The Calcium Kid, The Sunday Mail (Scotland), April 18, 2004
Byline: By JOHN MILLAR
Bloom's striking good looks have helped him become an
heartthrob and star of mega-budget epics Lord Of The Rings,
Pirates Of The
Caribbean and Troy.
This pretty boy is the last person
you would expect to play a boxer.
But in latest flick the Calcium Kid he
plays Jimmy Connelly, a milkman who
can also pack a punch.
comedy but Orlando, 27, still had to put in some serious training.
said: 'I wanted to look like had boxed before. I did some training so
hold my fists up with the gloves on they are quite heavy.
'It was a fun
process. trained a little bit in America with a guy there and
Australia, when I was working on Ned Kelly, then I finished
'Now I have a whole new respect for boxers. It's not an easy
very demanding, physically and mentally.'
The slim, fit,
young actor, who developed a passion for surfing when he was
in New Zealand
filming Lord Of The Rings, learned the hard way.
He said: 'I took a few
knocks, yeah. It's an interesting thing trying to
punch somebody. That's not
a particularly pleasant thing to do.'
Although he will admit to his share
of playground punch-ups when he was a
schoolboy.'I was a little bit of a
scrapper when I was a kid,' he says.'But
I grew out of that quite quickly,
thank goodness. I realised the error of
In the film, the
milkman is drafted in to spar with the British champion,
who is preparing for
a tilt at the world crown. But disaster strikes when
the champ breaks his
hand on Jimmy's head.
Orlando said: 'I have to step in and there is a
rather funny chain of
events that lead to me having to fight the world
The star, who is joined by pop star Billie Piper,
Ancona and comic Omid Djalili, admits Jimmy is no
'Jimmy isn't actually a very good boxer, that's the comedy
of it. He's a
milkman, first and foremost.'
During filming, Orlando
got a chance to meet a couple of Britain's former
boxing greats, Frank Bruno
and Chris Eubank, who appear in the movie.
'It was a real honour,' says
Orlando. 'Obviously as a kid I watched them
fight. Frank and Chris have
cameos in the film when they wish me all the
But his training
for the role didn't stop in the ring. 'I had a few lessons
driving round in
milk floats,' he says. 'And did the carrying of bottles of
milk these guys
can carry a bottle on each finger and one on each palm. I
The early starts were nothing new for the former paper boy,
who managed to
avoid being recognised on his rounds. 'At that time nobody had
a clue who I
was,' he says. 'It was before I had done Pirates Of The
Caribbean and the
blond wig for Lord Of The Rings was still working as a very
Orlando admits he's not a fan of a daily pinta. 'In the
film I had to knock
back a couple of pints but that was not real
Despite his Hollywood success, Orlando was delighted to star in
low-budget flick. He says: 'It was my first leading role . I am very
of this film. I had played all these intense, serious young men. This
chance to throw caution to the wind and be a bit of a
The tall star, who was born in Canterbury, Kent, and had to
dyslexia as he struggled to become an actor, is working on
blockbuster. This time it's director Ridley Scott's Kingdom Of
epic tale set during the 12th-century Crusades. No wonder he says
has to pinch himself.
Orlando says: 'I feel very fortunate to
have worked in such great films.
Lord Of The Rings came straight out of
school for me. It wasn't much of a
decision... more a case of, 'Where do I
sign?' It could all have been so
different. Six years ago he broke his back
after a three-storey fall. He
had been trying to climb up a drainpipe after a
friend got locked out of
Orlando says: 'I was told I might
not walk again. So for about four days I
was contemplating that as a serious
part of reality. Then they operated and
I walked out of the hospital in about
12 days.' Away from the cameras,
Orlando has tried to keep his love life
private. Not easy when the woman in
his life is beautiful American actress
Kate Bosworth, 21, soon to be seen
in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! and
Wonderland. He has given her a gold
bracelet as a token of his
Of his sex symbol status, Orlando says: 'It's lovely but I don't
different to how I did a few years ago. try and maintain some sense
reality.' Asked if he's a romantic, he says: 'I like to think so. I'm
hero to my mum, I reckon, and I was brought up with good manners, so I
to be a gentleman.'
After The Calcium Kid, Orlando's next film
release will be Troy, the
multi-million dollar saga of a 10year siege by the
armies of Ancient
Greece. The star-studded cast includes Brad Pitt, The
Hulk's Eric Bana,
Peter O'Toole and Sean Bean. Orlando plays Paris, the
prince who starts the
war when he runs off with Helen (Diane Kruger), the
wife of the Spartan king.
'Paris is the lover, not the fighter,' says
Orlando. 'It's a time of men
and warriors and honour and he is this foolish
boy who falls in love with
Helen, steals her away and doesn't care about
He says working with Brad Pitt provided the same sort of
inspiration he got
from acting alongside Johnny Depp in Pirates Of The
'They are great role models. Johnny has always been incredibly
with the choices he has made and the same can be said of Brad,'
Orlando. 'I have noticed with Johnny and Brad that fame is a by-product
being an actor.
'I was in Malta with the Troy production and we had
a cast dinner at a
'As we left I was talking to Brad Pitt
and then one of the single most
bizarre things I have ever seen happened it
felt like pretty much the whole
of Malta had descended on the guy.
witnessed with great interest the incredible poise, humility and grace
which he carried himself at that point. People tend to get a little
frantic around him so it was eye-opening to see him handle that
there were people coming at him and trying to touch him and
As his star continues to rise, it's the kind of treatment Orlando
have to get used to in future.
The Calcium Kid is released on
Reluctant boxer Jimmy (Orlando Bloom) is
encouraged by manager Omid
Djalili; Lord Of The Rings' elf made Orlando a
star; With fellow outlaw
Joel Edgerton in Ned Kelly; Caribbean pirate Johnny
Depp and Orlando;
Romantic Paris woos Helen (Diane Kruger)
2004 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday