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Hollywood star Orlando Bloom: I'm loving the chance to play a baddie in new movie The Three Musketeers

Orlando and Christoph Waltz play two of the baddies in new movie The Three Musketeers

HE made his name as one of the cleanest-cut heroes of the silver screen, swashbuckling as an archer elf and reluctant pirate.

But even mild-mannered good guy Orlando Bloom admits being a baddie is much more fun. The Lord Of The Rings and Pirates Of The Caribbean star gets to twirl his moustache and plot dastardly deeds as the villain in the new all-action version of The Three Musketeers, in which he plays the Duke of Buckingham. A delighted Bloom admits he has spent most of his career wearing the white hat in movies.

But he's relishing roles on the dark side of the sword, helping seasoned Euro villains Christoph Waltz and Mads Mikkelsen take on good guys Matthew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson and Luke Evans.

Newcomer Logan Lerman plays D'Artagnan - the kind of part the smiling Bloom would have probably have taken on 10 years ago, but he's enjoying playing the flip side this time.

And he is continuing the path to villainy in The Good Doctor, playing a shady medic tinkering with a hot patient's treatment because he fancies her. He said: "Bad guys definitely have the fun and I want to do more of that.

"The Duke of Buckingham is more of a petulant child than a swashbuckler but it was a lot of fun as it was a really different kind of a character to play.

"The Good Doctor is a bit of a departure, too. I'm stepping out of what people might imagine me to be and it's challenging as it's a really dark little movie.

"You wouldn't want to go and see him. But it's interesting as it's a real character-driven piece, very much about the human condition.

"I think we all have aspects of a 'Good Doctor' in us in some way or another, control aspects and things like relationship stuff.

"He's a guy who falls in love with a patient and wants to keep her. He wants her there, it's a control thing. It's a bit like reverse Munchausen actually."

Bloom may be loving his bad guy status on screen but the ever-popular Englishman is as far from that as he could be in his real life. Now aged 34, he is settled as a husband and father.

After a string of relationships, including dating Kate Bosworth, he married gorgeous Australian model Miranda Kerr and their son Flynn was born six months ago. The couple now split their time between Los Angeles and London.

Bloom is loving fatherhood but admits that he still struggles with some aspects of fame. He said: "It's good in LA but I kind of live in London as well. Most of the time I keep it very quiet as I like to be at home and not in the eye of it all.

You can't avoid it sometimes in LA unfortunately - I try my best but it's very difficult.

"I think there's more mystery to not knowing about someone, isn't there? And then it's special when you see a character, when you see somebody. It's difficult, it is a challenge.

"But when I'm in the UK, and I'm here more than people would think, I tend to keep a very low profile. I just enjoy being home with my family and mates and stuff.

"My baby is amazing, even his head smells amazing. His breath, the whole thing, you could eat him! He's a big, beautiful boy. He's great."

Bloom broke on to our screens in dramatic style as the shield-surfing archer elf Legolas in The Fellowship Of The Ring 10 years ago, and followed roles in that trilogy with another equally financially successful monolith series - Pirates.

He is tipped for a cameo in Lord of the Rings Tolkien prequel saga, The Hobbit, currently filming in New Zealand. But Bloom and romantic lead Keira Knightley were both happy to stay out of the water and let other young high seas volunteers join Johnny Depp aboard the Black Pearl for the recent fourth Pirates instalment, On Stranger Tides.

He insists that was one ship he had no regrets seeing pass him by. He said: "I worked really consistently for a long time then did a play after I did Pirates and took some time and went to Antarctica.

"I produced a little movie and worked on a few little films. I really enjoyed doing that and got creatively back to the source a bit.

"It's very competitive out there. There are a lot of talented young guys doing what they do and doing it really well.

"But I don't really think of it like that. I just think of doing good stuff which speaks to me when I get the opportunity to do the things that I love."

Stage performance has also offered a welcome way for Bloom to test his acting maturity. He recently did a play, In Celebration, in London's west end, and was involved in an ambitious musical theatre production in LA.

He added: "I just did a really great piece with the LA Philharmonic. We did three pieces of Tchaikovsky. He was inspired by Shakespeare so we did Hamlet.

"Matthew Rees played Hamlet. He did a couple of soliloquies then it went into the 20-minute piece of music.

"Malcolm McDowell then did a piece from The Tempest, just a short piece, then the music was played and we did Romeo and Juliet. I did that with Anika Noni Rose.

"It was amazing because we were in the Disney Hall in LA, which is a beautiful space.

"I was running all over the place, jumping up on balconies and doing all sorts of stuff. It was just fantastic, really liberating.

"I had a great time when I did In Celebration, too. I love to find a good something or other to do. I had a lot of fun doing Romeo I have to say and I'd love to do that again."

But he added: "However, I still love movies. I worked with Mark Ruffalo on Sympathy For Delicious, a film he directed and co-wrote with one of his best friends, starring Laura Linney and Juliette Lewis.

"And then, of course, I worked on The Three Musketeers.

"You just embrace all of it. I think that getting dressed up and stuff (I love a frock) really informs what you're doing.

"The boots are staying, and the costumes, too. That's definitely a fancy dress outfit one day down the line - probably for my son. "It was great, and a lot of fun."

The Three Musketeers is out in October.

Daily Record

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