Captain Bloom, Max (Italy), September, 2003
translated by Frannie, scans by Raffy from Dream in Bloom
The young Orlando dons the pirate outfit to lend a hand
to Johnny Depp. Shy, kind, but ready for anything. Like his favourite icon:
Paul Newman. “The Hustler”.
It’s enough to say the name
Legolas, the archer elf of “The Lord of the Rings”. And the actor holding the
bow, Brit Orlando Bloom, becomes the most sought after name on the Internet. Actually
before he became Legolas, 26-year-old Bloom had done very little, his cv
bearing only mention of the courses he took at London’s prestigious Guildhall
School of Music and Drama (my note: tv appearances such as “Midsomer Murders”
just haven’t arrived in Italy). After Legolas, here he is as the
brave Will Turner, who attempts to save the governor’s beautiful daughter from
a crew of undead pirates in “The Curse of the First Moon” (aka “POTC: The Curse of the Black
Pearl”): he acts alongside the immensely histrionic Johnny Depp as
Captain Jack Sparrow, the nuttiest pirate of the 18th century.
As opposed to the albino
Legolas, Orlando has a luscious head of dark hair, brown eyes and olive skin: a contrast that still allows him to walk around the
streets unrecognized. Shy, gentlemanly, a
delicate smile, he flied to Los Angeles to promote “The Curse” from Malta: in
other words, from the set of “Troy”, Homeric-hollywood
epic with Brad Pitt (Achilles), Eric Bana (Hector) and Orlando (Paris). Before
that, he was in Australia for “Ned Kelly”. Cherry on top: the third and last installment of “The Lord of the Rings” (in Italy in January).
Cloak and dagger, pirates, epics! “The Lord of the
Rings”, “The Curse of the First Moon”, “Troy”: do you like history by any
“When I was a kid I was a bit
dyslexic, so school was tough. Now I like to read up on historical facts, but
it goes without saying that this was a coincidence. Period movies are only one
of the genres I’d like to do. Getting the part of Legolas was like winning the
lottery, my only thought was: where do I sign?”
And what about “The Curse of the First Moon”?
It was the producer Jerry Bruckheimer,
with whom I’d worked on “Black Hawk Down” (he’s the marine who falls out of the
helicopter at the beginning of the Mogadishu blitz), to think of me for the
part of Will. I didn’t really give the offer too much weight until Geoffrey
Rush, with whom I was working on “Ned Kelly” and who was already involved in
the project (he is Barbossa, the evil pirate), told me: ‘read the script: it’s
funnier than you think’.”
Did you like pirate movies?
“I’d seen a few: “Captain
Blood”, “Treasure Island”. Once I’d signed the contract though, I watched the
swashbuckler movies with Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks. I wanted to study
how to swordfight.”
Johnny Depp said he got his inspiration for his
character on Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards. Who did you draw upon for
“On Johnny Depp of course! Ask
around: for the actors of my generation, he is our model, and working with him
has been a priceless lesson: he’s excellent, generous, a wonderful person.”
Did he give you any advice?
“He’d tell me ‘never chase
money and remember the reason you decided to start acting’. But we’d talk about
anything, not just work.”
Do you have an anecdote about him?
“Once we were going back to
St. Vincent island, in the Caribbean, where we filmed part of the movie: we got
off the plane and we were half-drunk. On the runway, the Prime Minister was
waiting for us with an official welcoming ceremony: a staggering Johnny tripped
and fell, right at his feet. With an Inspector Clouseau-like jump he got up and
hugged and kissed the astonished premier, making up for it all with great
aplomb. A classic ‘Johnny Depp’ moment!”
Who are your Hollywood heroes?
“When I was a kid I was
fascinated by ‘The Hustler’ with Paul Newman: after that I saw all his movies.
I thought he was excellent in ‘Road to Perdition’ as well. Then there’s Marlon
Brando and Daniel-Day Lewis. But I’ve been inspired by theatre actors and
street performers as well.”
Orlando comes from…
“It’s a character from
Shakespeare, from ‘As you like it’ (my note: my translation, can’t remember if that’s
the exact title, sorry!): my mother loved it. Then there’s Orlando
Gibbons, a 17th century composer. And no, it has nothing to do with
the Florida city where Disneyworld is, as someone has reported…”
As if that were the reason for Disney picking you for
POTC… What other false rumours have been written about you?
“That I became an actor in
order to get to kiss girls. Absurd.”
Well, getting to kiss certain girls isn’t all that bad…
“I love girls, but I don’t
need a movie set to kiss them!”
Was it difficult filming “The Curse of the First Moon”?
“Compared to LOTR no. Of
course, it’s not easy filming over water, but I like sailing. We stayed on the
Lady Washington ship for a long time, that’s the double for the Interceptor,
the ship with which we follow the pirate ship.”
And what about the sword-fighting?
“I was lucky enough to get to
work with Bob Anderson, who’d been Errol Flynn’s instructor and stunt double.
Bob teaches you not to lose the sense of the character while sword-fighting.
And then in the movie we speak with swords: so while I was dueling I didn’t
lose the essence of the role.”
Who’d win in a duel: Legolas or Will Turner?
“Legolas! He has 2,950 years
of experience, he’s invincible. But maybe with swords, Will might have a
Is Legolas love or a prison for you?
“Love: he will always be with
me. He was my first great character, and you never forget your first love.”
What do you do when you’re not on set?
“In the last three years I’ve
been working so much that the few free moments I had I’d spend with my family.
I’d go visit my grandmother in the country and see my friends. Nothing
But your fans know you for your adrenaline addiction:
is this false too?
“No, I am an adrenaline
junkie. I love to bungee-jump, parachute, surf, do motorcross. I’ve always been
rather daring, but I really got passionate about extreme sports during the 18
months shooting LOTR in New Zealand. Now I’ve calmed down a bit.”
If you hadn’t been cast as Legolas, what would you be
“I’d be acting in basements
day and night, I’d be sculpting. My mother always used to tell me ‘keep
sculpting, darling’. She’s still convinced someday I’m going to make it as a
Instead, you’re Paris in “Troy”…
“A young, reckless,
irresponsible Paris who goes against everyone: he kidnaps Helen, makes a mess
and couldn’t care less about the consequences. Others are going to be the
heroes, this time.”
How about a teaser from the final chapter of LOTR?
“I think it’s the best one
yet, with great emotional impact. I hope Jackson will finally be acknowledged
for this masterpiece. My dream now is to do the kind of movie where you have three
guys sitting around a bar table playing cards… Or playing the English
photographer Dan Eldon, who died in Somalia in 1993. I found out about his
story when I was doing ‘Black Hawk Down’ and I think that sooner or later it
should be told.”