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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - Orlando Bloom interview

Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Compiled by Jack Foley

AS PIRATES of the Caribbean: At World’s End opens in UK cinemas, Orlando Bloom – aka Will Turner – talks about his career, the possibility of a fourth adventure and turning 30.

He also discusses why he took a recent trip to Antarctica, his plans to visit Indonesia and appearing in comedy series Extras and taking the p**s out of Johnny Depp.

Q: What was it like when Keith Richards finally did his Pirates cameo?
Orlando Bloom: I actually made a point of not going to the set and I’m kicking myself now. I thought he was going to be so hounded, even though he’s a rock god. I thought: “Let him get on with it.” So I did not bother him.

Q: Have you been approached about part four of Pirates Of The Caribbean?
Orlando Bloom: I don’t know whether they will go on to part four. This is the end of another trilogy. I would never say never, because it has been so much fun. But it might take on in some other projects.

Q: Belated congratulations on your 30th birthday, how did you celebrate?
Orlando Bloom: I actually had all my friends. Because we were shooting Pirates in Hawaii, we were in Hawaii. And then we came back to Los Angeles to finish some of it. So, we had a bit of a bash in Hawaii and a bit of a bash in LA, so it was really nice. Very spoilt.

Q: Did it feel like a landmark birthday?
Orlando Bloom: I have to tell you that it felt very good to reach 30 and it felt good to have lived this far. I thought I would never make it to 30. It feels different. It feels less… urgent. It is now time for reflection and how much living do I want to do.

As much as working has been my life, there’s a shift on priorities. It’s the first time in eight years I have not got a job that I’m immediately going into. And that in itself has given me a moment to take a breath and look around. So I went to Antarctica for a few weeks and that was an incredible experience. And I’m about to go off to Indonesia with Unicef and then I’m going to be finishing building my house. And then I’d like to see if there’s a play that I can really get off the ground. I don’t want to be thrust out to the West End and feel like my balls are left hanging. But, at the same time, it would be great to do a play in the West End if I could be part of a company or an organic experience. It’s hard to say. Mind you, I did see Equus and I thought Daniel Radcliffe did a great job. It was really ballsy – pardon the pun. I could see why he did it. I thought it was a great job and it made me think… yeah.

Q: Why did you decide to go to Antarctica?
Orlando Bloom: I did it for myself, really. I wanted to check out that environment. I had been part of a environment company called Global Green for about four or five years, since my cousin got involved. He was going down taking photographs for a book he is doing called Antarctica: Global Warming. I wanted to see what was at stake. It’s easy to sit here and see how the weather patterns are affecting it, but I wanted to see for myself.

I spent three weeks on a 1950’s Norwegian icebreaker. I slept in a room the size of a bus shelter and was on the top bunk. I shared a toilet and bathroom with 27 other dudes and did the washing up. It was like the most surreal real experience I have had in a long time. There were no privileges. The privilege was being in that position at that time. I went scuba diving and climbed up a mountain. The water was freezing, but I had a swim for the hell of it. It was crazy. Part of it was time and space. I was there just for three weeks.

Q: And what about the forthcoming trip to Indonesia?
Orlando Bloom: I’m going with Unicef. They approached me recently about working with them as an international ambassador. The environment is … out there and something that needs addressing. There are kids without families. I’m yet to go and find out what’s happening.

Q: So this is a really interesting time away from film making?
Orlando Bloom: I’m loving not working and taking my time to contemplate and think what it is I want to do. What inspired me to go to drama school in the first place…

Q: You’ve been in these enormous swashbuckling films and had action figures made of you. So is that why you’re looking for something more intimate?
Orlando Bloom: No, I want to do another trilogy! [laughs] I want to make it a hat-trick! And if there isn’t a sword or at least a bow and arrow then forget about it. Honestly, the movies that I’ve really loved in the last couple of years would be say, The Constant Gardener, Hotel Rwanda, The Last King Of Scotland and Blood Diamond – movies that are socially relevant. Movies that are human stories that shed a light on a part of the world that when we’re cocooned in our everyday world of getting through life and paying the bills and living we sometimes don’t have the opportunity or time to look outside of. Those are great movies that I’d love to be a part of.

Q: Can you tell us about the house you’re building?
Orlando Bloom: It’s taken a year to build. I’m trying to make it a ‘green’ house and a place which feels safe and comfortable and out of the way. It has been a great creative process. I’ve picked a great young Italian architect who has worked with Norman Foster. She was great and young and it feels like we have had a real collaboration.

Q: What about the hassles in having a house built?
Orlando Bloom: Building a house has been so stressful. It has been double the time, double the budget. But I did make changes and it has taken longer than it needed to.

Q: How important is privacy?
Orlando Bloom: It’s not like I want to exclude myself from society. I’m really social and like being part of a community and stuff. That’s the kind of odd part of having become a recognised face, as it were. I think I went in to a shell for some of my late 20s and now I want to come out of that.

There’s an obsession with celebrity in our culture. It’s sad if you’re an actor. Cary Grant and those big actors had a mystique and you’d ask: “What are they going to do next?” I’ve always tried to keep my cards close to my chest, while wearing my heart on my sleeve, in a way. But it’s a really hard thing to do. Yeah, privacy is important but I do not want that to sound… I’m conscious of wanting to be part of the community.

Q: But how do you feel when there’s a recent photograph that had you seen with Victoria’s Secrets model Miranda Kerr?
Orlando Bloom: It’s funny, isn’t it? She’s beautiful as well. It’s odd that you bump into somebody. Another example of that is that I was at dinner the other night, just before I came back to London, and I bumped into Bryan Singer. I’d visited my ex-girlfriend on her set and I knew Brian who is a really great guy. Then later my mum said: “Are you going to do a part in the new Superman?” It’s another example of the same thing, isn’t it? It’s like a trade-off. I didn’t go to drama school expecting to deal with all this stuff, or that I would even get to the point when it would be part of my life.

Q: It sounds like a push-pull thing when you’re in these huge films and you’d like to do something more organic, like act on stage? How do you go about striking the right balance?
Orlando Bloom: For sure. I’m sort of conscious that I’d love to do a play but it would be important to find the right play. Now, I have turned 30 I don’t feel the next job will define who I am. If Leonardo DiCaprio can go from Titanic to Man In The Iron Mask and The Beach and finally to The Departed and Blood Diamond, then why can’t I? Being a Brit, you feel slightly on the outside in terms of some of that stuff. But I just want to make choices I feel good about.

Q: What about taking on that cameo role in Extras?
Orlando Bloom: They approached me and wrote something. Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant are fantastic. I loved what Kate Winslet did on Extras and I thought it would be great to do something like that.

Q: What bout the references to Johnny Depp in that episode of Extras?
Orlando Bloom: Johnny Depp has a really great sense of humour. He loves British comedies. I think he did The Fast Show – you know, suits you sir.

Read our review of At World’s End

Read our interview with Keira Knightley