Orlando Bloom’s cinematic debut was as Elf Legolas in the first Lord Of The Rings film
You’ve been with Legolas a long time. How does that feel?
End of an era! Legolas is probably the defining character of my career to date. He was the first role that I got to play; those two years post drama school, living in New Zealand, were massive for me. To have the opportunity to play Tolkien’s character at the tender age of 21 – I took that responsibility seriously. And to come back to play the character in The Hobbit was a great honour and privilege. It was quite liberating because his journey isn’t written about in The Hobbit as such. We were able to play with the idea of who the character was.
Were you ever in doubt about whether you wanted to come back?
I actually had a conversation with Peter. I was like, “Listen, if you ever want me to, you just let me know!” We were always in touch. The only question was what would be the journey for the character? Would that resonate with the fans and be authentic to the integrity of the story? Peter was very smart about how it would play out. With Legolas, you see through his eyes the journey of the Elves.
How did you approach playing a version of the character 60 years younger?
It was definitely something that was talked about in script sessions. It was really on the page for me – the relationship between him and Thranduil and the creation of Tauriel for this story were really interesting. It was all apparent in the writing, so it was made easy for me. I just thought about what Legolas had to experience for him to become the older character. For an Elf to go off with the Fellowship Of The Ring would be really unheard of! So I played all of that into my imagination to flesh it out.