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Interview With Orlando Bloom, VIDEO news (Belgium), January 2004
translated and scanned by Lindsey

“Every kid dreams about being a pirate. So did I…”

Always wanted to play a pirate?

“Of course, every little boy dreams about that! So did I! On Sundays, I used to watch the pirate-movies of Errol Flynn, the biggest pirate-actor ever! It seemed so cool to cross blades and to board ships with a piece of clothing covering my eyes, just like him.”

How did you get the role of blacksmith Will Turner?

“That was a coincidence, actually. When I finished shooting my next movie, Ned Kelly, I talked to Geoffrey Rush, who plays Barbossa in Pirates of the Caribbean, at the party afterwards. I asked him what his plans were after Ned Kelly and he told me about Pirates...

He talked about how Johnny Depp would be in the movie too, and that they were still looking for someone to play Will. ‘Where do I sign?’ I cried and I got the part not long after that.”

Did you do all the stunts in Pirates… yourself?

“No, not all of them because my insurance company didn’t want me to. But the ones I didn’t do were done by a very good stuntman.”

In 1998, you fell out of a window and broke your back. Don’t you think it’s dangerous to play action roles then?

“Not at all. I trained a lot to get in shape for this movie. And the doctor who operated on my back after the fall told me it had healed completely. But they did advise me to eat more meat.”

But… You’re a vegetarian!

“Indeed. Even though my back was healed, I still kept feeling this annoying pain. And when I was shooting Lord of the Rings, I went to see a doctor in New-Zealand. He told me that if I ate one steak a week, the pain would slowly go away. I know it’s kind of a complicated medical story, but it did work! I haven’t felt any pain ever since.”

Did you have to learn new fight techniques for Pirates…?

“Yes, and I learned them from no one less than Bob Anderson! He used to be Errol Flynn’s instructor! In the pirate-adventure The Master Of Ballantrae he even was Errol’s stunt double. Isn’t that just awesome?”

What do you remember most of filming Pirates…?

“The hard shoots on the ships. Contrary to all the special effects in Lord Of The Rings, these pirate ships were real, so the wind, the high waves and the dark clouds often made filming very hard. I remember one time, director Gore Verbinski got really mad...”

Why?

“He had just shot a particularly difficult scene and when he looked back at it on the monitor, he suddenly saw a large oil tanker sail by. Oh, he was mad, haha!”

Your new project is also an adventure to be excited about: Troy!

Troy is going to be very beautiful! It will be kind of a Gladiator-spectacle about Greek heroes. I’m playing Paris, prince of Troy, who steals away the wife of the Greek king Menelaus, in 1193 BC. Led by Achilles, the Greek declare war on the Trojans who are led by prince Hector.”

In Troy, Achilles is played by no one less than… Brad Pitt!

“Yeah, cool isn’t it? The whole cast is great, by the way, because Eric Bana plays Hector. But Brad and I experienced something really crazy on Malta. Before filming started, we had this ‘cast dinner’ where everyone could meet each other. Afterward, we walked out of the restaurant. And what then happened…”

Tell us…

“The whole street was filled with screaming people! I’ve never seen anything like that before! Okay, some things like that happen at a premiere or something… but you don’t expect that in a little, dusty town on Malta.”

What do you think about all that attention and fame?

“It’s fun, intimidating and overwhelming at the same time. But sometimes it can be a bit annoying too. Because I just want to be an actor and not a sex symbol or something like that. The fun part is that you get a lot of sweet fan mail. The other day, a girl wrote me: ‘Orli, you’re not only a sex symbol, but also a very nice guy.’ I thought that was so sweet.”