Bloom Goes Indie

Orlando BloomOrlando Bloom seemed to come out of nowhere in 2001 when Peter Jackson cast him in the role of Legolas in the first Lord of the Rings film. Bloom had little chance to really act but that didn’t stop girls from fawning over the handsome Brit. It’s fair to say that when Bloom popped up again in 2004, people were disappointed. For the most part, Troy was considered a disappointment and outside of a few good performances, one of which was not Bloom, the film is forgettable trash.

Among the other disappointments (Haven, Elizabethtown and his flat performance in the Pirates films) there have been a few minor successes. Granted, he may not be a great actor, but Bloom does have a little talent that goes further than just a few sultry looks. The low budget Australian film Ned Kelly, which also starred Heath Ledger, was much better than I had anticipated in large part due to the performances from both actors. And then there’s Ridley Scott’s much disliked Kingdom of Heaven. The final cut of the film was a disaster but it did showcase strong performances, including one from Bloom, and the director’s cut of the film really is worth a look.

Regardless of the good, Bloom is generally considered a poor actor and though that could mean career suicide for some, Bloom isn’t ready to sit back and let Hollywood cast him as the pretty boy. It was recently announced that Bloom would be stepping away from Hollywood and focusing on smaller productions, namely a new film by the talented Andrucha Waddington who impressed me with 2005’s House of Sand. The film is based on Bill Carter’s “Fools Rush In” which tells of Carter’s experiences living in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo during the 1992-95 siege.

It will be interesting to see how this project turns out. Waddington is a visionary director and I have no doubt the film will look fantastic but I’m on the fence as to whether Bloom’s acting abilities will meet the director’s talent. It’ll be a while before we see if he’s more than just a pretty face and until then, I’m happy to visit Legolas.

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you know. i don't hate him though. he WANTS to be good. he doesn't want to be another pretty face. he is trying. maybe he just needs to right director, the right script.

people looked at heath ledger the same way they look at bloom now. pretty face, not much more. then of course, ledger started working with the right people and the right scripts and he exploded as one of the best young actors out there.

then again bloom has worked with ridley scott and wolfgang petersen and cameron crowe……. and still nothing.

this could be the right route for him though. we'll see.

Ashley Townsend

I laughed when I was in my childhood bedroom a couple days ago at my parents' house (I moved out at the end of 2003) and found an Orlando Bloom poster still hanging on the back of my door. I was 18 and had seen the first Pirates installment eight times that year. I grew up in a small town, we didn't get good movies at the multiplex.

I've definitely grown up since then, and Bloom has completely fallen off my radar. Still, I'd love it if he made a comeback in a gritty contemporary drama. I read a rumour long ago that he was trying to get a movie made about some war photographer who was killed in Africa in the 90s. Can't remember details, but it was based on a true story, I think the photog's name was Daniel…? It sounded like a great vehicle for him at the time, and if that never gets off the ground, something similar (anything that doesn't involve swords and puffy sleeves) would be great.

He appears in "New York, I Love You," next, which I plan on seeing at TIFF next week. Should be interesting to see him again, even if it's a small role…