What the Hell Happened to Orlando Bloom?

Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom starred in one of the biggest movie trilogies of all time, and followed it up by starring in another one of the biggest trilogies of all time. He’s worked with Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, and Cameron Crowe. He was supposed to be the next big thing.

What the hell happened?

Orlando Bloom was born in Canterbury, Kent, England, January 13, 1977.  Bloom got his start in television  with  roles in episodes of Casualty and Midsomer Murders.  Bloom made his big screen debut in 1997 before enrolling in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he studied acting.

WILDE  (1997)

Orlando Bloom - Wilde - 1997

Orlando Bloom – Wilde – 1997

Bloom scored a cameo in the English prestige film, Wilde, starring Stephen Fry as the titular Oscar Wilde, a part he was practically born to play. It featured a who’s who of English stars like Jude Law, Michael Sheen, Tom Wilkinson, and Vanessa Redgrave. It follows the life story of writer Oscar Wilde, whose personal life would come to haunt him in less understanding times.


Orlando Bloom - Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - 2001

Orlando Bloom – Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring – 2001

Bloom basically made a quantum leap (oh boy…) to stardom, landing a role in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkien’s epic fantasy two days before he graduated drama school. Talk about a graduation present. He was originally cast as Faramir, but switched to Legolas. Lucky him.

Nobody knew what a huge hit the LOTR trilogy would be. Peter Jackson had to fight tooth and nail with studios, before New Line said he could make a trilogy. What came from it is one of the only film trilogies that can be compared with Star Wars. It became a cultural phenomenon.

You can argue whether or not Jackson’s adaptation is faithful (hint: it’s not. Tolkein writing has more in common with the Encyclopedia Brittanica than it does an action film) but it was a hit with audiences. Using in-camera tricks to keep the budget under $100 mill (a trick Jackson would later forget on every subsequent movie he directed), and lavishly photographing the New Zeland landscape, the film was a smash with critics and racked up close to a billion dollars worldwide. It scored Oscar noms, a rarity for a film of this scale and scope.

If by some miracle you haven’t seen it, the Lord of the Rings is a fantasy saga taking place in middle-earth, where a band of Hobbits, elves, dwarves,wizards, and humans set to destroy an ancient evil that has arisen again. Orlando Bloom’s bleach job and cat-like elf Legolas made him an instant heart-throb with teenage girls everywhere, and made his character a standout in a film of standouts. From drama school to worldwide movie star. Like that.


Orlando Bloom - Black Hawk Down - 2001

Orlando Bloom – Black Hawk Down – 2001

Bloom followed up LOTR with a small role in the star-studded Ridley Scott actioner, Black Hawk Down. Pitting him alongside tons of names (and others who would be names later) Ewan McGregor, Josh Hartnett (future WTHHer), Tom Sizemore, Tom Hardy, Sam Shepard, and Eric Bana.

It follows a (sort of) true story of a helicopter going down in Somalia, and the troops on the ground’s fight for survival among a hostile people, and the subsequent rescue. It serves as Scott’s answer to Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan in that it’s main goal is to show the visceral and unforgiving nature of violence and murder in war. It aims to not blink. However, it’s a bit too slick for it’s own good, and can be a bit “oo-rah ‘merrka” with it’s depiction of patriotism. It did middling business stateside, making a healthy profit overseas even though critics approved by and large of the film.

Bloom scored his part as a soldier who breaks his back. Bloom convinced the casting director he should get the part because he had broken his back twice (this almost derailed his acting career). It worked, but did little to boost anyone’s star status as all the faces of jar-heads in helmets become interchangeable within the film.


Orlando Bloom - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - 2002

Orlando Bloom – The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – 2002

The second film in the trilogy built on everything that made the first one the success it was. It still had a less than $100 million dollar budget, and inched even closer to the billion dollar threshold than the first film. This has even more spectacular action (which in the books is dismissed in a few pages in favor of songs and poems) and keeps alive the dark middle entry in the trilogy thing going. It’s a wonderful film for anyone that loves movies, fantasy, or action. For my money Viggo Mortenson is the best actor there, and has subsequently proved that. And for anyone that can’t get enough, Jackson released near 4 hour cuts of each of the LOTR trilogy. More critical love, more academy award noms, and more money.

NED KELLY (2003)

Orlando Bloom - Ned Kelly - 2002

Orlando Bloom – Ned Kelly – 2004

The second of his non-LOTR films, and his first misstep. Ned Kelly is a mess of a film starring Heath Ledger as the notorious Australian outlaw. Bloom plays a member of his gang and friend. The movie did not impress critics, and was a bomb, barely making any money worldwide. It’s kind of like the Australian Jesse James, but it didn’t play across the sea. It’s choppy and stilted, and does nothing to make Ledger or Bloom’s life easier, it also wastes the talents of Geoffrey Rush and Naomi Watts.

Next Up – From Trilogy to Trilogy


Posted on February 12, 2014, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 98 Comments.

  1. Depp seems like a good candidate. I was thinking about tackling him after I finish Stallone.


  2. Depp would make an interesting one. As he hasnt faded from the a-list, he’s just went bankrupt creatively. Although, his attachment with Tom Hardy to the Whitey Bulger gangster pic seems like a solid decision (if not original with Donnie Brasco and Public Enemies fitting that genre in his filmography)


    • For me, Depp is still about as big of a star as there is. He’s going through a slump. But stars have slumps. I can see the reasoning behind wanting to write him up. As you say, he has gone from one of the most interesting actors in Hollywood to a guy doing tired shtick. But Lone Ranger aside, I still think he’s relevant.


      • He’s definitely still relevant. But he seems to alternate between doing white face for Tim Burton, Jack Sparrow (and I could argue his latest Burton features are just Sparrow in white face ie Mad hatter), and Hunter S Thompson. He’s just not challenging himself. And his movies are becoming less and less interesting. I think Rango is his best work since Finding Neverland


        • Totally agree. When you say he is creatively bankrupt, I think you’re right on the money. And I do think his audience has turned on him. But in spite of that, I still think he’s A-list. For now.


        • In some ways I think the basic problem with Depp is that the Pirate movies led to him being typecast. Since the original Pirates he seems to be playing variations on Jack Sparrow with a few exceptions And most of those exceptions are under seen at the box office.I would recommend he work with different directors than Verbinski or Burton for a while.


        • I second that emotion.

          Burton should find Michael Keaton’s phone number.


        • It’s almost like Depp has become the rich man’s Crispin Glover…you know, the zany, eccentric, MOST UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER you’ve EVER MET…and you, duh Viewer, are always aware that he’s capital-A acting. In other words, a parody of himself. (Sorry for the rant, but I was REALLY disappointed in “The Rum Diary” [more bad script than bad Depp, but still] and “The Lone Ranger.”)


        • The thing about Glover is that being a weirdo was his whole thing. He couldn’t not be weird. Even when he wasn’t capital-A acting. Or was he ever not? Who knows. That grew old real quick. Getting banned from Letterman may get you a headline, but it also prevents you from promoting your movies. Not that I think Glover cares.

          Depp is a more traditional movie star who could have coasted through the 90s on his looks and probably would have been forgotten shortly after if he had done so. Instead, he developed an alternate quirky routine which served him well for a while. But now is growing stale.


        • I feel kind of bad for Crispin Glover, because it seemed quite apparent that David Letterman wasn’t in on the joke. Glover wasn’t the first or last celebrity guest to “troll” David Letterman by acting weird (e.g. Andy Kaufman and Joaquin Phoenix). To make matters worse, the movie that Glover was promoting (he was pretty much in-character on “Letterman” the whole time) wouldn’t be released for at least four years. Thus, the entire context of the incident was completely lost. Crispin Glover turning down an opportunity to reprise his “star making” role as George McFly in the “Back to the Future” sequels also really hurt his career and/or reputation for along time. Eventually, he started showing up in mainstream movies that otherwise seemed to be beneath his talents like “Charlie’s Angels” or “Epic Movie” as a Willy Wonka expy.


        • The thing is, Letterman worked out those stunts with Kaufman and Phoenix in advance. And no one tried to kick him in the face.


        • He didn’t turn down the role of George Mcfly in the sequels, he asked too much money.


      • I agree that he still relevant and an A-Lister and he could just be in a slump, but as I noted in the “Who Are the Current A-list Actresses” article if you go by Vulture’s star ratings and just factor in box office results and studio value, Depp is “only” the 21st ranked actor which is a massive slide for a guy who would have ranked in the top 5 just a couple years ago. (And it can’t all be blamed on Lone Ranger because Dark Shadows lost money two after factoring in marketing costs and the theaters take).

        Personally, I think the best thing to do in regards to potential WTTH for Depp is wait a couple of months and see what Transcendence does at the box office. As a film based an original screenplay that stars Depp as a character who isn’t simply a retread of Jack Sparrow, it should serve as a pretty good gauge as to Depp’s remaining drawing power.


        • Dark Shadows was definitely another strike in Depp’s career. The Tourist, which didn’t bomb, certainly disappointed given the supposed star power of Jolie and Depp. I agree that his star is waning he is veering into WTHH territory. But I also think he could turn it around with one picture. Really, how many actors have the international box office drawing power Depp has even now? Not many I’d wager.


  3. Thanks for the catch. Didn’t realize Bloom was younger than my oldest daughter! 😉


  4. Another strong article. Bloom is a natural fit for the series. I don’t think you’re going out on any limbs when you say he was basically a pretty face. But he was somehow lucky enough to be cast in two major movie franchises at the start of his career.

    I will confess I enjoyed Pirates 2 and 3 despite the fact they made no sense. 3 is just ridiculous. You can’t keep track of who is backstabbing who. And you know that no one really is. I doubt the actors could keep track of what their motivation was supposed to be in any given scene.

    The great crime of Pirates 3 is the ending. After all of that, they gave audiences an unhappy ending with some vaguely defined happy ending tagged on after the credits. I feel like Bloom should be brought back for Pirates 5 just to rectify the end of the Elizabeth Swan/Will What-His-Name story.

    I haven’t seen any of the Hobbit movies. Making the kid’s book into a trilogy was a strange decision. When I read the negative reviews for the first film, I figured I’d wait and watch the entire trilogy on video. I don’t feel like I’m missing much.

    Outside of those two trilogies, I don’t think I have watched anything bloom has done!

    Also, worth pointing out that Elizabthtown was the movie that inspired the invention of the term “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”.


    • Yes! the manic pixie dream girl! I had an argument with a friend over whether or not Samantha (Scarlett Johansson) in Her was a bad stereotype for women. I had to concede that in a shrewd evaluation, you could say she was just a manic pixie dream girl. Though I think her being an AI, her sensitive performance, and Jonze’s writing flesh it out beyond that


      • I would say that the Johansson character in Her says a lot more about Phoenix’s character than it does about any living woman.


      • NOT to get too far afield, but MAYBE you can do an article (heck, I might even want to contribute) on the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” factor/trope/cliche/movie device. Yeah, file under “only in the movies” wherein REALLY CUTE, PERKY & QUIRKY gals are attracted to mope-y/depressed guys. Of course, it helps if the depressed guy looks like Orlee Bloom or one of those good-lookin’ fellers. (I’ve been depressed a good chunk of my life and I can count the MPDGs I’ve met on the fingers of one hand (not counting the index finger, pinkie, middle-finger or thumb.) Also, I’ve found that many “quirky/zany/manic-pixoe”-type gals are generally not all that dependable…but that’s another story.

        Also, another candidate for WTHHT: Minnie Driver. She’s working kind-of regular in television lately, she has her singing career (she’s rather good, actually) AND I’ve been seeing her hawking a wrinkle-remover during my nightly reruns of “Hogan’s Heroes.” BUT in the ’90s it seemed like she was gonna be big big BIG…then…


        • Driver’s definitely on the list.

          I make fun of the MPDG trope same as everyone else. But in my 20’s, I was a total sucker for MPDGs in movies. I’m not proud of that, but I’m not gonna lie about it either. I loved Almost Famous and that was a total MPDG movie.


  5. British actors actually pull off American southern dialects pretty well quite a lot of the time. The two dialects share some features. Benedict Cumberbatch, for example, has recently appeared in two separate dramas set in the south this year. He is a standout in both 12 Years a Slave and in August: Osage County, which are Oscar-nominated films.


    • The exception seems to be The Walking Dead where I don’t think the British actors have ever heard a Southerner speak. Sometimes I question whether or not they have ever heard another human speak.


    • Yes, a lot of English actors have successfully pulled off southern accents (it started with gone with the wind) but just as may have fallen flat (Kate Winslet in All the Kings Men, Emma Thompson going for broke in Beautiful Creatures). It’s just a strange choice when basically your entire cast is english in a period piece american set film. And yes, I saw Benedict in both of those, he was very good in 12 years, but I admire him as an actor
      Agreed about Walking Dead. Grimes doesn’t sound like any human anywhere


      • As bad as Andrew Lincoln’s Southern accent is, I think David Morrissey’s was worse. I think the two of them were in some kind of secret over-acting competition like Shatner and Montalban in Star Trek II.


  6. The first Pirates of the Carribean was much more fun and charming than it had any right to be. I’ll go ahead and say it, I loved that movie, it’s one I wind up re-watching again every so often on DVD. Looking through the list of actors who Bloom beat out for the role (Ledger, McGregor, Maguire, Bale, etc.), all of those actors are talented, let’s be honest all of those that were in competition have more range than Bloom, and yet I think Bloom was better in that role than any of those other actors would’ve been as Will Turner. Bale, for example, is an Oscar winning actor with great range, but he is much too brooding to play the swash-buckling type. I’ll give credit where credit is due, Pirates worked perfectly within Bloom’s small range.


    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Pirates should have been terrible. And it wasn’t exactly good. But it was lots of fun. And the role of Will really did call for a bland, handsome guy. Bale would have been too much.


  7. He’s a good actor who I think hasn’t picked good starring roles, is all. He reminds me of DiCaprio to be honest, though maybe a bit more stilted.

    One more thing, for the life of me I can’t figure him English. He looks more Iberian or Italian.


    • I probably haven’t seen enough of Bloom’s work to be completely fair. I’m pretty sure I have only seen him in the Pirates and Lord of the Rings trilogies. But I don’t think he is anywhere near the same league as DiCaprio. The only thing I think the two actors share is boyish good looks. DiCaprio is a talented actor. Bloom is a good-looking place-holder.


  8. I disagree with you. He is a good actor.
    He showed he could be a rock star or a doctor, and to me, Will is totally different to Legolas. Actually, I don’t even think I recognized him the first time (wig, mustache, latino-style). But ya know, Bloom or Bale (or whoever else), I don’t think it could have been better, this character just does not requires so much skills…
    He wasn’t bad in Kingdom of Heaven, so I wonder if we saw the same movie…
    Sometimes people tend to dislike the actors who are boyish and too much loved by fangirls and their stardom stop them from seeing their abilities :p I know it, I disliked Jhonny Depp because of that. Oh, and Orly was great as Paris. This scene where he’s all scared of the guy who wants to kill him -wow! I bet he pissed on himself xD The only thing that screwed was the lack of bravery of his character.
    So, this guy just needs a good role! He can do it!
    And if not, I’ll watch anyways because he’s pretty ♥ (yeah, I recognize it, unless he’s sooo terrible that…) I’ll remember Elizabethtown forever, I liked it, even if it was not so funny, but the couple Orly/kirsten… ♥
    Happy to see Legolas again! And watch his performance in “Zulu”!


    • You’re certainly entitled to disagree, and be a fan of/enjoy any actor you choose to. Bloom doesn’t do it for me. But I’m an ardent defender of Vin Diesel, and was of Matthew McConaughey for years, before he vindicated me (and himself) over the last 2-3 years


  9. The problem with Bloom is the opportunity cost of casting him, instead of an actor with more charisma and range. I’m quite happy to see him in minor supporting roles. As a lover of Ridley Scott’s historical films and the medieval period in general, I deeply resent him in Kingdom of Heaven.
    By the way, I just found your blog–how have I been missing this? I’m looking forward to catching up.


    • re: I deeply resent him in Kingdom of Heaven.

      You’re overlooking the possibility of last-minute Repentance.


    • Welcome. I’m glad you finally found us. Looking forward to hearing more from you.


      • This article inspired me to watch the Pirates trilogy over the weekend (see, the WTTH series can inspire people to do things!) My impressions: the first Pirates has a really fun, charming, infectious, swash-buckling spirit to it. I’ll go ahead and admit that I love watching that movie, and it really speaks volumes about Johnny Depp’s performance as Jack Sparrow that he actually snagged an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor; it’s very rare for the Oscars to ever recognize acting in anything but serious dramatic films. Depp was a revelation, but really everone was in top form in the first one, I liked Geoffrey Rush and Johnathan Pryce’s performances as well, even Bloom was good in this.

        Then we get to the sequels. Gone is the lighthearted, swashbuckling sense of fun from the first one. The 2nd one is just so-so, barely watchable, but the 3rd one was just a total mess. This was my first time watching this, and I can’t comprehend how the most expensive movie of all time, even adjusted for inflation (300 MILLION!) could be so completely incomprehensible, and worse yet, BORING. I seriously considered just shutting the movie off half way through, doubting if I could slog through the three hour running time when I had already lost interest halfway through. But I sat through it just to finish it, because I love to punish myself. DWMCGUFF is right about this, the film is a bloated carcass and a real chore to sit through. I own it on DVD, but I can’t imagine ever, ever watching this again. The sequels attempt a more serious tone, but that just completely ruined it for me. They should’ve retained the light, fun tone of the original.


        • I think the problem with Pirates 3 is that it is the most expensive movie ever made. There is a point of diminishing returns. Bigger isn’t always better. In movies, mo money often equals mo problems.

          The funniest thing to me is to watch the making-of features on the sequels. Everyone involved was convinced they were making a timeless classic like The Wizard of Oz. Uh, yeah.


        • “In movies, mo money often equals mo problems”

          Good Biggie paraphrase 🙂

          The original Pirates would have been a great one-off. But of course once it became a smash Disney saw dollar signs and sequels became a necessity.

          The main problem with both sequels is that by trying to cram too much in, they made it seem like work. If they’d just been lightweight fun or at least offered action on the level of say the Mission Impossible movies, okay. But they became more and more bloated with each one. I still have yet to see the fourth.

          On the other hand, let’s be grateful that it was Pirates and not the Country Bears or The Haunted Mansion that was a smash. The thought of being subjected to four Country Bears movies or 4 Haunted Mansion movies is unbearable.


        • After sitting through two sub-par Pirates films over the weekend, I can’t imagine sitting through any more of these. I still love the first one and will still watch it from time to time over the years, but otherwise Capt. Jack Sparrow can sail on without me.


        • I half-watched the 4th one on cable. It was pared down from the previous two films. Which was a good thing. But it was kind of a snooze. Jack Sparrow is a great supporting character. Returns diminish when he is the lead. The 4th film has a new pair of star crossed lovers that make you miss Bloom and Knightley (mostly Knightley).

          I would be interested in a 5th Pirates if it was able to recapture the fun of the original. If they could bring back Bloom and Knightley and give those characters a proper ending, so much the better. I expect a 5th Pirates will happen. And it will probably be a mediocre movie that does most of its business overseas. But I still hold a little hope.


        • I shudder at the thought of a franchise based on the Eddie Murphy Haunted Mansion. Spooooky.

          I go back to the attitude of everyone involved in the sequels. They were flush with success. They were very serious about making timeless classics that would be treasured for generations to come. So they took everything way too seriously. The same attitude ruined Spielberg’s Hook. When you try to make an important movie, odds are you will miss the mark. Just make a good movie instead.

          (yeah, I know. if it was that easy everyone would do it.)


        • I’m a big Haunted Mansion fan, so I’m hopeful that the reboot in the hands go Guillermo Del Toro as producer will leave us with something more worthy to represent what is one of the greatest theme park attractions ever built.


        • Is that still on? Del Toro is infamous for talking about projects and then letting them fade away. Last I heard, the Del Toro Haunted Mansion probably wasn’t happening.


        • I read an article late last year in which it seemed like he was taking pains to find the exact right writer to finish up the script. It could be that the project is, in fact, in “development hell,” but for the time being I’m going to go on pretending that the project is going to happen, because…well…it makes me happy.


        • I’m choosing to be pleasantly surprised if it ever sees the light of day.

          I wonder if there is a subject we can’t take back to theme parks.


  10. Here’s a response that I got when I posted this article on UseNet:

    You can argue whether or not Jackson’s adaptation is faithful (hint:
    it’s not. Tolkein writing has more in common with the Encyclopedia
    Brittanica than it does an action film)

    A small hint: If I were to go out to Usenet to promote my blog, I’m not
    sure going straight to and insulting said
    author is a good strategy.

    There’s nothing more to say really, they’re landmark films that should
    be watched. Legolas became a fan favorite and no matter what the hell
    happens to Bloom, he will always have that character ingrained in pop
    culture history like a Lando Calrissian.

    “What a great actor! He reminds me of:

    A) Dustin Hoffman!”
    B) Humphrey Bogart!”
    C) Gregory Peck!”
    x D) Billy Dee Williams!”

    Man, that’s damning with faint praise. 🙂

    I’m convinced that between the three movies there is one good one. The
    first film could be shortened to one hour, the second to one, and the
    third to one, each comprising of an act to a single really good movie.
    Although I hesitate to call them really good.

    You know, you could wait for the third movie to come out before you pass
    judgement on it. Just sayin’.

    You’ll notice as Christian Bale or Hugh Jackman had their star-making
    franchises, in the in between years, they did films to expand their
    range, and increase their status. Bloom never did.

    I guess we’re not counting “Black Hawk Down”, “Ned Kelly”, “Troy”,
    “Kingdom Of Haven”, “Elizabethtown”, “The Armenian Genocide”, “The Good
    Doctor”, “Zulu”…

    I’m not a big fan of Jackson’s work, or Orlando Bloom for that matter, but
    honestly: a little bit of fact-checking now and then wouldn’t hurt.


    • Well not everyone is going to be a fan of what you write, and I’m not the first writer to get flamed. I’ll own up to switching the “i” and the “e” in said author’s name. And I’m not hating on his writing style, it’s just simply not action-oriented. He set out to create a mythology for England, and his writing is focused on language, history, and culture. Battles that take up major portions of the film are resolved within pages. I’m not the first person to say this, even Roger Ebert made the same observation.

      I never called Bloom a great actor, but you don’t have to be to have an iconic character in pop culture history. Billy Dee Williams is another totally capable actor with an iconic character. I’d say Bloom is about on that level.

      And as far as the Hobbit goes, I’ve seen 6 hours of evidence, I hardly think the last 3 will change much, but I’ll likely see it nonetheless.

      As far as expanding his range, you have to be successful in those roles and the films themselves have to be as well. Bloom never was, at least not like Jackman and Bale who are now able to be accepted and successful with both audiences and critics in any (but not every) role they choose. Every film listed for Bloom there was a failure or didn’t do anything for his career (some actively hurt it).

      Factually my article is accurate, I’ll be open for minor mistakes. The challenges were mostly opinion based. I’ll stand by mine and they are welcome to theirs.


      • This kind of thing happens. I’ve gotten used to it. No offense to Terrence, but a lot of people react negatively to the way he posts links in various forums. I personally don’t mind. I think he’s providing links you can choose to follow or ignore. I honestly don’t have time to keep up with all of them.

        Typically, people assume that Terrence is the author of the article and that he is spamming his blog or trolling for a reaction. So you get some pretty aggressive reactions. I think this poster is responding in this tone because he objects to what he sees as spamming and/or trolling of his forum. I might react in the same way in a forum I frequent. I’m guessing if the commenter knew the actual situation, they probably would have been less argumentative.

        He probably wouldn’t have been picking nits and throwing out barbs about “fact checking”. As you point out, your article is factually accurate. The difference is one of opinion/semantics. Obviously, Bloom made other movies. He tried to branch out. He was just unsuccessful in his attempt as opposed to Bale.

        I certainly appreciate the traffic Terrence drives to the site with his links. But I tend to ignore conversations that go on in other forums as a result. They can be brutal.


  11. Career Prospectus: Orlando Bloom:

    Ever since we started this series, we’ve received repeated requests for Orlando Bloom. He’s been mentioned several times in other people’s prospectuses, but has somehow escaped having one of his own. But since Bloom just got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—who is paying for it?!—it seems like a good time to examine what’s going on with Orlando Bloom, who was, not too long ago, one of the most famous people on the planet. Now he’s mostly famous for being Miranda Kerr’s baby daddy. What happened?

    When I was in college, no one was bigger with girls and 20-something women than Orlando Bloom. Robert Pattinson now was Orlando Bloom then (thus Pattinson’s nickname, “Orlando Bloom 2.0”). Thanks to the one-two franchise punch of Lord of the Rings and The Pirates of the Caribbean, Bloom was tremendously famous, which allowed him to book roles in Brad Pitt’s flashy adaptation of the Iliad, Ridley Scott’s big-budget Crusades epic Kingdom of Heaven and a Cameron Crowe film co-starring Kirsten Dunst. How could anything go wrong? He should be set for life, right?

    The first thing that went wrong for Bloom is that outside LOTR and the first Pirates movie (which is not aging well, so this statement is qualified) none of the movies he made were good. Since breaking out with LOTR in 2001, he’s had only one non-Rings movie get a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, 2012’s The Good Doctor. (I’m not counting Black Hawk Down because Bloom’s role was small—that’s a Josh Hartnett/Ewan McGregor/Eric Bana movie. Oh man, there are three prospectus recipients from that cast—maybe Black Hawk Down was cursed!) It’s come up in prospectuses before—no matter how big a break you get, eventually you have to make good movies to sustain public interest. Bloom has not been a reliable provider of good movies.

    His trip to Broadway didn’t go much better. In 2013 he did a stint in a theatrical production of Romeo & Juliet but reviews weren’t great and the show actually ended up closing early (ouch). After breaking out as a teen idol with LOTR, Bloom had to prove he actually had acting chops and, thirteen years later, he’s still trying to prove that. That’s a huge problem, but it’s not that Bloom is untalented, it’s that Bloom is not a leading man. He is, in fact, Patient Zero for Leading Man Syndrome. Bloom was the first case I identified of an actor consistently outmatching himself with leading man parts. He’s a character actor at heart, but because he has a leading man’s face and because he got so famous so fast, the expectation was that he would be The Man, not That Guy.

    But he should really give being That Guy a go. Bloom simply doesn’t have the talent to support a leading man career—he can’t carry a movie (see also: Kingdom of Heaven, Elizabethtown), but he does work in an ensemble or as a supporting character. And he’s not bad at that; he could have a really good career as a character actor. The solution to so many career problems these days is to get on a TV show, but Bloom really would be best served by an ensemble show. We know he looks cool as Legolas, but his chief problem is that he’s never established a real identity outside that. The steady exposure from a TV show would basically force people to accept him in another role.

    There is another path available to Bloom. I’ve mentioned it before but it is inevitable that one day a man is going to try infiltrating the lifestyle market currently cornered by actresses. Bloom, whose fame quotient remains high because once you hit a certain level of celebrity, it never really goes away, and who has an adorable, popular celebrity kid, is in a prime position to be the first mock-tor. Dudes might not buy into it, but his large female fanbase would probably eat it up.

    Orlando Bloom is not a hopeless case, but he’s never established himself outside of “teen idol”, and as he enters his late thirties, that’s an untenable position to maintain. I’m not even sure having a healthy and robust acting career is that high on his priorities, though. After all, he is still quite famous (and doing little to maintain it) and he made a fortune in the early aughts, so it’s not like he’s hard up for a paycheck. But if he wants a sterling professional reputation—the kind of reputation many assumed he’d have no problem proving out in the wake of LOTR—then he’s going to have to cure that case of Leading Man Syndrome. And the only way to do that is to stop trying to be a leading man.

    No but seriously, who made that star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame happen?


    • 10 Actors Who Clearly Didn’t Learn Anything From Past Mistakes:

      1. Orlando Bloom

      There was a time when Orlando Bloom had a novel appeal. After his bit part in Black Hawk Down, which basically amounted to him falling out of the titular helicopter (still his best role), Bloom turned himself into a global heartbreaker with his appearance as Legolas in The Lord Of The Rings. In those films Bloom rather limited repertoire served him well; he was simply one part of a large, sprawling ensemble, and both his elven genetics and the way he was directed meant he didn’t act normally. Each film found Bloom being employed as a little more than a beautiful albeit vapid piece of spectacle that ran, jumped and shield surfed into movie history.

      The role of Legolas complimented Bloom’s arid, laconic and most of all emotionless acting, and it was no surprise that his transition away from the stoic elf proved to be fraught with misfortune. Oh sure, he did power through with the mega successful Pirates series – but that was mostly due to riding Johnny Depp’s flamboyantly drunken coat-tails. His other efforts were either flops or floppish (Ned Kelly, Kingdom of Heaven), or were packed with so much star power that they didn’t really prove Bloom’s capabilities as a leading man (Troy).

      These days Bloom has mostly been resigned to smaller films – which should be a reprieve after so much sword and sandaling, but his perplexing recent return to Middle Earth suggests that the lessons of Bloom’s past have not stuck, not enough at least to keep that blonde wig away.


    • 7 Actors Who Were Expected To Make It Big But Didn’t!

      1. Orlando Bloom

      When he had roles in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the “Pirates Caribbean” franchise, Orlando Bloom was one of the most famous people on the planet. However, since his success in those films, he hasn’t exactly launched a megastar career, despite having shown so much potential. The last time we saw him on screen was in parts two and three of “The Hobbit,” which can mean only one of two things – he is after a paycheck or he is unable to lock down quality roles.


  12. law and farell are more leading man material then him bloom has never carried a movie by himself lord of the rings and pirates are supporting roles. i dont see him in the future winning Oscar . He should accept that find a 3rd potential franchisee to rid off of


  13. How about an entry for Julia Ormond? I know her time as a star was so brief she might not be a consideration, but she seemed poised for greatness after Legends of the Fall, but then disappeared. Now she only appears sporadically is supporting roles.


  14. how about warren his movie town and country bombed.or better yet kevin bacon spacey there movie career tanked there doing tv now


  15. do you think dennis quaid ever made a list lebeau my friend and i are having this debate i mean you think you will have him in site


  16. i knew it quaid made alot of flops he never had a hit movie to be honest iam glad hes not an a list hes a bad actor


  17. warren beatty james caan diane keaton


  18. james caan diane keaton


  19. bloom is underatted


  20. kevin bacon could be in it hes good actor but with exception of xmen his movies are flopping and his tv show sucks kind of like spacey


  21. The Surprising and Unfair Cinematic Demise of Orlando Bloom:

    The man has a record six movies that have grossed $300 million+ in the US, plus another two $100 million+ earners. His popularity was actually a factor in the success of several of those pictures. He has worked with such directors as Ridley Scott (twice), Cameron Crowe, Peter Jackson (thrice), Wolfgang Petersen, and Gore Verbinski (thrice). Counting all of his pictures, his eleven films have grossed an average of $207 million (he’s averaged $253 million if you only count the mainstream studio pictures). His average opening weekend for said wide releases is $61 million. From 2002 until 2007, he was a big-league heartthrob whose poster adorned the walls of many a teenage girl. He was one of People’s ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ in 2006. Yet Orlando Bloom is nowhere to be seen in today’s filmmaking landscape.

    So what happened? Did he simply grow tired of fame and/or major scale Hollywood films? The back-to-back schedule of the last two Pirates of the Caribbean films allegedly took quite a toll, as I’d imagine did the back-to-back-to-back shooting schedule of the Lords of the Rings trilogy. Did he grow tired of the critical scorn and retreat to smaller projects that wouldn’t be as much under a microscope? What is unusual about the rise and (relative) fall of Orlando Bloom is that his critical downfall was almost entirely due to two things: A) taking major roles in films that looked great on paper but ultimately floundered through no fault of his and B) becoming victim to critics’ inexplicable expectations and/or inability to understand what a ‘straight man’ does in a big-budget adventure film. In essence, he was constantly attacked purely for doing his job, for being an actor first and a movie star second.

    Quite a few stars have been burned in the past for signing up for disappointing films that looked like winners on paper. Alicia Silverstone may have been adrift as Batgirl in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin, but would any teenage girl in her right mind have the foresight to turn down such a seemingly golden opportunity? And what of all those knuckleheads who honestly blamed Jake Lloyd for the flaws found in Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Menace? Did critics and geeks honestly expect young Lloyd to say “Well, as wonderful as the opportunity to play Anakin Skywalker seems on the surface, the script has pacing and exposition issues and I know Mr. Lucas is not the best director of actors, so I cannot trust him to properly direct me in a way that makes up for my inherent inexperience as an performer.”? By the same token, no young male actor would consider for one second turning down the lead role in a coming-of-age story written and directed by Cameron Crowe. Yes, the film ended up being Elizabethtown, but is that really Bloom’s fault? No actor could have survived a film that was filled with trite voice over and contained a first half which required the lead to talk to himself in monologue for nearly an hour.

    Nor is it Orlando Bloom’s fault that nearly every critic went into Kingdom of Heaven expecting a sequel to Gladiator. Countless reviews complained that Balin de Ibelin, the thoughtful, war-wary blacksmith, was not the brooding, muscle-bound, vengeful Maximus Decimus Meridius and that Orlando Bloom was not Russell Crowe. Whether or not Kingdom of Heaven is a better movie than Gladiator (I think it so, no matter which cut you’re watching) is irrelevant. What was troubling was how few critics (and audience members, few that there were) could comprehend that it was a different movie from Gladiator. If Ridley Scott wanted a Russell Crowe-type character in Kingdom of Heaven, don’t you think he would have gone ahead and just cast Russell Crowe again? They’ve worked together on four occasions (Gladiator, A Good Year, American Gangster, and Body Of Lies), it’s obvious that they get along.

    This also ties into the other problem that Bloom has faced… being critically torn apart not because of his acting, but because of the content of the character he was playing. In summer 2004, Orlando Bloom took the supporting role of Paris in Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy. Once again, would you turn down a major role in a big-budget sword-and-sandals epic that allowed you to cross swords with Brad Pitt, have sex with Diane Kruger, and share scenes with onscreen father Peter O’Toole? Yet, whatever issues the film does have, I cannot count the number of reviews that criticized Bloom not specifically for his acting, but for his portrayal of Paris as a spineless, selfish, cowardly idiot, a boy who started an epic war because he couldn’t keep his pecker in his pants. But guess what people? THAT’s the character of Paris. Rather than try to make Paris into a more heroic and sympathetic character, Bloom played him as exactly the sniveling loser that he was.

    Bloom’s tragic need to actually do his job haunted him even in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. What so many critics and audience members failed to understand is that it was Orlando Bloom’s straight-man performance that allowed Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow to exist in the narrative in the first place. Yes, compared with Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, Orlando Bloom looked pretty dull. But that is the burden of the straight man. A lesser actor would have demanded that he be allowed to be larger-than-life and crowd-pleasingly comedic as well, but Bloom knew that it was his job to counter-balance the off-the-wall antics of Johnny Depp. Because Bloom’s Will Turner fulfilled the genre requirement of having a straight-arrow heroic figure, and his relationship with somewhat more-complicated Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) fulfilled the demand for sea-faring romance, Johnny Depp was free to run wild and do whatever he damn-well felt like. If Rob Marshall and the makers of the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: At Stranger Tides think they can craft a story completely around Jack Sparrow, they are in for a rude awakening. A Pirates of the Caribbean sequel utterly and completely dominated by Jack Sparrow would be no less grating than a Shrek sequel starring only Donkey.

    Even his star-making performance as Legolas Greenleaf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy speaks to his apparent onscreen generosity. After his screen-time-heavy and crowd-pleasing turn in The Two Towers, one might have thought that Legolas would have received more screen-time in Return of the King. Yet save for a single added action beat involve a single elephant, Legolas is barely featured in the third film. I certainly cannot say whether or not Bloom even tried to get more of his footage added to the final cut. But considering his track record, it is likely that Bloom knew that the third film was in no way about the Elfin warrior and thus added screen-time to appease the fan-girls would come only at the cost of the Frodo/Sam and Aragorn-centric narrative.

    Yet at the end of 2009, Orlando Bloom sits with not a single major film on the horizon. For playing the straight man in a blockbuster trilogy, he was rewarded not with thanks but with Razzie nominations. For daring to star in a Ridley Scott period-action film and not attempting to retread the more crowd-pleasing predecessor, he and Scott were besot by critical scorn and audience indifference. For having the gall to play a sniveling, sympathetic and unheroic schmuck as sniveling, unsympathetic and unheroic, he was criticized as if that was the fault of his performance rather than the original character. And finally for having the terrible luck to star in Cameron Crowe’s worst written and directed movie, he was tainted as the cause of said failure. Orlando Bloom may not be the world’s greatest actor, but he has suffered the fate even worse than that of many like him (Keanu Reeves, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford) who dare to put the movie first and stardom second. By refusing to be larger than the character and larger than the narrative, he was tagged as a wooden performer and banished from Hollywood. For the sake of all who feel that serving the story should come before serving their own career, I hope to see Mr. Bloom back on the silver screen sometime soon. He may not have deserved Oscars, but he deserved more than just our scorn.


  22. A poorly written, ignorant article by a regular Bloom’s hater full of clichés/close-minded attitude. I’d suggest getting some knowledge on the field first. You have no idea what you are talking about. You brought no reliable data, no proof for your ignorant statements. You ignored the achievements of the actor and brought the highly subjective things like your own taste/perception traits (with no knowledge involved!) as “the one and the only truth.” Probably it made you happy, IDK. But it certainly didn’t make you look competent. And honestly, dude, it’s lame and dishonest. You used the name of the world famous man and professional who is respected by many to make people click on your blog. You repeated as a parrot all the outdated clichés from the fan forums instead of making an effort and doing some research and reading some good professional literature.

    The apogee of your efforts is the most telling part of your article about: “I didn’t see this movie but is probably bad.” You should have put it as a title and see how many people you can amuse. Thank you for proving once again that all bashers of Mr. Bloom are weak and useless.

    Bloom is a great actor. He is out of your league, people. Get over it and start working on your self-improvement.

    P. S. It’s really amusing to see here the same trolls from the fan forums that are so dedicated to posting their comments about each Mr. Bloom’s movie and article saying how “irrelevant” he is. LOL. I guess you, girls, still can’t get over that Bloom overshadowed your favorite bore of an actor. Poor you.


    • Anything in particular you want to take issue with? Or do you just object to Bloom being criticized?

      It’s been a while since I have read this particular article, so I’m not sure which parts you find objectionable. You seem to be ranting at a lot more than just the author of the article (who is male by the way).


  23. bloom cannot carry a vehicle so like i said he should ride off a 3rd trilogy superhero films are big right now iam sure he can find one he will fit well


  24. Let us never forget that he punched Justin Bieber, and for that he will always be a hero.


    • Excellent point. I am planning to give this article a fresh coat of paint some time this year and I will be sure to give Bloom the hero’s welcome he deserves.


  25. Bad Movie Beatdown: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (in two parts)

    A film so bad and so bloody long it couldn’t fit into one episode.

    Will this movie conclude BEFORE the world ends?


  26. Strangely enough, I remember seeing Elizabethtown in the theater and remember thinking it wasn’t that bad for RomCom. Seems like that kind of role was tailor made for Bloom and somehow it didn’t work. I’m surprised no one has tried to cast him in comedic roles again.

    However, with such an epic fall from grace since LOTR to direct-to-video in a super short period of time, you have to wonder if there was EVER any “there” there with Orlando Bloom. He’s got 3rd billing in a thriller called Unlocked coming out in 2016, behind Noomi Rapace and Michael Douglas. It’s not an A-list production team by any stretch but the director is a solid B level. We’ll see if Douglas can hold it and if Bloom has anything in him besides elves and pirates.

    Reading this made me wonder about his Troy co-star… WTHH to Eric Bana?


    • We could get an Eric Bana article someday. Although outside of The Hulk, I don’t think he’s ever really flirted with A-list status. I would classify him as a character actor more than a lead.


      • He was the bad guy in the 2009 Star Trek and I remember critics were quite impressed with his performance. Other than that he hasn’t done much. After Hulk and Troy people were thinking he might go on to other super-hero work. He starred in Munich which was a disappointment and never seemed to recover from that.

        But like you said, maybe he never was A list leading man material. Hulk and Munich were his chances and I guess they were blown.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Speaking of which, Michael Douglas is another contender for WTHH.


    • except that he’s one of the main characters in a big hit movie that is in theaters right now.


    • As Daffy pointed out, Douglas is one of the major characters in Ant-man this summer. But even aside from that, Douglas has been around for so long it feels a little weird asking WTHH to him. It’s not just that he’s old. I’ve written up old guys before. But take Tom Berenger. I didn’t write him up because he’s not working much today. I wrote him up because he never seemed to realize his full potential as a movie star. Or Chevy Chase. I wrote him up because his career crashed when he was still young and relevant. Douglas has had an interesting career and one day I may cover it. But he doesn’t scream out WTHH to me.


    • Just to add to what daffy and lebeau have said, it’s kind of hard to see an actor who has two Golden Globe nominations (one win) in the past five years as meriting a WTHH. Plus, he’s kept on working in spite of the fact that he’s fighting cancer.


  28. forrestbracket

    munich made 130 mill on 70 mill budget and best picture nom dosent sound like it hurt his career


    • You’re using international numbers. You really can’t do that. Domestically, it grossed under $50 million on a $70 million dollar budget. That’s a flop. Especially considering Spielberg directed it. Yes it did better overseas. But when you factor in marketing costs and the way foreign grosses work, it’s hard to know if Munich even broke even. My guess would be that it didn’t. At least not in theaters.

      Did it hurt Bana? I don’t think so. It just didn’t help him either. Hulk and Munich were his two shots at the A-list and neither one of them lived up to expectations. So now he’s a supporting player rather than a leading man.


  29. Orlando Bloom’s fear of pigs makes WatchMojo’s list of Top 10 Weird Celebrity Phobias


  30. 9 Terrible Casting Decisions That Ruined Great Movies

    Orlando Bloom – Kingdom Of Heaven

    Ridley Scott’s Kingdom Of Heaven is – in its directors cut form at least – so close to being a masterpiece it almost hurts. The acting from the supporting cast – especially Eva Green and Ed Norton – is impeccable, the visuals are stunning and the story is sweeping in scope. There’s one major, crippling flaw the movie can’t overcome: the casting of Orlando Bloom.

    His vacuous turn in the lead role drains the life out of the movie, and rumor has it Scott had to enhance his eyes with CGI during a few scenes to give them more life. Bloom is also far too young and fresh-faced for the character – which would have been better suited to someone like Russell Crowe – who is meant to be a hardened warrior, suffering from the loss of his family and seeking a worthy cause. At best, Bloom manages to look like a sullen teenager.

    Scott can be hit and miss with his CV, but Kingdom Of Heaven has to be his most underrated work; and if it wasn’t for Bloom, it might have been up there with his very best.


  31. 15 Actors In Desperate Need Of A Box Office Hit


    Orlando Bloom was close to the A-List for so long, but there was always something in the way, blocking his path to ascension. His presence in the ensemble of The Lord of the Rings made him an immediately precious commodity in Hollywood, but…

    First, he was cast as the lead in Pirates of the Caribbean, only to be upstaged at every turn by Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow. Then, he scored another lead role, in Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. Unfortunately, that movie bombed due to studio interference keeping it from reaching its full potential (check out the superior Director’s Cut!). Outside of Lord of the Rings and Pirates, Bloom mostly ignored franchise fare until Paul W.S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers… Which promptly bombed.

    Bloom is a fine actor and deserves a better fate than this. He may yet get another chance with the next Pirates film. After the critical thrashing of the Bloom-less On Stranger Tides, Captain Will Turner will appear in 2017’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which will surely remind audiences that we still love Bloom, even without long locks of platinum blonde Legolas hair.


  32. Blind Items Revealed #5

    April 18, 2016


    This A list singer let herself be captured on video smoking pot so she would look cool. When it came to the lines of coke she and her actor boyfriend shared though, she was her usual vigilant self about recording devices.

    Katy Perry/Orlando Bloom


  33. ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’ rumors: Disney almost axed Johnny Depp due to unprofessionalism on the set

    It is also rumored that because Disney failed to act on Depp’s unprofessional behavior, Depp’s co-stars, including Orlando Bloom, were disappointed with Disney.


  34. 13 Worst Performances In Otherwise Awesome Blockbusters

    Orlando Bloom (Will Turner) – Pirates Of The Caribbean

    The Movie: The movie that catapulted Johnny Depp to superstardom like even he never expected while earning him an Oscar nomination along the way. A thrilling swashbuckling adventure…which to date has given way to four needless sequels.

    The Performance: After his success as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings movies, Bloom was cast as the dashing, steely hero here, but the problem is that despite his good looks, Bloom just isn’t especially charismatic or likable in this movie.

    He’s a stern a**hole without any semblance of charm, such that it’s hard to buy into any potential romance with Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swann, who honestly has a much more entertaining rapport with Depp’s Jack Sparrow (who incidentally runs away with the entire movie).

    Any time Bloom tries to play Will as serious and assertive, it’s hard to keep a straight face, and despite this, he’s set to appear in the upcoming fifth movie after sitting out the fourth.


  35. Earning his Dad Points! Orlando Bloom reveals going back to Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise gained him some serious kudos with his six-year-old son Flynn


  36. Pretty Vacant: Let’s Talk About Orlando Bloom

    Hollywood and the entertainment industry can be very insistent in its eagerness to craft a celebrity. A remnant from the studio days, where an actor’s image was essentially their property, publicists work hard to ensure the omnipresence of the latest hot new thing when the occasion calls for it. Sometimes the results stick, and other times the process never fully takes shape, leaving a poor soul lost in the liminal space between fame and nothing. Everyone knows the Andy Warhol ethos of having one’s fifteen minutes of fame, but nowadays it feels like that time has been decreased to fifteen seconds. Not only that, but the nostalgia cycle has greatly shrunk, with a mere decade ago being considered far away enough to warrant fond recollections and yearning.

    All of that feels especially potent now that Orlando Bloom is back in the spotlight. For a while following two of the most profitable franchises in film history, the British heartthrob was utterly inescapable. From The Lord of the Rings to Pirates of the Caribbean, Bloom’s star shone brighter than arguably any other actor of his age in the early 2000s. To American audiences, he was a welcome combination of charm, looks and Britishness, particularly the refined upper class white English Britishness that has come to dominate the acting scene: A classic kind of beauty that’s both handsome and pretty. During the height of both films’ popularity, crossing over at around 2003, Bloom’s presence as a fandom staple was cemented, thanks to the above qualities and his willingness to play along with the shipping friendly elements of the promotional trail, such as cosying up to Viggo Mortensen. Before social media fervor and the Buzzfeed age, Bloom was the A-List heart-throb of the moment. It almost didn’t matter that he wasn’t much of an actor.

    Bloom’s work in The Lord of the Rings, his first role out of drama school, is minimal but effective. His Legolas ethereal, with that stunning long blonde hair, moves lithely and with grace, but retains his humor, especially in scenes with Gimli. Bloom himself knew the role was rather thin and joked about his over-the-top facial expressions in the background of certain scenes, eager to make some sort of impact. He had freedom to do this since Legolas is a relatively minor character in the ensemble of the Fellowship, and he’s exactly the kind of figure that fandoms hunger for. Then came Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a big-budget Summer film based on a theme park ride that was a major risk by Disney standards, especially following the end of the 90s animation renaissance. Few critics expected the film to be as great as it was, and Disney themselves were fearful that the entire project had “flop” written all over it, yet $4bn and 4 sequels later, it’s the ninth highest grossing film series ever, and it helped to form the foundations of the multi-part expanded universe post-trilogy franchise model that now forms the spine of the industry.

    Bloom as Will Turner, ostensibly the true protagonist of the first film, is intended as an Errol Flynn style swashbuckler, but with more sensitivity. He’s a romantic hero by way of the golden age of adventure serials, but he’s also the straight man to the shenanigans of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, who redefined the show-stealer for the modern Summer movie age. While he’s better in the role than often remembered – there’s a certain joy to watching him roll with the madness with decreasing patience – but he’s also easy to ignore should you wish to, even as his role in the series becomes bigger and is fleshed out with back-story involving his father. Like The Lord of the Rings, his presence is not a crucial element of the franchise’s success. As infamously noted by critic Mark Kermode (who nicknamed him Orloondo Bland), his acting could be “positively teaky”, akin to garden furniture.

    Bloom’s best quality is his self-awareness. He spoke frequently about the rut of blockbuster fame and how quickly both actors and fans become sick of it, and he could be immensely charming on chat shows. That charisma sadly never transferred to his acting work, and his choice of non-blockbuster projects sparked little enthusiasm. Outside of the Pirates franchise, starring roles were thin on the ground, and what he was offering didn’t inspire critical adoration. He’s easily the worst thing in Kingdom of Heaven, Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown is a cringe-inducing mess now best known for inspiring the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, and Troy made a lot of money but that was more down to the clout of Brad Pitt at his leading man peak. It’s one thing to support; an entirely different prospect to lead. Post-At World’s End, the roles dried up, and Bloom consciously focused on lower stake indie projects, which isn’t necessarily a bad move but none of these projects made a real impression (did you know Bloom was in Mark Ruffalo’s directorial debut?). An attempted return to blockbusters in Paul W.S. Anderson’s The Three Musketeers failed, and a Broadway run in Romeo and Juliet fizzled before closing at a loss. While his Pirates co-stars’ fortunes flourished, Bloom fell behind.

    In his personal life, things remained low-key. His marriage and child with model Miranda Kerr, following a long-term on-off relationship with Kate Bosworth, were mostly kept out of the press, and even their divorce was amicable, with the family appearing in public together soon after the split was announced. This is the sort of relationships gossip mags like but don’t love – two pretty people who seem satisfied, settled and separate from drama, even when it all ends. And then Bloom took a swing at none other than Justin Bieber. Post-split, rumours swirled that Kerr had hooked up with the other Canadian Justin, who was at his most publicly scorned, which led Bloom to get into a very public fight with the singer in a restaurant, where diners allegedly cheered him in his endeavor, even though the reports are mixed on whether or not it landed on Bieber’s face. Public bust-ups are always messy, but if one is to retain a degree of relevance and public goodwill, they should at least have the decency to finish the job.

    Thankfully for Bloom’s career, he was able to return to playing Legolas for the wildly bloated Hobbit saga, which provided a return to the major stage, albeit one with less public enthusiasm. Yet he wasn’t fully back in the cultural conversation, even as his acting got better (like Tom Cruise and Leonardo Dicaprio, Bloom is at his best when playing, for lack of a better term, raging dicks, such as The Three Musketeers). Bloom may not be the star he once was, but close proximity to another star would prove beneficial.

    It can be easy to forget just how famous Katy Perry is. As one of the biggest selling music artists of our time, she’s seldom out of the press and commands immense fan and industry loyalty. Even during this new confused era of “purposeful” pop and sexy food puns, she’s a conversation starter, for better or worse, so of course getting together with an early 2000s heart-throb would prove a hot topic. Then came the d*** pics.

    The paddle-boarding photographs are revealing in more than the expected manner: They’re of exceptional quality, taken by a paparazzi photographer who sold them to the New York Daily News, and it’s clear a certain level of posing is taking place. Who paddle-boards with their d*** out? A guy with a good publicist. Even if you never saw the uncensored pictures, you knew what you were getting: Why would he let it hang out if he didn’t know it was pretty impressive stuff? It certainly made Perry look great too – the photos show her serenely sitting cross-legged ahead of him as he paddles forward like her eager manservant. Whether or not these photos were a set-up (spoiler alert: they totally were), they could not help but evoke memories of another high profile romantic situation at the time involving a pop megastar and British actor of lesser fame. Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston should have taken notes – this is how you exploit your personal life for publicity, no tank-top needed.

    The visibility of being with Perry brought Bloom back into relevance, as he accompanied her to major events including Democratic Party fundraisers with Hillary Clinton present. It was undeniable that Bloom was the plus-one, but the image of the pair possessed a kind of old-school celebrity romance appeal. Well, for the most part. The relationship was also plagued by rumors of Bloom’s cheapskate ways, with Perry allegedly footing the bill for everything, and photographs of Bloom getting cosy with the much younger Selena Gomez in Las Vegas evoked discomfort. Their split was no surprise, and newly single Bloom went full dirt-bag so quickly that none of us noticed. He was photographed at Coachella, surrounded by younger woman and apparently in the company of Leonardo Dicaprio, a man who considers partners over 25 too old for his interest. Recently, a gossip story developed that a one-night stand with a waitress led to her getting fired. Regardless of the veracity of that claim, it helped to perpetuate the Bloom as playboy image, one that evokes entirely different vibes from a 40 year old former idol than a 20 something rising star.

    Now, Bloom is back as Will Turner in the fifth Pirates movie, and his presence on the promotional trail has proved helpful to Disney as they try to avoid placing all the duties on the shoulders of the increasingly erratic and loathable Depp. He’s an affable presence on talk shows, but then again, he always has been. His Instagram is practiced but charming, with cute dog photos, charity plugs and nothing but praise for his ex-wife. His upcoming projects aren’t noteworthy but the work is still there. That may be the best way to describe him – he’s still here.

    There’s an inherent problem with being the subject of teen idolatry – your shelf life is set in stone, and you need a back-up plan. Ultimately, Orlando Bloom, for all of his decent qualities, just isn’t a good enough actor to encourage longevity in the industry on either a mainstream or indie level. He’s not the worst thespian out there, and he seems aware of the limits to his range, but when the field is saturated with better, cheaper and younger options, even the stars who shone the brightest are left dimmed.


  37. 15 Actors Who Stupidly Turned Down Billion Dollar Movies

    Orlando Bloom – Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

    Despite being a key member of the first three Pirates movies, Orlando Bloom passed up the opportunity to come back for the fourth:

    “I had a great time making those movies. I just really wanted to do different things, but I think it’s going to be great. Whatever Johnny does, I think it’s fantastic.”

    Kiera Knightly also passed for pretty much the same reason, but she fared somewhat better after passing:

    “No. I said when the second one came out that there wasn’t going to be another one for me. I mean, they were already shooting the third one at that time. I knew that that was going to be it for me. It was an extraordinary experience, you know, but I was 17 when I started it and 21 when I finished. And that’s quite a large chunk of time there. And, you know, they are amazing people, but I’ve always wanted to act because I like changing. I like exploring different things. And I sort of feel like I’ve done the pirating thing, as wonderful as it was and it was amazing.”

    What He Made Instead

    The Three Musketeers. Clearly by “something different”, Bloom meant something terrible.


  38. 15 Terrible Performances That Ruined Movie Franchises


    Throughout his career, Orlando Bloom has had a hand in a few nifty franchises, like Lord of the Rings (where he played the elf Legolas) and, of course, Pirates of the Caribbean. His run in Lord of the Rings was just fine, but it’s Pirates that we’re a little more concerned with.

    Sure, Pirates of the Caribbean is more comedy than anything else, but Bloom’s uninspired performance gives it an extra kick that was probably not what the filmmakers were going for. The way that his character Will Turner goes from the hero of the story to being written out at the end of At World’s End really says it all, and when he returned in Dead Men Tell No Tales it was with more of a whimper than a bang.


    • Bloom was just fine for what the role required. Claiming he “ruined” the Pirates franchise is just silly. What has ruined the Pirates franchise is half-written scripts.


  39. 9 Famous Actors In Real Danger Of Becoming Irrelevant

    Orlando Bloom

    In the early part of the 21st Century, Orlando Bloom enjoyed a rapid ascension from complete unknown to one of the biggest breakout stars in the entire business in just three years. Unfortunately, the 41 year-old actor has struggled to recapture the success of those halcyon days since.

    The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, along with Troy, may have generated countless billions in box office revenue but didn’t exactly give the English actor much of a chance to stretch his yet-unproven acting muscles. When finally given the chance to carry a big-budget movie entirely on his own back, the result was a bland performance in box office disappointment Kingdom of Heaven. Ever since then, the momentum of Bloom’s early career has never been regained.

    In recent years, Bloom has flitted from genre to genre with varying degrees of success but is still yet to deliver that career-defining performance that proves his chops as a serious

    While he should be commended for not being pigeonholed as ‘just a pretty face’, it is telling of the actor’s status in the industry that his only hit movies in recent years have seen him return to the franchises that made his name as Legolas and Will Turner respectively.


  40. 15 Actors Who Were Knocked Off The A-list After Just One Movie


    Orlando Bloom stole people’s hearts after appearing as the bleach-blonde elf, Legolas, in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It goes without saying that this role suited him perfectly; Bloom was great at depicting the mellow and collected demeanour of Legolas and his good looks didn’t do the franchise any harm either.

    However, it’s fair to say that after LOTR, his acting skills didn’t quite match up to his movie roles and Legolas fans were left in a haze of immense disappointment. Strangely, he got away with it and was cast in some big-budget movies anyway, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Troy.

    This continued for a few years until the actor decided to tread on more serious ground with Cameron Crowe’s Elisabethtown, but his ghastly American accent and mediocre performance swept him to B-list town in a matter of days.


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