In just three years Orlando Bloom has been transformed from a total unknown to the biggest young leading actor in Britain. Hard to believe that before Lord of the Rings, Bloom’s only credit was as a rent boy in Wilde…
Tell us about your character of Paris.
Essentially, Paris is with Hector in Sparta on a peace mission. I fall in love with Helen and she falls in love with me, so I steal her back to Troy and then all hell breaks loose. There’s a line in the movie that Priam, my father, says when I apologise for what I’ve done: “I’ve been to war for power and land, so I suppose going to war for love is as good a reason as any.” But it is all caused by the selfishness of this young man, in a way. That was the interesting thing about the role. He has this arc where he goes from being young and irresponsible to growing old very quickly through the loss of all these lives. The experience does age him dramatically. By the end of the movie, he’s much more responsible.
Did you know the story of The Iliad before coming to the movie?
Not much. Obviously, I did some homework. I bought The Iliad on CD actually so I could listen to it, because reading it takes a lot of focus. It is an incredible story. It’s like the story of stories, the history of stories, and so working on it, there’s quite a lot of pressure. You feel the responsibility of trying to make it believable and real and live up to the expectations that people have.
Is it just a coincidence that you’re in all these massive movies like Troy, Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean?
To be honest, I do like doing these big movies. I feel quite at home on a big set now, which I think is a very fortunate position to be in. But this just happened to be around and I met Wolfgang and we got on. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to work on epic-style films, films that to me feel like they’ll stand the test of time. I’ve been in the right place at the right time.