with Lord Of The Rings. Now I'm really enjoying the work and growing as I'm doing it.

Why do you think Legolas in LOTR is so popular?

I don't know, it's a strange thing really. Perhaps people find the fact that elves are kind, angelic spirits who represent everything good in the world an attractive thing? Or maybe it's the blond hair, blue eyes and the fact that's he pretty cool! For the guys, he's this Zen-like super-hero and for the girls he's got all that, plus good looks too!

We'd agree with that! Did you realise that the film would make you a big star?

Honestly? I never really thought about it!

It can't be too bad earning millions a movie though, eh?

But I'm not! I've never really gone for typical Hollywood movies where you get paid millions of dollars. And I'm grateful for that as I think a lot of money, very fast, can alter your reality to a point where it's hard to come back to what's normal. People may think that I'm going for the money but, when you're working on the sort of films I've worked on, there are usually a lot for actors who want to work on them and not that much cash involved.

How much would you say you've changed?

I'm the same. I'm not different in public or private. Maybe I'm a little bit more wary when people are asking me questions about what I do. But apart from that I'm just the same old me. I just happen to be doing new things!

So who keeps your feet on the ground?

I'm lucky because I've got really great friends and family, so i get a lot of help, love and support from them. They keep me real, and I'd get knocked-out if I tried to keep above myself - especially by my sister! She definitely keeps my feet on the ground.

So now you're one of Hollywood's most eligible bachelors, do you get invited to a lot of parties?

Thankfully, I got a lot of the partying thing out of my system, when I was younger and living in London. I moved there when I was 16, so I did all that stuff back then. I do go to things where have to be there but otherwise I just enjoy hanging out wath my friends, having a nice dinner and chilling out.

You've worked with some pretty cool actors. Who's your fave?

Well working with Johnny Depp on Pirates of the Caribbean was absolutely amazing! Viggo Mortensen from LOTR was also an incredible role model for me. He's a real mentoring-type of guy. And Brad Pitt was great as Achilles, on Troy, I didn't get to work with him much, bit he seems like one of the nicest, most genuine guys I've met.

Tell us about working with Johnny Depp ... drool!

I picked up a lot of tips from Johnny. He's so detailed in the way he approaches a character. One thing he said to me was; 'It's not open-heart surgery. No-one's going to die if you get this wrong, so just go for it!' That's what I've tried to do. He's a really courageous guy and I admire that a lot.

Troy must have been an amazing movie to be part of ...

Yeah. It's an epic style film but it's more acting-based that action-based. It's more of a performing piece and a progression for me, despite being part of an ensemble (Er you what mate? - Ed). I play Paris, an anti-hero. I'm more a lover than a fighter, which is kind of cool for me because I haven't had many kissing scenes in the past!

How did it compare with filming your next release, Calcium Kid?

Creatively, I had one of the most rewarding times on The Calcium Kid. It'a a small, poppy British comedy that was really fun to make. It's not trying to be anything it isn't. It's not trying to be clever, But I'm sure it will do well and plenty of people will enjoy it!

You seriously injured your back a few years ago - how did that accident affect your life?

Yeah it was pretty bad. But it's really made me appreciate things more, because everything I do now is a bit of a bonus. I still do a lot of work on my back - I get the odd twang every now and again. But having a little bit of gyp with my back also reminds me of just how lucky I am.

It's hasn't stopped you doing crazy things like bungee jumping though has it?

No way! I love all that stuff so I'm not going to let anything get in the way. When I was filming LOTR in New Zealand, I threw myself out of airplanes, bungee-jumped out of cable cars, went snowboarding and surfing! It's fun occasionally, but I've done it not and got it out of my system.

That's a lot of jumping! So are you a serious adrenaline junkie then?

No, I did it because I wanted to challenge myself, face my fears and prove a point to myself. I don't suffer from any serious phobias, like vertigo, but even so it's still pretty terrifying when you are standing on the edge of a bridge, about to throw yourself off into a huge ravine with just a piece of rubber band tied to your legs! I love it though.

Are you good a facing your fears, or are you ever tempted to run away from them?

Not at all. I really like to confront my fears. If something really terrifies me, I'll just jump into it so it doesn't terrify me any more. That's why I got into acting. I went to stage and drama school because I used to get really freaked out standing on stage.

So what are you plans for the future?

I haven't played the lead in a big movie, where it's hanging on me, so I'm looking forward to that. I'd also like to do some of those great art-house, historical pieces with all those incredible character roles. I definitely have more choices after Pirates but I still feel the material I'm getting is in the vein of what I've done before. I know you need to earn your acting stripes first but those roles will come as long as I keep making the right choices.

~*~*~ SEXY SECRETS - Orlando reveals some fruity facts...

"Everyone on the film had a tattoo of an elvish sign done. Mine's on my upper arm. I already had a sun on my belly that I got when I was 15!"

"I like nice, sweet girls and blonde girls. I respect tough women but I'm not attracted to them."

"Keira Knightly is beautiful, I had a real crush on her when we were filming Pirates! She's definitely blossoming."

"Right now my only major relationship is with my work. And as other people wiser than myself say, I'm too young to settle down."

"My most embarrassing moment was trying to snog my first girlfriend when I was nine. I couldn't work out what word to use, like, can I kiss you? I think I said something like, 'can I get off with you?' I hope my chat up lines are a bit better now!"