Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom (born January 13, 1977) is an English actor. Bloom first captivated both audiences and filmmakers with his breakthrough role as Legolas in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, a role he reprised years later in The Hobbit. This had made Bloom become a major international star. Bloom appeared in Frank E. Flowers' independent ensemble Haven, which he also executive produced. Orlando Bloom subsequently established himself as a lead in Hollywood films, including Elizabethtown and Kingdom of Heaven. He appeared in the ensemble films Troy, Sympathy for Delicious, Main Street, and New York, I Love You. Bloom made his professional stage debut in West End's In Celebration at the Duke of York's Theatre, St. Martin's Lane, which ended its run on September 2007. In 2009, Orlando Bloom was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Orlando Bloom portrayed Will Turner in four films in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
Orlando Bloom was born in Canterbury, Kent, England, and has one sister, Samantha Bloom, who was born in 1975. His mother was Sonia Constance Josephine and his biological father was Colin Stone, although during his childhood he was told that his father was Harry Saul Bloom.
Bloom joined the National Youth Theatre in London and gained a scholarship to train with the British American Drama Academy. On completion of his scholarship, Bloom made his feature-film debut in the BBC's Wilde, starring Jude Law. He was then accepted to Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In his four years there, he performed in several productions, including Little Me, A Month in the Country, Peer Gynt, Mephisto and Twelfth Night.
Upon graduation, a then-unknown Orlando Bloom was cast in the films that launched his career. Bloom first captured the attention of both audiences and filmmakers with his portrayal of Legolas in Peter Jackson's Academy Award-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy—The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. In the summer of 2003, Orlando Bloom starred opposite Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley in the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Disney hit, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, directed by Gore Verbinski.
Having worked with Ridley Scott on Black Hawk Down, Bloom reteamed with Scott to star in his epic drama about the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven, written by William Monahan for 20th Century Fox. Like in Pirates of the Caribbean, he portrays a blacksmith-turned-warrior. He followed that with his first contemporary American role opposite Kirsten Dunst in Cameron Crowe's autobiographical Elizabethtown, produced by Crowe and Tom Cruise for Paramount Pictures. Additional film credits include Ned Kelly opposite Heath Ledger and Wolfgang Petersen's Troy, where he portrayed Paris, opposite Brad Pitt and Eric Bana. Bloom also appeared in Frank E. Flowers' independent Cayman Islands ensemble Haven, which he also executive produced, opposite Zoe Saldana.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Before the frenzy started with the The Lord of the Rings films, Orlando Bloom was selected by director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer to portray Will Turner opposite Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow, Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Swann and Geoffrey Rush's Captain Barbossa in the 2003 worldwide blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Captivating audiences with the role, Bloom again portrayed Will in two back-to-back sequels, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.
The Curse of the Black Pearl
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer cast Orlando Bloom in the role of handsome blacksmith Will Turner after meeting him on his film Black Hawk Down. "When we first cast him in 'Black Hawk Down,' I knew his time would come," says Bruckheimer. "I just didn't know how lucky we'd be to grab him before all the frenzy started with the two 'Lord of the Rings' films. I actually talked to him about this role while we were on 'Black Hawk' and he thought it sounded like a wonderful character."
Bloom recalls that at a wrap party for the forthcoming film Ned Kelly, in which he and Geoffrey Rush performed, he had a curious conversation with the Oscar-winning actor about Pirates in Australia. "Geoffrey said he was involved with this movie," says Bloom, "and then I found out Johnny was doing it. I was like, where do I sign?" Bloom saw the film as a way to further open the door to audiences that are still just getting to know him as an actor. He also was enthusiastic about working with Jerry Bruckheimer again. "I'm trying to make smart choices," he acknowledges. "I was already familiar with the way Jerry does business—it's very slick, very tight and he does his best to cover every detail and make sure everything is done the right way. You see the same work ethic in everyone at his company; it's amazing and it's a trait that gives an actor security. This project just had the right elements."
Like Johnny Depp with his role, Bloom also saw the role of Turner as a way to fulfill a childhood fantasy. "It's so exciting to work on a pirate movie. It's every boy's dream," he raves. "To actually be living the dream out on the open seas has been great fun." Although Bloom sees young Will as quite straitlaced at first, "he really does develop. He's very earnest, very true blue—then, without warning, he finds himself thrown into the middle of an exciting yet dangerous adventure. This is a coming of age story for Will."
To maximize authenticity in the film, all of the actors playing pirates and some playing British naval officers spent weeks training with stunt coordinator George Marshall Ruge and his sword masters, Robert Anderson and Mark Ivie. As luck would have it, Orlando Bloom had already spent time with both Ruge and Anderson on Lord of the Rings. "It was great to work with Bob again," says Bloom. "I'd done some fencing when I was in drama school in London, but working with someone as proficient as Bob is quite a different matter. I mean, this is the guy who trained Errol Flynn! I watched 'The Master of Ballantrae', where he doubled Errol," Bloom continues. "It was awesome. What's so great about Bob is that he knows character; he understands the necessity of getting a fight to look slick and clean without losing the sense of character."
Nearly 400 London-made wigs and hairpieces were used in the film. Orlando Bloom was the only major actor who didn't wear a wig, but he wasn't entirely spared&mash;he was given hair extensions that took between 5 and 6 hours to attach.
Initially viewed as a risky venture - as it was based on a Disney ride, and the first movie about pirates in decades - The Curse of the Black Pearl turned out to be one of the biggest blockbusters in years.
Orlando Bloom, like much of the rest of the world, had been happily surprised by the massive success of the first film while praising director Gore Verbinski. "Gore is a phenomenal director. When I saw the first movie, I was blown away by how he had managed to maintain such incredible integrity with the story and the characters. Gore has a tremendous ability to motivate a crew and has a spirit and youthful energy to attack whatever scene we're up against, no matter how complex it might be."
Dead Man's Chest and At World's End
In 2005, because of the unexpected success of The Curse of the Black Pearl, production began on two back-to-back sequels: Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. Bloom would once again work with stunt coordinator George Marshall Ruge, who also coordinated the stunts on the first Pirates film. "'Dead Man's Chest' is my fifth film with Orlando, and they've all been big action movies. He's also a fantastic athlete and loves performing action."
At the hands of screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, Will and Elizabeth were to undergo considerable development in the story of Dead Man's Chest. Says Bloom, "I wanted Will to be less of the kind of earnest, upright young guy of the first movie and, this time, to see his darker shades. Will's real journey throughout the second movie is his concern for his father, Bootstrap Bill, who is an important element of the first film without actually being seen. Will needs to rescue his father from the fate that he's been destined to live on the Flying Dutchman with Davy Jones and his frightening crew. So Will's objective is to reconnect with his father and, at the same time, somehow maintain his relationship with Elizabeth. Each of the main characters in 'Dead Man's Chest' have their own objectives, which are to some extent in conflict with each other's. There's a real sense of young lovers' tension between Will and Elizabeth."
"We're all still in character," adds Orlando Bloom when interviewed for At World's End, "but thankfully, the character development is really great in the third film. Will Turner definitely has a few more edges. In the second movie, the major conflict for Will is whether to choose between his father or his love for Elizabeth. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to rescue his father, Bootstrap Bill, and he also wants to be with the girl he loves, but the two are opposite magnets that push away from each other."
"By the time 'At World's End' begins," Bloom continues, "Will has embraced the pirate code that he so hated at the start of 'The Curse of the Black Pearl,' to pursue his own purposes. A promise has been made that he will save his father's life, and Will will try and do everything he can to honor that vow…not forgetting that he still loves Elizabeth, and wants to get her back into his life. The third movie reveals the true nature of all the characters, and it's great to go on a journey with Will where you're not quite certain which direction he will turn to."
Dead Man's Chest, which scored even higher numbers at the box office, though critics gave the film a solid drubbing for its convoluted plot. At World's End was originally the proposed end of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, though most in the industry felt that such a money-making engine could not be shut down so easily. With the stories of both Will and Elizabeth resolved in At World's End, the series continued forward with the fourth film, On Stranger Tides, which neither Orlando Bloom or Keira Knightley reprising their roles.
Post Pirates Trilogy
After making At World's End, Orlando Bloom decided not to return for the fourth film. Around the third film's premiere, Bloom stated his desire to taking on new challenges starting with participating in theater in London, saying "it's time to do something new". He also noted that there was closure in At World's End, and was interested in seeing a Jack Sparrow spin-off movie. For at least four years, it was said that Orlando Bloom thought it was "time to bow out" because they tied up nicely for his character, and that the producers wanted to concentrate on the new adventures of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Bloom was also quoted in believing that "Will is sort of swimming around with the fish at the bottom of the ocean".
A fifth Pirates
Despite his prior comments, during the premiere of The Three Musketeers, Orlando Bloom said he would like to return to the Pirates franchise if he was offered. At 2014 Oz Comic Con, Bloom said there were discussions about the film and that he was "open to it".
During the 2015 D23 Expo presentation, Walt Disney Studios President Sean Bailey officially announced that Bloom would reprise his role as Will Turner in the fifth installment, Dead Men Tell No Tales. Over a year later, Bloom stated that his character appears at the beginning and the end of the movie.
In the wake of the Pirates trilogy, Orlando Bloom made his debut on London's West End in a revival of David Storey's 1969 drama, In Celebration. Produced by Sonia Friedman and directed by Anna Mackmin, the production and Bloom were well-received by both critics and audiences alike. He next appeared onscreen in New York, I Love You opposite Christina Ricci. Bloom also starred in Mark Ruffalo's directorial debut, Sympathy for Delicious in which he starred opposite Laura Linney. He followed Sympathy with Horton Foote's Main Street in which he starred opposite Colin Firth and Patricia Clarkson. Orlando also starred in The Good Doctor, a black comedy which he also produced via his production company, Viddywell. The film also starred Michael Peña, J.K. Simmons and Taraji P. Henson. Bloom later reprised his role of Legolas for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy, which serves as a prequel to the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- He appeared in the 2001-2003 The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, which also featured David Wenham and Bruce Spence.
- He appeared in the 2003 film Ned Kelly, which also featured Geoffrey Rush.
- He appeared in the 2004 film Haven, which also featured Zoe Saldana.
- He appeared in the 2012-2014 The Hobbit film trilogy, which also featured Adam Brown.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - Will Turner
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - Will Turner
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Will Turner
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales - Will Turner
Notes and references
- Pirates of the Carribean presskit, accessed Dec 9, 2006
- POTC2 Presskit
- POTC3 Presskit
- Orlando Bloom Says He's All Done With 'Pirates,' 'Lord Of The Rings' - MTV
- Orlando Bloom 'turns down Pirates 4' - Movies News - Digital Spy
- Orlando Bloom Won't Return For 'Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' - MTV Movies Blog
- Orlando Bloom would love to go back to Pirates of the Carribean - Daily Star
- Orlando Bloom says he's 'in discussions' about returning to Pirates Of The Caribbean 5 - mainly because of Johnny Depp - Daily Mail
- D23 Expo 2015: Orlando Bloom to reprise Will Turner for P| Inside the Magic
- Orlando Bloom LIVE first post - YouTube