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Feature: The Calcium Kid
Gotta Lotta Bottle
After The Lord of the Rings and his swashbuckling adventure The Pirates of the Caribbean, the world was Orlando Bloom’s oyster. But he hasn’t forgotten his roots…
In the space of three years, Orlando Bloom has come a long way very fast; from the doomed American soldier who is one of the first casualties in Black Hawk Down, via The Lord of the Rings trilogy, to a swashbuckling supporting role in Pirates of the Caribbean. Now he’s a man whose presence in a film can guarantee it gets made and released.
The Calcium Kid purports to tell of a similar rise to fame. Bloom plays Jimmy Connelly, amateur boxer and professional milkman who presumably floats like a butterfly and sells cream cheese. He is on the receiving end of a bizarre good turn when he winds up fighting for a world title in his hometown.
“This was a great opportunity for me,” he says, “my first leading role was on home soil, with a British cast and crew and a first-time director – Alex De Rakoff – who I already knew. I’m very proud of this film, because it offered an opportunity for me to be a bit of a clown. I had done Lord of the Rings and Black Hawk Down and Ned Kelly, and all of those were very intense and serious young men – or elves – so here was a chance to throw caution to the wind.
“I knew when I read the script that it was a project I wanted to be involved in. Alex wrote the script too, and it’s just so quirky and funny and off the wall, and the characters are fantastic. I had complete confidence in his ability to direct and knew he would do a stupendously good job and I just really wanted to work with him. Alex has got some great work out of the cast, myself included.”
It says something about Bloom that he is actively looking for quirky projects with budgets that wouldn’t pay for a month’s catering on some of his Hollywood epics. With Troy in the can – he plays the baddie Paris – he is clearly keen to keep his film diet varied. The independent film Haven comes next, and he is currently filming the Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven for Ridley Scott. But as big movies come and go the little ones retain a particular fascination for him.
“I’ve always loved independent films,” he nods. “When I go to the movies those are the ones I watch, for the most part. The difference is you never know what you are going to get with an independent and it could go either way. I’m really happy with the way The Calcium Kid has turned out. It’s very light. It’s a sweet, heartfelt story somewhere between Billy Elliot and Lock, Stock. It’s got its own little area in there.
“I also wanted to work in England. I’d been out of drama school for about four years and I hadn’t done anything in my own hometown, so being in South London was great. It was good to be home and have my mates around me.”
by Anwar Brett
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