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Sizzlin' 16 -
Orlando Bloom

Being in a Hollywood blockbuster sounds like an absolute miracle for a virtually unknown young actor. Well, how does three or four blockbusters sound?

Welcome to the world of Orlando Bloom. The handsome, raven-haired, 23-year-old British actor has had the great good fortune of winning the role of Elfin archery ace Legolas in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. That's three smash hits right there, even if only one of them has made it to theaters so far. (The Fellowship of the Ring, duh!) Talk about career insurance.

But every day is miraculous for Bloom, because just three years ago, he was in an accident that could have ended his career--and his life.

"I broke my back," recalls Bloom. "I [fell] out of a window...some friends had a roof terrace on the landing below their apartment, and I fell off the drain pipe. It gave way, actually, and I fell three floors. I was told I might not walk again. So, for about four days, I was contemplating that as a serious part of reality. Then they operated, and I walked out of the hospital in about 12 days."

The gift of the improbable just keeps on giving next year, in the second LOTR installment, The Two Towers. The December 2002 release reportedly features scads of full-tilt horseback riding for this William Tell of Middle Earth.

Bloom's big break, medically speaking, also helped him land his second blockbuster-starring role of the 2001 holiday season--in Ridley Scott's horrifyingly realistic Black Hawk Down.

"My character breaks his back, and I had mentioned I had done that when I was up for the part," Bloom says. "Who knows why one actor gets a job and another doesn't? I think it was just good timing that I happened to be there and I had had that experience--I mean, I was lucky."

Yeah, Bloomin' lucky.
--Jenni Peters


Article from E Online Sizzlin' 16

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