French postcard by Bamba Productions, no. ATHQ 128.
English actor Orlando Bloom (1977) made his breakthrough as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings film series and rose to fame as Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. He established himself as a leading man in Hollywood with roles such as Paris in Troy (2004) and Balian de Ibelin in Kingdom of Heaven (2005). He later reprised his role as Legolas in The Hobbit film series and currently stars in the series Carnival Row (2019–present).
Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom was born in 1977 in Canterbury, Kent, and was named after the 16th-century English composer Orlando Gibbons. He has an older sister, Samantha Bloom. Orlando initially believed that his biological father was his mother’s husband, Harry Bloom, a novelist and political activist who fought for civil rights in South Africa, and who died when Bloom was four years old. When Orlando was 13, his mother Sonia (Copeland) revealed to him that Colin is actually the biological father of Orlando and his sister; the two were conceived after an agreement by his parents, since Harry, who suffered a stroke in 1975, was unable to have children. Stone, the principal of the Concorde International language school became Orlando’s legal guardian after Harry Bloom’s death. Orlando attended St Peter’s Methodist Primary School, then the junior school of the King’s School before proceeding to St Edmund’s School in Canterbury. Bloom was discovered to be dyslexic, and was encouraged by his mother to take art and drama classes. In 1993, the 16-years-old Orlando moved to London to follow a two-year A Level course in Drama, Photography and Sculpture at Fine Arts College, Hampstead. He then joined the National Youth Theatre, spending two seasons there and earning a scholarship to train at the British American Drama Academy. Bloom began acting professionally with television roles in episodes of Casualty (1997) and Midsomer Murders (1997), and subsequently made his film debut in a tiny role, as a rent boy, in the critically acclaimed drama Wilde (Brian Gilbert, 1997), opposite Stephen Fry as Oscar Wilde. Then he entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he studied acting. It was there, in 1998, that Orlando fell three stories from a rooftop terrace and broke his back. Despite fears that he would be permanently paralyzed, he quickly recovered and returned to the stage. Seated in the audience one night in 1999 was a director named Peter Jackson. Two days after graduating from Guildhall in 1999, Bloom was cast as Legolas in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (Peter Jackson, 2001–2003). He had originally auditioned for the part of Faramir, who does not appear until the 2nd film, but the director, Peter Jackson, cast him as Legolas instead. Legolas made him a household name. At the same time, Bloom also played a brief role in Ridley Scott’s war film Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott, 2001) as PFC Todd Blackburn.
Orlando Bloom next starred opposite Keira Knightley and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Gore Verbinski, 2003), which was a blockbuster hit during the summer of 2003. After the success of Pirates, Bloom next took to the screen as Paris, the man who effectively started the Trojan War, in the blockbuster, Troy (Wolfgang Petersen, 2004) opposite Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Peter O’Toole. He subsequently played the lead roles in the epic historical drama Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, 2005) and in the romantic tragicomedy Elizabethtown (Cameron Crowe, 2005) with Kirsten Dunst. He was listed as a potential nominee on both the 2005 and 2006 Razzie Award nominating ballots. He was suggested in the Worst Supporting Actor category on the 2005 ballot for his performance in Troy (2004). And he was suggested again the next year in the Worst Actor category for his performances in Elizabethtown (2005) and Kingdom of Heaven (2005). He failed to receive either nomination. In 2006, Bloom starred in the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Gore Verbinski, 2006) and he was one of the guest stars in the sitcom Extras, in which he portrayed an exaggeratedly arrogant, narcissistic type of himself who had a great loathing for Johnny Depp, his co-star in Pirates of the Caribbean. Bloom pushed for Extras to go further by making his part unlikable, and contributed to the gag about him admiring Depp out of sheer jealousy, that Depp was far more talented than he was, not to mention rated higher than him on the ‘top hottest’ charts. Bloom then again portrayed Will Turner, in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Gore Verbinski, 2007). Bloom, who had intended to become a stage actor after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, had stated that he would like to leave films for a time and instead appear in stage roles. During the summer of 2007 he appeared in a London revival of In Celebration, a play by David Storey. His character was one of three brothers returning home for their parents’ 40th marriage anniversary. In 2009, he was one of many stars to appear in the anthology film brand new York, I Love You (Shunji Iwai, a.o., 2009), which contained 12 short films in one.
Orlando Bloom then appeared in The Three Musketeers (Paul W. S. Anderson, 2011) opposite Milla Jovovich, and Christoph Waltz. He reprised his role as Legolas in parts two and three of The Hobbit (Peter Jackson, 2013-2014), the three-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Bloom made his Broadway stage debut as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet in 2013 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The brand new York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley described Bloom’s performance as "a 1st-rate Broadway debut" in the title role: "For once, we have a Romeo who evolves substantively, from a posturing youth in love with love, to a man who discovers the startling revelation of real love, with a last-act descent into bilious, bitter anger that verges on madness." Bloom reprised his character, Will Turner, in a supporting role in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg, 2017). Recently Bloom starred in the war drama The Outpost (Rod Lurie, 2019), and in the TV show Carnival Row (2019-). In 2004, Orlando Bloom became a full member of SGI-UK (the UK branch of Soka Gakkai International), a lay Buddhist association affiliated with the teachings of Nichiren. Bloom has also been a part of Global Green, an environmental company, since the early 2000s. Bloom has a tattoo of the Elvish word "nine" on his right wrist, written in fictional Tengwar Elvish script, a reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings as one of the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring. In 2009, Bloom was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Bloom had a relationship with American actress Kate Bosworth, from 2003 till 2006. In late 2007, Bloom began dating Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr. They married the following month in 2010 and Kerr gave birth to their son Flynn Christopher Blanchard Copeland Bloom (2011). The two were divorced in 2013. He is today in a relationship with pop singer Katy Perry .
Sources: J. W. Braun (IMDb), Wikipedia and IMDb.
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