Luck­i­est man ALIVE


Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

BE­ING a fa­mous ac­tor def­i­nitely has its perks. But how about be­ing a fa­mous ac­tor mar­ried to one of the most beau­ti­ful women in the world, who com­mands a six-fig­ure weekly salary? Well, that might have more perks than most.

Sadly, de­flect­ing germs isn’t one of them as Or­lando Bloom is sip­ping a hot le­mon drink af­ter catch­ing a cold.

Be­fore drop­ping into an arm­chair [ for this in­ter­view], he closes the win­dow and ad­justs his scarf. ‘‘ I’m sorry I can’t shake your hand,’’ he says po­litely. ‘‘ I don’t want to spread the germs.’’

Now, let’s be clear. He might be sick but he’s still Or­lando Bloom. There’s no red nose, no sniff­ing. His eyes are bright, his com­plex­ion is glow­ing.

Wear­ing a dark grey shirt, black jeans and black sneak­ers, he looks the pic­ture of health. Apart from the odd cold, it’s fair to say the past 12 months have been pretty good for the 34-year-old Bri­tish ac­tor. In July 2010, he mar­ried Aussie model Mi­randa Kerr. Six months later, he be­came a fa­ther for the first time when their son, Flynn, was born. He’s also scored a few more of those well-pay­ing movie roles along the way. Bloom knows he’s rid­ing a high wave and, best of all, he re­ally

ap­pre­ci­ates it.

‘‘ I’m the luck­i­est man alive,’’ he says, smil­ing broadly. ‘‘ Mi­randa is an amaz­ing wo­man and Flynn’s the great­est.’’

An at­ten­tive dad, Bloom says he’s more than happy to take on all the parenting du­ties when his wife’s at work. He changes nap­pies, does the feeds and runs er­rands around LA with Flynn strapped to his chest.

‘‘ I haven’t spent more than five days apart from him since he was born,’’ he says. ‘‘ He’s a real cool cu­cum­ber, and he laughs more than he cries. He def­i­nitely has a lot of his mother’s na­ture in that re­spect.’’

As for Kerr, she’s de­lighted with hubby’s ob­vi­ous flair for father­hood.

‘‘ Or­lando is so hands-on as a daddy,’’ she says. ‘‘ He loves to do every­thing with Flynn.’’

The fa­mous cou­ple have man­aged to spend al­most all of their son’s first six months to­gether, which is no mean feat as Kerr is back on mod­el­ling duty and Bloom has been work­ing on a full slate of movies. He shot his lat­est re­lease, The Three Mus­ke­teers, in Ger­many last year.

‘‘ In a way, it’s tough be­ing a nu­clear fam­ily right now,’’ he says, re­fer­ring to the amount of trav­el­ling he does for his job.

‘‘ But we’re learn­ing. We try to do the thing, whereby Flynn is al­ways with one of us for an ex­tended pe­riod of time.

‘‘ Mi­randa can’t be away from him for too long be­cause she’s breast­feed­ing, but she still has her work days.

‘‘ We try to jug­gle it so when I’m work­ing, she’s with Flynn, and when she’s work­ing, I’m with him. That’s as good as it can get. But we’re very for­tu­nate he’s such a chilled baby. It’s all work­ing out.’’

Bloom says father­hood has taught him a lot. ‘‘ For ob­vi­ous rea­sons, time is more pre­cious,’’ he says.

‘‘ I’m lucky to be in a po­si­tion where I can choose what roles to play. I don’t want to leave my fam­ily un­less its some­thing I’m ex­cited about.’’

The ac­tor, who’s of­ten seen whizzing around LA on one of his many mo­tor­bikes, ad­mits he’s also had to grow up a bit.

‘‘ I’m still pretty im­pul­sive in some ways, but more con­scious of my health and safety. I want to be around to be a big part of Flynn’s life. Bike rides are more thought out, shall we say, but you’ve still got to live, right?’’

De­spite the rev-head in him, Bloom ex­tols the ben­e­fits of Bud­dhism and daily med­i­ta­tion. Kerr has of­ten talked about her love of yoga and med­i­ta­tion, too, so are the cou­ple that chant to­gether per­fectly in bal­ance? Bloom laughs. ‘‘ I’ve been med­i­tat­ing since the age of 17,’’ he says. ‘‘ I was young when I was in­tro­duced to Bud­dhism by a friend, and it’s been a great in­flu­ence in my life.’’

Orig­i­nally from Kent, in the south of Eng­land, Bloom makes the most of every­thing the sunny Cal­i­for­nian cli­mate has to of­fer. He hikes, plays tennis, surfs, moun­tain bikes, skis and snow­boards. And he eats well.

‘‘ I be­lieve you are what you eat,’’ he says. ‘‘ For me, diet is key to your health.’’

Bloom says his life­style keeps him grounded, which is just as well. He landed his first ma­jor role at 21 – just two days out of drama school – as Le­go­las in The Lord

of the Rings tril­ogy. Af­ter his swash­buck­ling turn as Will Turner in the first three Pi­rates of the Caribbean movies, he’s wield­ing a sword

again in The Three Mus­ke­teers but this time as the bad guy.

Un­der the guid­ance of the di­rec­tor, Paul W. S. An­der­son, Bloom’s colour­ful Duke of Buck­ing­ham is pure the­atre. ‘‘ Buck­ing­ham is a bit like a petu­lant child, but he also has a lot of humour,’’ Bloom says.

‘‘ He’s the king’s favourite, so he has the power to pull a sword and be­have as he pleases.

‘‘ He has all the spoils that come with stature, so we see him ar­riv­ing in a gi­ant air­ship, which was re­ally fun even though it was 100 years too early for air­ships.’’

He laughs at the his­tor­i­cal dis­crep­ancy, be­fore adding, ‘‘ You have to re­mem­ber this is modern retelling of a clas­sic.’’

An­other no­tice­able as­pect of the movie is Bloom’s rather im­pres­sive pom­padour, which, be­lieve it or not, is all his own.

‘‘ I didn’t like the idea of wear­ing a wig, but I wanted to have a hairstyle that would lend it­self to the pe­riod,’’ he says.

‘‘ I love Teddy Boys, the Bri­tish ’ 50s sub­cul­ture in­spired by the Ed­war­dian pe­riod, so that’s where the quiff came from. My hair was brushed up and sprayed.’’

He re­veals that David Bowie was an­other source of in­spi­ra­tion.

‘‘ Paul wanted us to play the char­ac­ters as rock stars of our gen­er­a­tion, and mine was Bowie. Buck­ing­ham has the swag­ger of Ziggy Star­dust and wears out­ra­geous cos­tumes.

‘‘ In my opinion, you have to own those cos­tumes other­wise they wear you and then you run the risk of look­ing like a big tomato.’’

The next big thing on Bloom’s agenda sees him team­ing again with Lord of the Rings di­rec­tor Peter Jack­son for The

Hob­bit. Bloom has a soft spot for the pre­quel to the Rings se­ries.

‘‘ I like the think­ing be­hind The Hob­bit,’’ he says, ‘‘ that it’s of­ten the small­est and most un­pre­dictable of us that can go the far­thest dis­tance given the op­por­tu­nity.’’

De­spite that phi­los­o­phy, he ad­mits his own suc­cess as a young­ster was tough to han­dle.

‘‘ It was com­pletely over­whelm­ing at times,’’ he says. ‘‘ I was just a kid and all of a sud­den I was in two of the big­gest fran­chises ever made. I’m more at peace with every­thing now, and ex­cited about what’s com­ing up.’’

That in­cluded a brief Syd­ney stop re­cently on his way to New Zealand to shoot

The Hob­bit. Bloom says he con­sid­ers Aus­tralia to be sec­ond home.

‘‘ The peo­ple are cool, be­cause they say it like it is,’’ he says. ‘‘ The guys are real guys. There’s no non­sense.’’

At this, Bloom’s voice in­flects up­wards. When he’s called out on his Aussie ac­cent, he laughs: ‘‘ I love it, it’s a great coun­try.’’

He cer­tainly gets to spend time with the best of it. Clearly madly in love with his wife, whom he met in 2007 and pur­sued un­til she agreed to date him, he’s very open about how she’s changed his life.

‘‘ I could talk about Mi­randa all day,’’ he smiles. ‘‘ I’ve be­come more my­self since I’ve been with her. We travel a lot and we’re to­gether a lot, es­pe­cially now we have Flynn.

‘‘ I think re­la­tion­ships can teach you more about your­self. And when we’re to­gether, it’s just fan­tas­tic.’’

{ I’m lucky to be in a po­si­tion where I can choose what roles to play. I don’t want to leave my fam­ily un­less it’s some­thing I’m ex­cited about }

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