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Full Bloom, Tribute (Canada), April 2004
scans by Jessy

With his dark brown hair, soulful eyes and chiseled cheekbones, Orlando Bloom may have at first seemed an odd choice to play the blonde Elven warrior Legolas in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but he appears right at home playing a prince in Troy opposite Brad Pitt, Peter O'Toole and Eric Bana.

The movie tells the story of how Prince Paris (Bloom) of Troy stole the beautiful Greek woman, Helen (Diane Kruger), away from her husband, Menelaus, the king of Sparta, setting the two nations at war with each other. The Greeks then began a bloody siege of Troy using their entire armada, led by Achilles (Pitt), that lasted more than a decade.

Born and raised in Canterbury, England, Bloom joined the National Youth Theatre at age 16 and spent two years honing his craft before winning a scholarship to London's British American Drama Academy. He went on to make his film debut as an attractive rent boy in Wilde (1997), the biopic of Irish playwright Oscar Wilde. In 1999, Bloom was cast in the star-making part of Legolas, solidifying the young actor's standing as a rising talent.

Last year he starred opposite Johnny Depp in the blockbuster, Pirates of the Caribbean, and has signed on for the sequel. For Orlando Bloom anything seems possible.

What is the best and worst part of being an actor now?
O.B. The best part is the work for me, and the worst part is, not the interviews, but it's just feeling like sometimes when the pace quickens, that you're not hitting all of the bases, that you're not responding to everyone or you can't. On a daily basis, it's much harder to connect with as many people as you would when the pace is a bit slower. When you're moving quite quickly with work and stuff, you sometimes can't always give enough attention to the people around you, and when that starts affecting the people closest to you, and gradually out from there, it stresses me out. That's the hardest thing.

Do you feel it's a bit out of control, that the fame thing happened much too quickly?
O.B. No. I mean, I'm 27. I'm very lucky. I'm very lucky with that. I'm just working really hard. I'm taking the opportunities as they come and working on as many movies as I can, which is really great.

Do you have a sweetheart?
O.B. [Laughs] I'm very happy in my life and I'm really focused on my career and I'm very happy with all the relationships in my life, but I try not to get into or talk too much about my personal relationships, because I'd like to try and keep those as sort of separate and without putting as much pressure on those, do you know what I mean, as possible, and so, without putting them into the spotlight.

In the context of being too busy, is there something that you feel guilty about?
O.B. You feel bad because you can't always return all of the phone calls all of the time, but you try to do your best. I should probably get some help, that's what I should probably do, and yet, I'm too much of a control freak and want to do most of it myself.

Or someone sends you something, a really nice gift, because you get sent really nice gifts and stuff, and you go, 'Oh, that's amazing, wow. I must remember to write cards out to them or I must remember to thank that person or give a phone call in,' and it'll get lost in the shuffle and then, you feel bad and then, too much time has passed and then, that's the sort of scenario that you find yourself in. Those are quality problems though.

Is it hard to keep your feet on the ground at times with all of the attention?
O.B. Yeah, I guess that it is. Absolutely, for sure, but it's more concentrated when you're in that environment. If you're at a premiere, people go crazy because they're all amped up. They're waiting to see the movie stars that are in the movie, and they're all excited and they've come particularly for that purpose. They know that they're not going to go and see the movie that night, but they're just waiting by the red carpet for that purpose and I think that creates that.

filmography

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (2005)
Elizabethtown (2005)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Haven (2004)
Troy (2004)
The Calcium Kid (2004)
The Lord of the Rings:
The Return of the King (2003)
Pirates of the Caribbean:
The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Ned Kelly (2003)
The Lord of the Rings:
The Two Towers (2002)
Black Hawk Down (2001)
The Lord of the Rings:
The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Wilde (1997)
Are you done with Troy?
O.B. I'm done with Troy, yes. I play Paris.

Paris Hilton?
O.B. [Laughs] I've never played with Paris, but I play Paris who's the prince of Troy and the brother of Hector. The story is really focused on the 'Iliad' and the story of Hector and Achilles, the rivalry and Paris taking Helen and creating this terrible, awful war situation.

How has that experience been?
O.B. Crazy. Amazing. Wolfgang [Petersen] is an incredible director and Eric [Bana] plays my brother and he's lovely and Peter O'Toole played my dad and he was amazing.

Who plays Helen?
O.B. A young girl named Diane Kruger. She's really, really adorable.

How was it working with Peter O'Toole?
O.B. He's got the sharpest wit that I've ever met. I mean he's like Ian [McKellen]. One time, he was walking up these stairs with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and someone said to him, 'Peter, have you ever thought about giving up cigarettes?,' and he goes, ''No, but I've thought about giving up stairs.' [Laughs] I mean, he's just one of those.

Has there been a time when it was so hard that you just wanted to quit?
O.B. You just have to remind yourself of what you'd be doing if you weren't in this opportunity. I'd rather be working on amazing films and having great opportunities than not. That's the flip side of the coin. Also, it always feels that it could quite easily be ripped away from you. It's like, if it comes that quick, it can go that quick, do you know what I mean?

What's next for you?
O.B. I'm doing Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven project. So, that's very exciting. It's about the crusades.

Your films all seem to have a historical slant.
O.B. I think people who cast movies, and directors, think, 'right, if they played elves, we can fit them into some of these other categories,' and that's what I was trying to explain when I said that it put me into this forum of being able to work on those sorts of other movies like Pirates or Troy. You want someone to be able to do that, and I love the opportunity.