What's it like meeting a former Hollywood heart-throb?
Big boy bloom
Within 10 minutes of observing Orlando Bloom, you could tell that the 40-year-old Brit is really particular about his image. Keeping it casual by slipping on a pair of Nikes to match his navy suit, his white shirt — which showed off a gold chain underneath — was left unbuttoned, suggesting a relaxed vibe. Arriving in Singapore from a trip to Bangladesh with UNICEF, the actor was in town to attend Braun Büffel's 130th anniversary celebration at the National Gallery.
As he walked up the steps to the Supreme Court Terrace, you could sense that this is a man who still garners mainstream attention. This is, of course, the Legolas of our youth. His presence as the earnest elf in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy was responsible for breaking many a teenager's heart, with his then tousled locks and crinkly eyes. Think: The Ryan Reynolds of the early 2000s. A franchise favourite, Bloom played the good guy image again in the Pirates of The Caribbean opposite Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley, returning to the series in 2006 and 2007, and recently in Dead Men Tell No Tales in May this year. While his demeanor in person wasn't larger-than-life by any means, Bloom still turned heads with his charming disposition. He's been a favourite of the tabloids — both in Hollywood and his native land — who chase him on other facets of his life: As the ex of both Miranda Kerr and Katy Perry, as a father, and as a man whose penchant for shirtlessness is widely appreciated.
After the photo call with Braun Buffel representatives, Bloom even checked in with the event photographer on his photos, suggesting which to mark. This coming from a man whose images of his nether regions came to light last year while paddle-boarding with Perry. At the red carpet, Bloom answered questions pre-prepared by a group of journalists, this one included. He was brisk about his current and upcoming film projects, but noticeably opened up when mentioning UNICEF, of which he's been a Goodwill Ambassador since 2009. As expected from the generic nature of the questions, Bloom's responses weren't particularly ground-breaking — though it did give an inkling to the thirst that he still has for film; something a true-blue fan would look forward to.
You're in Singapore for the first time, and we saw that you visited the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the National Gallery. What's been your experience like so far?
The people have been so welcoming, so beautiful, so friendly — such a vibrant city. We're in this remarkable building. I came to see the exhibition the other night just before it closed and I was marveling at the way they've married the new architecture with the old and how beautifully it has been done. You look at the skyline and it's this crazy, futuristic thing. There's a really wonderful quality to the country and I love it.
What do you normally carry in your bag?
Well obviously my phone, wallet, headphones, sunglasses, and a cap; and occasionally, I have a neck pillow just in case I want to pass out somewhere on the plane.
What can we expect from some of your upcoming films?
I've got this film that I shot in Shanghai at the end of last year, it's called S.M.A.R.T. Chase. It's going to come out on 30 September in China. It was a movie that was made with a Chinese cast for the Chinese market specifically because it has that kind of fun, action feel to it. I play an expat who lives and works in Shanghai in security and the transportation of art and antique goods from China to the rest of the world, and he kind of gets caught up in a heist.
What aspect of you as an actor of you has grown the most, from the first film to where you are today?
I've worked with UNICEF for the past 10 years as an international ambassador and it's one of the greatest gifts of having become, I suppose, somebody who's recognisable through the film work I've done. The work that UNICEF does in the field saves the lives of women and children in some of the poorest countries in the world — and in circumstances that are hard for us to relate to, 'cos we kind of live in a bubble. And so being able to step out of my bubble — which can be a big protective bubble — I feel most grateful.
Speaking of UNICEF, how was your recent trip to Bangladesh with UNICEF?
There's real poverty and, yet, there's remarkable human strength and appreciation for life in such a challenging environment.
Finally, what's next for you?
I return to LA. Aside from the work stuff, I'm kind of excited about a few projects that I'm developing for myself. I really want a great performance piece and I think I'm going to start. I can't tell you too much about it, but I decided to do something that I think I will really enjoy and I hope my fans enjoy too, 'cos it's a bit of a historical fantasy world.
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