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Full Bloom

by Peter Rubin

Orlando Bloom, star of The Fellowship of the Rings (the first in the Lord of the Rings series), was a little wary of wearing velvet, as most men might be. Men are inclined to lump velvet in with lame and rhine-stones as a fixture of gratuitous flamboyance: a little too libertine, a little too Liberace. Take a cue from Bloom, though, and reconsider; open your mind to a tradition of flair, Grandeur, even. Not only is velvet a throwback to the mod ur-love of Carnaby Street shag-ins but it also speaks of a still earlier time, one of kings and rings and flagons and dragons and rescuing damsels in distress with a little derring-do.

It's these very damsels, in fact, who brought Bloom from the past to the present. The 24-year-old was once just another prepubescent British ladwith his nose buried in J.R.R.Tolkien's original faerie tales. "I got halfway through the book", he remembers, " and got a little distracted by girls." Then came drama school and a chance for LOTR director Peter Jackson, and now things have come full circle, with Bloom donning a cloak and breeches to play eflin warrior Legolas Greenleaf.

Not that his eighteen-month immersion in Middle-Earth fantasy (all three films were made simultaneously, resulting in one of the longest shoots in history, and will be released over three years) made him into a rune-scribbling orc battler, but he has a little Legolas left in him, even as he moves on to projects like Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down (out in March). "I used to just strut around in jeans and T-shirts," says Bloom. "But I had a year and a half to get under the skin of these character, and it definitely broadened my horizons. Then I would never have thought to wear something like velvet, but now something like that works for me. It's just a little larger-than-life." You have to admit that there's Ring to it.

Article from GQ magazine, December 2001