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Public hunts 'Ring' archer
by Christy Lemire

New York (AP) - Orlando Bloom is an Internet darling, and he doesn't even know it.

``Oh my God!'' he exclaims when he learns that he's the most searched-for person or thing on associated with ``The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,'' in which he plays the archer elf Legolas. This week, he's climbed to No. 22 on the Lycos top 50, up two spots from last week. (The movie itself is No. 4.)

A search for ``Orlando Bloom'' reveals about 29,000 hits. Ga-ga girls, who lovingly call him ``Orli'' and are establishing a fan club, post photos of the 25-year-old British actor Orlando staring, Orlando smoldering.

In person, though, he couldn't be more pleasant or polite all long limbs and high cheekbones, dark, puppy-dog eyes and bright smiles.

At a Manhattan hotel restaurant recently, he asked the waiter for a bottle of distilled mineral water with no ice. The waiter forgot to bring it, but Bloom made no demands, threw no tantrum. He didn't even ask for it a second time; someone else requested it for him.

Bloom also plays a brief but pivotal role in Ridley Scott's ``Black Hawk Down,'' as the Army Ranger whose fall from a helicopter sets in motion the disastrous chain of events that occurred during the botched U.S. mission in Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993.

After shooting that and ``The Lord of the Rings'' trilogy over the past couple of years the first major film work he's done Bloom recently traveled to India to unwind with friends.

What has been the biggest change for you?

I just got back into civilization. I was in L.A. yesterday. I haven't stopped anywhere in one place long enough to kind of confront all the things that I have to in terms of the changes that need to be made. The fact that I've just worked on two huge movies, I'm slowly understanding what that means. I'm over the moon.

What was the hardest part of making each movie?

There was no real hard part of `Lord of the Rings.' Obviously, 18 months of filming was very draining. And at some point, you know, we were working very long hours. I did nine weeks of night shoots. ... You're obviously going to hit a wall at certain points when you're working for that length of time, but we all kind of worked together and pulled each other together. `Black Hawk' was a totally different experience. It was a huge machine. It was five months, but it was Morocco which was a very difficult environment to work in, much more so than New Zealand. It was hot and it was dusty and dry.

Is there anything you can't do now because fans pester you?

No, unless it's an organized event like I just did the `Regis & Kelly' show this morning so obviously if people know you're going to do that, then suddenly there's a lot more people around. But no, I walk down the street and do my normal daily things. I think I'm very unrecognizable because obviously I have dark hair and dark eyes and olive complexion, whereas in `Lord of the Rings' I had long blond hair and blue eyes and pale complexion.

What do you think of all the Web sites that are devoted to you?

That really freaks me out. That many people taking interest is scary. The Internet is a scary thing. I'm a complete technophobe, which is why I don't have e-mail. My mom wants me to start ... an official Web page.

One fan site describes you as ``the outrageous actor.'' Are you outrageous?

I can be a little bit outrageous. I can be a lot of things. I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie, so I love to go out there and do kind of crazy stuff which is slightly outrageous, like bungee jumping, skydiving, surfing and that sort of stuff. But I also like to just chill with my friends and go and see movies and do normal things.

Article from The Washington Times