Sometimes a role determines an entire career. Beginner’s luck, chance, or coincidence, Orlando Bloom found himself in the right place at the right time. A success story such as anyone would dream of, as the young man soon received his drama diploma in his pocket and saw his acting career take off. This is thanks to his leading role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Elf archer Legolas having given him a flying start!
The Lord of the Rings: The Revelation
It was at the age of sixteen that the young Briton moved to London to follow photography, acting, and sculpture lessons at Fine Arts College. He joined two years later the National Youth Theater where he obtains a scholarship for the British American Drama Academy. The budding actor began his career playing small television roles before joining the cast of Oscar Wilde in 1997. He then joined the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
In 1999, only two days after graduating from London drama school, Orlando Bloom lands a major role in the trilogy The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) signed by Peter Jackson. The British actor first auditioned for the role of Faramir, who only appears in The Two Towers. But the director prefers to entrust him with the role of Legolas, a key figure who reveals it to the whole world and offers him to collect many prizes. During the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Lord of the Rings the actor confided in The Independent :
I first auditioned for the role of Faramir, which ended up being played by David Wenham. Later, I received a phone call and learned that I was being considered for the role of Legolas. I had to show up for rehearsals. I remember the day my agent called me to tell me that I had gotten the part. I was jumping for joy in my apartment! It was something incredible. I never expected to star in such an exciting film right after acting school.
A young first who has become bankable
From October 1999 to December 2000, the young actor thus sat within the Fellowship of the Ring. A long period of filming for which he received little compensation compared to the $871,530,324 in worldwide revenue raised on the first installment. Guest at the microphone of American radio SiriusXMOrlando Bloom effectively declared having almost nothing touched ». In all, the actor was paid $175,000… However, he does not regret anything:
It’s the best gift I’ve ever been given. Seriously? I would do it again for half the price.
Given the success of the first film, Orlando Bloom, however, renegotiated his contract. The latter then considered himself in “a good position” to do so. Although the amount of his fee has not been publicly disclosed, it was enough for the British actor to afford two houses. The character of Legolas has also earned him to become one of the hottest actors in all of Hollywood offering him on a silver platter the supporting role of his life…
No rest for the wicked
Freshly returned from New Zealand where The Lord of the Rings was shot, the actor is indeed chosen to join a second hugely lucrative Hollywood franchise: Pirates of the Caribbean (2003-2017). He plays Will Turner alongside Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley, who also achieves international recognition. It was in 2013 that Bloom once again slipped into the skin of the elf Legolas in the film series The Hobbit before finding his character of Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge in 2017. At the end of 2014, when the saga resulting from the work of Tolkien ends, Orlando Bloom confided his impressions to our colleagues from First. Legolas was the chance of his life while having, inevitably, defined his career:
The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean were amazing experiences. But I was young and I plunged into a universe that altered my vision of things. I think I got it all mixed up a bit. I no longer made the difference between reality and the adventure in which I participated. I started playing a game. Being who people thought I was. At one point, I tried to adapt to the image people had of me. Until one day I realized who I really was…
Farewell Middle Earth
According to Bloom, the elven character shaped how people saw him. Not just business people.