Orlando Bloom is an extraordinary success story. Has any actor ever been as famous without ever headlining a major picture? And which other actor can boast a US box office1 average of well in excess of $100 million per movie, even if the calculation includes the films he’s made but not yet released? The man’s rise has been meteoric2, to say the least. And, given the projects he has in the pipeline3, it can only continue.
Orlando Bloom was born on January 13, 1977, in Canterbury, England. His father, South African novelist4 and activist Harry Bloom, died when Orlando was only four years old. Orlando and older sister Samantha were raised by their mother, who encouraged5 the young Blooms to appreciate6 the arts and participate7 in the Kent Festival.
In 1993, at the age of 16, Bloom moved to London, where he joined the National Youth Theatre for two years. In 1995, Bloom won a scholarship8 to study with the British American Drama Academy. He landed an agent after his appearance in a stage production of A Walk in the Vienna Woods, and made his film debut with a small role in Wilde (1997), starring Stephen Fry as Irish playwright9 Oscar Wilde. Bloom then went on to further his training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.
Bloom’s time spent studying drama at Guildhall was not without real-life drama; in 1998, the notorious daredevil10 almost died after falling three stories, while he was attempting to climb onto a friend’s rooftop terrace. He broke his back, and doctors initially believed he’d spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair11. Successful surgery12 allowed him to walk out of the hospital on crutches13 some 12 days later. The ordeal14 gave the young actor a new perspective and appreciation of life.
Just days before he graduated from Guildhall in 1999, Bloom received a telephone call from his agent that would ignite15 his big-screen career; he had originally auditioned for the role of Faramir in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and while he didn’t win that part, he was instead16 cast in the role of Legolas Greenleaf. The shooting17 took place over a 14-month period in director Peter Jackson’s native New Zealand.
Prior to filming in fall of 1999, Bloom spent two months training in archery18, swordplay19 and horseback riding, learning the skills he would need to play the elf-warrior.
All three films were shot simultaneously20 between October 1999 and December 2000. Despite spending more than a year away from family and friends, Bloom had a great time in New Zealand. His reputation as a thrill-seeker21 was soon evident22, and he made the most of his free time by surfing, snowboarding and bungee jumping with other cast members.
Bloom relocated from London to Los Angeles in early 2001. He was quickly off to Morocco after being cast in the Jerry Bruckheimer production Black Hawk Down23, directed by Ridley Scott. The film was based on the botched U.S. mission in Somalia in October 1993. Ironically, the Army Ranger Bloom portrays falls from a helicopter and breaks his back, as well as several other body parts.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released in December 2001, and broke all previous box-office records for December openings. The film went on to be the 11th highest grossing motion picture of all-time, making Bloom and his co-stars familiar to millions of moviegoers24 worldwide. Black Hawk Down opened soon after in late December, and the young actor received favorable reviews for his performances in both films.
The highly anticipated25 second installment of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, hit the big screen in time for Christmas 2002.
In 2003, Bloom can be seen in even more action-adventure flicks, including Ned Kelly, based on the life of the infamous Australian outlaw26 and folk hero. Jerry Bruckheimer’s The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is set to hit screens in the summer of 2003, and stars Johnny Depp, Bloom, and his Ned Kelly co-star, Geoffrey Rush.
Orlando Bloom may soon be known as the prince of the epic adventure flick, as he’s set to co-star in the Wolfgang Petersen-directed, big-budget epic Troy, based on Homer’s classic, The Iliad. The film also stars Brad Pitt as ancient hero Achilles, and is scheduled for release sometime in 2004.
In 2008 he signed on to play a small role in the British film An Education but dropped out27 to take the lead in Johnny To’s film Red Circle. Also in 2009, he was one of many stars to appear in New York, I Love You, which contained twelve short films in one.
1 box office – кассовые сборы
2 meteoric - головокружительный
3 pipeline - конвейер
4 novelist - писатель-романист
5 encourage - вдохновлять
6 appreciate – оценить, принять во внимание
7 participate – принимать участие
8 scholarship - стипендия
9 playwright - драматург
10 daredevil – безрассудный, сорвиголова
11 wheelchair – инвалидная коляска
12 surgery - хирургия
13 crutch - костыль
14 ordeal – суровое испытание
15 ignite – воспламеняться, зажигать (в т.ч. в перен. смысле)
16 instead – взамен, вместо чего-либо
17 shooting - киносъемка
18 archery – стрельба из лука
19 swordplay – фехтование
20 simultaneously - одновременно
21 thrill-seeker – искатель приключений
22 evident - очевидный
23 Black Hawk Down – фильм «Падение Черного ястреба»
24 moviegoer - кинозритель
25 anticipated - ожидаемый
26 outlaw – закоренелый преступник
27 drop out – перестать участвовать
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