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Who's That Babe?, from TeenMag.com, April, 2002


Name: Orlando Bloom

D.O.B.: January 13, 1977

Hometown: Canterbury, Kent, England

Height: 5'11"

Siblings: Orlando has one sister, named Samantha, who is also an actor.

How You Know Him: Orlando plays Legolas Greenleaf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies, the first of which, The Fellowship of the Ring, premiered in December 2001. He also starred alongside Josh Hartnett in the gritty war drama Black Hawk Down. In that film, Orlando played Ranger Pvt. First Class Todd Blackburn.

Landing the Role: There was a huge casting call for most of the characters in Lord of the Rings, and Orlando sent in his audition tape along with everyone else. BUT, he actually first sent it in for the role of Faramir, a human on the side of good who appears in the second and third movies in the trilogy. Orlando met director Peter Jackson and impressed him enough that, when the role of Faramir was filled by another actor, Orlando was asked to read for Legolas. He was very excited to be considered for the role, which is bigger than Faramir. "I was over the moon to do that obviously, so I read for Legolas and I was offered the role a few weeks after that," says Orlando. "[Getting cast in Lord of the Rings] was a six-month process but a mind-blowing time for me, really."

Who is Legolas, Anyway?: In the Lord of the Rings story, Legolas Greenleaf is a brave and goodhearted elf who joins the Fellowship of nine who are sworn to protect the ring. Legolas is the representative of all the elves of Middle Earth in the Fellowship. He is tall, fair, highly skilled in archery and has enhanced senses of hearing and sight. "Legolas is a very interesting guy," says Orlando. "The Elves were created by Tolkien to be the magical and mystical race, capable of almost anything in terms of their abilities. They have super human strength, their reflex speed is incredible, their sensory awareness is amazing and they are immortal; they're ageless." Orlando goes on to say, "Legolas has all these special qualities: He's a warrior, he's an archer and he becomes the eyes and ears of the Fellowship really."

Getting the Skills: In order to play Legolas, Orlando had to learn about various forms of combat and master Legolas' favorite weapon: the bow and arrow. "I spent a lot of time learning archery, which is basically my weapon of choice," says Orlando. "What you'll see me doing for most of the movie is firing arrows." Later, Orlando had to gain horseback skills for his parts in the second and third movies, and he was also taught swordplay. "It was an amazing time for me," the actor says. "I spent a lot of time trying to make [Legolas] as real as possible. I was always aware that there were people out there that were fans of Lord of the Rings who were hoping to see Legolas and the rest of the Fellowship. We just wanted to do justice to it."