Sunstar

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Orlando is on the cover of the October 2011 issue of Men's Health Magazine (US).

Here's the article and a great behind the scenes video.

shealthoct201101.jpg

Orlando Bloom: An Action Hero Learns To Chill

The face of two blockbuster movie franchises, Bloom's current priority is a small set piece known as family life.

ORLANDO BLOOM DANGLED three stories above the ground for one frozen, unbearable second. It seemed as if there must've been a safety net, a way out. But this wasn't a movie. It was real life. And it might have ended right there, at age 21.

"It was a 'holy shit' moment," the actor says today. He remembers looking down and realizing, "There's nowhere for my feet to go!" Bloom fell. And everything went black.

Bloom, now 34, tells me this and other stories in the remarkable quiet of Griffith Park, just down the hill from the dome of the observatory immortalized in Rebel without a Cause. It's peaceful as we sit outdoors at a low-key cafe discussing the differences between real life and make-believe. Bloom works hard at make-believe. He also lives hard.

The man I meet today isn't the same balls-before-brains lad who once thought it might be a good idea to shimmy out onto a roof between two buildings so he could bypass a locked door. (I'll just step over to that window ledge..) That's how he used to, uh, hang with friends in his native England. But as he tells me about his fall and several other scary events from his very real and occasionally insane offscreen life, I find myself picturing the stories as mini-movies. Bloom's life is packed with this sort of drama, and he also manufactures it on the job.

Bloom is in the business of creating larger-than-life, big-boom stories for mass consumption. He played a hero in two of the biggest escapist romps of all, Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean. He has another go this October inThe Three Musketeers, a new take on the Dumas classic (if Dumas wrote in 3-D).

"People want to step out of the everyday routine of their lives and enter another world where they can go 'wow,' " he says. "Believing you're something that you're not excites the mind and the imagination. And it's hopeful. As you clock out the years and life moves on, you look around and ask, 'What's new? What's exciting?' We're born, we'll grow old, we're going to die, that's the only thing we know for sure. How can I spice up my life in the meantime?"

Bloom dedicates his free time to real moments that put him at risk, or force him to confront his own limitations, or simply take him to another level. But he's also a purveyor of mass-culture escapism. We know escapism feels good. If it didn't, porn, fantasy football, World of Warcraft, and IMAX wouldn't exist. It's a made-up, adrenaline-spiked daze that makes our ordinary days bearable. Yet it raises questions: Are men dreaming their lives away? Are we living as intensely as we should?

Who better to ask than a man who fell off a roof and went on to conquer an army of orcs?

THE THREE-STORY FALL broke his back. The doctors were doubtful he'd ever walk again. Twenty-one years old; no mobility. "I'm grateful for it," he says now.

Bloom has said that this period was "the making of me," and in many ways it was. Being laid up, not knowing how the rest of your life will play out--or even worse, knowing exactly how it'll play out if you don't fight for a different outcome--is one very real, very difficult stretch of time. A movie would handle this period through a montage suggesting the passage of days. Bloom lived every second of it.

He had surgery to install enough screws and plates in his spine to hang a door. He rose. He rehabbed. He walked. And, amazingly, less than 18 months later, he was on a horse in New Zealand, firing arrows at the Uruk-hai. He would swashbuckle through the next decade in two fantasy juggernauts (Rings and Pirates), a Homer epic (Troy), and Ridley Scott's Crusades tale (Kingdom of Heaven). Years after his surgery, Bloom still pushes to keep himself healthy. "I'm always working on my back," he says. "It hasn't prevented me from doing anything. But it's a constant reminder."

Pilates is a mainstay for him, as he needs a serious core to support his back through all his activities. He also lifts weights regularly, dabbles in yoga, recently discovered tennis, and mountain bikes with buddies. Over the years he's broken ribs (three), both legs (the right while skiing, the left in a motorcycle crash when he was 17), his nose (rugby), wrist (snowboarding), and skull (cracked, three times).

Bloom says his swordplay creates onscreen moments "that last in people's minds." Meanwhile, each broken bone and close call is a moment that lasts in his own.

BLOOM TELLS ME he fancies things on two wheels. He loves his motorcycles (he pulled up for our interview on a vintage 1963 BMW), but he loves his mountain bike even more. In a moment, he's telling another tale and I'm right there with him, flying down a steep canyon trail not much wider than the tire of his bike. A death drop plunges off on the right. And he feels himself leaning too far that way.

"I bike at least a couple of times a week with a good crew, between 2 and 5 hours of riding depending on the day. Seventeen to 30 miles, 2,500 to 3,500 feet in elevation, in a loop. Amazing hills around here."

That's when Bloom describes the runaway bike scene. Since the birth earlier this year of his son, Flynn, riding isn't the same. Bloom is a father now. Which makes these mountain-bike jaunts a complicated matter.

"When I'm riding a technical singletrack and there's a drop.." He gestures to describe the clifflike view on one side. "If I'm not fully focused, in my head I feel like I'm going to veer off, and I actually start to drift that way."

These are real moments of doubt. They're new and disturbing. The question is, how do you beat them? "I call them my mind critters. Can I defeat myself? I really like going downhill on a mountain bike, and if I just feather the front brake and let it roll, I'm fine. But if I'm not in that zone and I clutch that brake, boom, I'm over the handlebars. Or worse."

And then he nails the explanation of why he still does it. He's seeking "anything that brings me into my body and keeps me present. As opposed to out of your body, which is what we do the rest of the time. The world throws you out of your body, especially the cyberworld."

The key for Bloom nowadays is concessions. "I pad up. I estimate it's saved me tens of thousands of dollars in medical fees. I do fly quite close to the wind." (Though he admits he whispers, "safety first," to himself while he does it.)

After all, he has a son (and a wife, the Australian model Miranda Kerr) at home. "Fear is not a friend of mine," he says. "But it's something to have a healthy awareness of." Ah, but so is a healthy sense of risk. "I can't stop living. It would ruin my creativity, the person I am."

IN ELIZABETHTOWN, the 2005 Cameron Crowe film, Bloom utters one of my all-time favorite movie lines: "Success, not greatness, was the only god the entire world served."

I have to ask: Does he agree?

He bursts out laughing. Because he knows what I'm really asking. He's had success, but has he achieved something great? "That's a tough one. To an untrained eye, yes, success is what people aspire to, and only success." Then he pauses and leans closer. "The thing is, success can allow you to try for greatness, can give you an opportunity to take a chance on something. I'm very blessed to have the success that I've had, and that's given me so many opportunities to work on being great."

Maybe this highlights the difference between ordinary men and the few who achieve the extraordinary: One guy drifts from escape to escape; the other risks the fall. There's nowhere for my feet to go.

Bloom's home and family give him a place to land, but he also has the wisdom and skill to know when to let his feet dangle. That's what the rest of us have to work on--living big within our own lives. It's not a bad formula for living, and Bloom sums it up before riding off into the fading L.A. light. "Grateful for the last," he says, "looking forward to the next."

MORE: See Orlando Bloom discuss how he got in killer shape for his new movie, The Three Musketeers, on the set of his Men's Health cover shoot.

Men's Health

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That piccie is a killer! :hott::faint:

Very nice article and I love :throb: the video! Sidi must be a very happy dog. Great find, Rene, thank you.

Raven

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SIDI! It's great to see that old guy again. Nice interview but did they have to mess with the photo?

Thanks for enabling, Sunstar. :gimme5:

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Thanks for providing, Rene. I'm glad Orlando is tempering his bold approach to the active life with a bit of caution. Great article and vid. How adorable is Sidi! So good to see him chilling beside Orlando.

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The picture is stunning. The video keeps hanging up on a beautiful shot of our guy, and I am not complaining but I really want to see the video!

Thanks Sunstar!

glenna

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I am at a lost for words after watching Orlando in that wonderful interview, he is the best there is and nobody can measure up to him in my book. :throb: I also loved watching him with Sidi, what a beauty he is, just like his Master. :wub:

Thank you so much Rene for bringing over the link to the video, the article and that drop dead gorgeous photo of Orlando! :hug:

Kim :faint::stretcher:

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What a great find, Sunstar. You have to give credit to Men's Health for giving us a new and interesting look at some things we thought we knew all about. It's also good to know he does give some thought to safety now.

So, he's working to get back into that Elf physique . Sounds good to me.

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Thank you so much Sunstar for bring us this article and video.

I don't know how he keeps topping himself but he does. And Orlando---you are a man after my own heart with your love of fried food. To hear him talk about Tempura, sweet potato fries and kettle-corn--it put a big smile on my face. And watching him cool off with the water hose---it made my whole body very happy.

And Sidi! Love to see him with his four-legged mate. Lucky, lucky dog.

Also, did I hear him say he was working on getting limber---for wire work? :highfive:

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This is lovely stuff, :sigh: thanks Sunstar.

Has anyone managed to save this video? It always seems to be the best ones that are impossible to keep these days. :pout:

T.

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Can't wait to get home and watch the whole video. I'm stuck at work for another 30 minutes or so and though I've been trying to sneak a peek at the clip it's difficult not to squeal in the process.

Thanks, Sunstar. And I agree with Jill. The photo is great but they didn't have to do anything to it. The man is gorgeous naturally.

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:faint: the man just gets better! My goodness and Sidi, what a hunk of puppy love!

Thanks so much and please somebody save this it is too precious to lose!

glenna

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Thank you, Rene! Orlando is looking very fit these days. :flex: What a great video! Always fun to see good old Sidi.

I tried looking for this issue yesterday, but it wasn't out yet at my local store. Hoping for next week.

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Wow! Looking hotter than ever!heat.gif

If Orlando looks this good, imagine what Leggy's going to look like!thumbs.gif

Thanks Rene!

Lauren xx

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I tried looking for this issue yesterday, but it wasn't out yet at my local store. Hoping for next week.

I checked ('cause I want a copy too) and I believe it hits the newsstands on Sept. 16th, Faye. I'm going to check for it every time I go to the store though. . . just in case.

I first stopped in (yes, I admit it :blush:) a day or so ago and grabbed a copy of the (although PhotoShopped) great photo of our guy :hott:, but I just now had a chance to read the article and watch the video (several times :lookie:). He's just so gorgeous and I really enjoyed seeing him with Sidi. What a sweetie dog. :sigh:

I enjoyed everything, but I especially loved getting to hear Orlando's beautiful voice. Looking at those guns (biceps) didn't hurt. He's buff, he's extremely talented, he's very modest about it all, and he's beautiful. What's not to love? :wub:

Thanks for providing all of it, Rene.

- Pam -

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Wow! What a stunning picture :hott: and the video is great. Orlando looks absolutely fantastic. Thank you so much Sunstar for the pic, the nice article and the video. :hug:

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It's hard to believe it's possible, but he just gets better and better.

article :cheer2:

video :w00t:

Photo :faint:

ovaries :kablaam:

me :dbb:

Thanks Rene!

Aliza

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:lol: I loved your post, Aliza. I needed the giggle. :P

OK, ladies. I was able to buy the magazine itself at Kroger earlier today! :yahoo:

I'm just letting anyone who wants a copy know, so you can pick it up before it sells out :secret: (which it's sure to do with The Pretty on the cover). :drool:

- Pam -

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Aliza! :lol:

Glenna, I can't grab videos, but I'm working on some screencaps and hope to post them later today.

I'm glad you were able to buy the magazine, Pam. :)

Can anyone scan the magazine article and pictures for us?

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Can anyone scan the magazine article and pictures for us?

Just came home from the store w/ it and will scan ASAP.

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201110menshealthob1.jpg

201110menshealthob2.jpg

201110menshealthob3.jpg

201110menshealthob4.jpg

And the little pic from the Table of Contents.

201110menshealthob5.jpg

I'll try to get larger versions up later so folks can read the article. Or, if someone else has a copy, have at it! :highfive:

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Here we go - bigger and better, not to mention, readable. :yankchain: I'm not wild about the cover, but I included it for completeness. I think they "trimmed" his hair. No. No. No. Bad cover-maker. Bad. :oh:

201110menshealthobc.jpg

201110menshealthob1.jpg

201110menshealthob1l.jpg

201110menshealthob2l.jpg

201110menshealthob3l.jpg

201110menshealthob5l.jpg

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Lovely scans, Patty! :) Thanks so much.

I think you're right - they've 'trimmed' his hair. :oh:

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