The magazine is bigger than my scanner so I just scanned the cover and the new picture of Orlando. Here's the article from The Mail on Sunday Live Magazine:
'I'm a guy's guy, a people's person. I like to hang out with real people - I'm not in a golden cage': How Orlando Bloom stays grounded
The actor is living a fantasy life - he's made a fortune as en elf, a pirate, and now a Musketeer.. And he's married to a Victoria's Secret model. Jealous? Us?
A seasoned Hollywood actor once gave Orlando Bloom, star of The Lord Of The Rings and Pirates Of The Caribbean, an important piece of advice: ‘They’ll give you the keys to the executive bathroom. Take the keys. Because if you don’t there are ten other guys just like you ready to jump in.’
These words would come back to haunt the 34-year-old British actor as his career rocketed on the back of two of the world’s biggest film franchises.
In 2003 the final instalment of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, The Return Of The King, was released in tandem with the second in the Pirates series, The Curse Of The Black Pearl. Bloom, who appeared as elf Legolas Greenleaf and swashbuckling Will Turner respectively, says it was a period of intense work that left his head spinning.
‘Life was totally surreal. It was like being on a juggernaut flying along and you are trying to grab the wheel to control it. I was holding on for dear life.
'The Lord Of The Rings and Pirates Of The Caribbean changed everything for me. It was fantastic, but insane, as a lot happened very quickly.’
Today, he’s happily married to model Miranda Kerr and the couple have a baby son, Flynn; back then, Bloom’s sudden elevation to Hollywood’s top table had its drawbacks, something with the benefit of hindsight he now recognises.
‘At one point or another over a ten-year period working in an industry like this I probably was guilty of taking myself a little bit too seriously,’ he says.
‘And that is a recipe for disaster. But there are so many minefields and bullets to dodge: women, drugs, gambling, alcohol, whatever you want.’
Did he ever succumb?
‘Yes of course – are you kidding me? Who the hell wouldn’t? When there are so many options you work your way through some of them, don’t you? I’ve over-indulged many times, at different times.
'Anyone who tells you they haven’t is a liar. But I think I’ve always also known… at least, tried, to keep a healthy amount of respect for one’s self and for others, which I think is key.
‘Not everybody comes through it. Look at Heath Ledger. I worked with him on Ned Kelly and he was a genius. It’s tragic. I don’t know the ins and outs of his death but there are plenty of people who fall off the wagon. I think what matters is how you pick yourself up.’
Bloom has a vivid recollection of the moment he knew his life had changed: ‘I was in a supermarket in LA. It was just after Fellowship Of The Ring had come out and this older woman came up to me and said, “Are you my elf?” She was in her late fifties and it was kind of weird. I said something like, “Oh, um, I might be but I’m just getting some carrots over here. . .” Suddenly I was being recognised whenever I went out.’
He absent-mindedly puts his right hand to his raven-black hair, revealing a glimpse of a tattoo in elvish script on his wrist. It’s a souvenir from the time he spent in New Zealand making the three films, and a design also inked onto the other eight actors who played characters that belonged to the Fellowship Of The Ring.
‘I went from drama school to working in Paul Smith’s in Covent Garden to moving to New Zealand for 18 months, and having a house rented for me and a daily allowance in my pocket,’ says Bloom.
‘I wasn’t paid a great deal of money on Rings, but it was my first film and I was lucky to do it. I was cutting my teeth, learning my craft on big, big films.’
But the meteoric nature of his rise eventually took its toll.
‘When I finally finished doing the press tour for the last Pirates movie in 2007, I just didn’t know which way was up. I genuinely felt quite discombobulated. Not in a bad way. I was tired. I needed to do something different. I needed to regroup.’
At the time, Bloom’s stock was at its highest point. Sandwiched between the Lord of The Rings trilogy ($2.9 billion grossed worldwide) and the Pirates franchise (grossing an epic $3.7 billion), Bloom had worked with leading lights Ridley Scott (Kingdom Of Heaven, 2005) and Cameron Crowe (Elizabethtown, 2005).
Disappearing off the radar at such a critical point in his career was therefore a high-risk strategy. Unperturbed, he headed off to Antarctica on a two-month science research trip.
‘My cousin (Sebastian Copeland) is an environmental campaigner and photographer and he was doing a book called Antarctica – A Global Warning. He joined the research ship and I went along and assisted him. There was no phone, no email, no knowing. . .’
After existing in the eye of a media storm, Bloom became nothing more than a cog in a crew of 47 manning a converted Norwegian icebreaker sailing out of Patagonia. The ship was bound for one of the most remote regions, an icy wilderness where the effects of global warming are, he says, ‘frighteningly apparent’.
Like everybody else on board, Bloom slept in a tiny bunk in cramped conditions, mucking in with the most menial of tasks, such as washing up and cleaning. It was, he reveals, just what he needed after being pampered as a Hollywood superstar.
‘I needed to take stock and get my bearings. I had been working on one project after another. I just wanted to let it all sink in.
‘I had to turn down work to go on the trip, but I’ve come to believe that everything is cyclical. Every great actor I’ve worked with has been conscious of the same thing – you have your moment, you have a wave that sweeps you up and then you have to paddle a bit and stay sharp for when the next wave hits you.’
That next wave is now rushing towards the shore. Bloom has a frenetic year ahead, which includes the much anticipated release of Peter Jackson’s $500 million imagining of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit (in which he reprises his breakthrough role as a blond elf alongside Cate Blanchett, Sir Ian McKellen and James Nesbitt) and the topical financial thriller Cities, co-starring Kirsten Dunst and Clive Owen. First up, however, is The Three Musketeers, a modern reworking of Alexander Dumas’s classic 17th-century adventure.
Bloom plays the Machiavellian Duke of Buckingham, who is set on destroying the Musketeers of the Guard and their young, hot-headed recruit D’Artagnan, played by Logan Lerman (star of Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief).
The film was shot in 3D using the cameras pioneered by James Cameron and sees the sword-wielding heroes trying to prevent double agent M’lady De Winter (Milla Jovovich) stealing designs for an airship that, in the wrong hands, could tip the balance of power in a continent on the brink of war.
‘I’ve done a few heroic roles and thought it would be nice to play a bad guy, as they have more fun,’ says Bloom.
‘Our characters are the rock stars of their time, so I modelled myself on David Bowie from the Seventies, with a Ziggy Stardust swagger. Buckingham is a big petulant child, prancing around dressed like a dandy with amazing clothes and a giant pompadour.’
Bloom is eloquent and good-humoured: a mixture of British manners and a few Americanisms inherited from film sets and splitting his time between London and LA.
In spite of Californian New Age trappings, such as the glass of green sludge he sips from, he has endeavoured to keep his feet on the ground in the face of the hype that has at times threatened to engulf him.
‘I’m a guy’s guy, a people person. I like to hang out with real people – I’m not in a golden cage. I hate being put on a pedestal because it’s a long way to fall. People start doing that to you – it often happened, at different times, and I would think, “Please don’t do that, please don’t think that I’m all that…” I’m just like everybody else.’
Bloom was born and raised in Canterbury, Kent, where his mother, Sonia, ran a foreign-language school with her partner, Colin Stone.
For years, he believed that his father was his mother’s former husband, the South African political activist Harry Bloom, who died when Orlando was four. But when he was 13, his mother revealed that his real father was in fact Stone, the man he thought was his stepfather.
‘I think she was waiting until I was old enough to understand it,’ Bloom said later, in his only comment on the matter. ‘But I consider myself lucky, because it’s been like having two fathers.’
As a seven-year-old, he was diagnosed with dyslexia but won a place at The King’s School, Canterbury, and then St Edmund’s, where he took up drama.
‘I got all my exams – I did well actually – but had to take a lot of extra classes in certain subjects. It just made me work harder.
‘I think any kid struggling with dyslexia should know that they are a genius – at something, and once they figure out what it is there will be no stopping them. That’s how it was explained to me. One of my teachers, who is also dyslexic, suggested I read a book called The Gift Of Dyslexia. It teaches you about humility and struggle. . .’
At the age of 19, Bloom, who was at drama school, was involved in a shocking accident.
‘My friends had a roof terrace on the landing below their apartment and the door was warped by the weather,’ he explains. ‘It needed to be kicked in from the outside so they could use the terrace. And I just thought, “Oh I can do that. I’ll jump across.”
'I got out of a window, got on this piece of flashing and fell.’
He broke his back in the fall.
‘For four days doctors were telling me that I would never walk again. It took a while (six hours in surgery, 12 days in hospital and months in a wheelchair during a painful period of rehabilitation) but I did it.’
The need to protect his back has made fitness a priority.
‘I’m into the outdoors so I play tennis and surf; I do yoga, Pilates, all different kinds of stuff to help me keep fit and to take care of my back. About seven of us regularly go crazy-man mountain biking once or twice a week. We climb between 3,500 to 5,500 feet on a 20 to 30-mile loop depending on how much time we’ve got.
‘If you go out and have a really good night, you have to realise that the next day you are going to pay for it. To me that was the thing. You are not invincible. I learned that lesson really young – if I hadn’t broken my back, I don’t know if I would have realised how vulnerable we are. A lot of young guys at 19 think they are invincible.
'I’m quite a physical person, so exercise is a really great way to get me out of my head. A lot of people can battle with demons in their head at times and I think you need to know your demons.
'When you know your enemy you have a fighting chance. If you have a problem with drinking or womanising or whatever it is, you have to know that’s your problem and go, “Hang on, I could get in trouble here.” Some people don’t always recognise that until it’s too late."
Bloom is preparing to head back to Middle-earth, or New Zealand to be precise, to continue work on The Hobbit. And ten years on from The Lord Of The Rings he is enjoying fatherhood.
‘I love being a father, even changing Flynn’s nappies,’ he says. ‘He looks you in the eyes when you’re doing his nappy and he always seems so grateful.’
Bloom met wife Miranda Kerr in 2007 after finishing a long-term relationship with American actress Kate Bosworth.
‘We met in LA though friends at a party,’ he says. ‘Then we ducked off to the Caribbean to get married in July last year.’
When Flynn was born, one of the first people to send congratulations was Johnny Depp.
‘Johnny is very sweet. He texted and he sent me an amazing case of red wine and some beautiful flowers. He’s a very proud dad himself and we’ve talked about fatherhood many times.’
He reveals he nearly turned down Pirates Of The Caribbean.
‘The whole concept of the first Pirates movie was very dodgy,’ he says. ‘When they first approached me about it I was doing Ned Kelly, which is a very cool Western-style Australian outback movie, and I said, “Why would I want to do a movie based on a Disney theme-park ride?” I was in young “actor” mode.
'Then Johnny Depp signed up to it and what he did with Captain Jack really captured the hearts and minds of a generation.’
The high seas proved to be more financially lucrative than Middle-earth: ‘Pirates bought me a house,’ says Bloom. ‘Well actually a couple of houses. . .’
Although he says ‘I don’t really mix with Hollywood people’, he has maintained a close friendship with his Pirates cohort. The two friends share the same leading Hollywood publicist and when Bloom was approached by Ricky Gervais to appear in his award-winning BBC series Extras, in which A-listers ridicule themselves and the world of celebrity, he didn’t have to think twice.
‘I was desperate to do it, especially at that time. I saw The Office and loved it. Ricky is brilliantly outspoken and has such a sharp mind, and Stephen (Merchant) is really cool. They are a great team, the way they work together.
‘I told Ricky and Stephen that if we’re going to do it I want to really milk it,’ laughs Bloom at the memory of playing a vain, insecure and self-obsessed parody of himself.
‘The fact I’d been part of two really big trilogies was, I felt, something we could get something out of. I was doing Pirates at the time so they went after that and the idea of Johnny being such a good bloke.’
The most memorable line was when Bloom referred to Depp as ‘Willy Wonka Johnny W*****’. So did Depp know what Gervais, Merchant and Bloom had in store?
‘Of course I told him what I was doing,’ he smiles. ‘Actually I sent him the script and said, “You sure you’re cool with me doing this?”
‘Johnny just said, “Have a laugh, have a ball.”’
The episode, which was broadcast in 2006, earned Gervais and Merchant an Emmy nomination.
‘I just loved the idea of taking the p*** out of that pedestal that I was being put on,’ says Bloom, who’s learnt that just because he has the keys to the executive bathroom it doesn’t stop him seeing how absurd it is.
‘The Three Musketeers’ is in cinemas from October 12.