Since playing an aspiring pirate in 2003’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” Orlando Bloom has been an elf, a milkman, a shoe designer and a soldier.
The 29-year-old British actor is back to his seafaring ways in the second “Pirates” film, “Dead Man’s Chest,” opening Friday.
Bloom plays Will Turner, a blacksmith-turned-seaman who is set to marry the governor’s daughter, Elizabeth Swann, played by Keira Knightley. Before they can wed, though, they are swept away with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) on a wild adventure that takes them to a cannibal colony and into the watery underworld, where they meet the heartless Davy Jones.
Sitting in a posh hotel suite, his mild-mannered black lab, “M’boy,” napping on the floor, Bloom talked with The Associated Press about why it’s a Pirate’s life for him.
AP: How much did your life change after the first “Pirates” film?
Bloom: The first one really opened the floodgates in terms of my career. It was a real door into the American marketplace, which is kind of awesome.
AP: Didn’t “Lord of the Rings” have a similar effect?
Bloom: It was different. I didn’t have a blond wig. This is more of me in the character, where the elf, you know, was an elf.
AP: Was it hard to make the two “Pirates” sequels back-to-back?
Bloom: It was a long shoot and we were away for a long time. If you have one movie and you have this one character, the arc of that character just spans over one movie, whereas when it’s over two, you have to keep in mind exactly where your character is. You’re skipping all over the place, so it’s kind of hard to keep that through-line. But it was fun.
AP: What kind of arc does your character experience?
Bloom: I get to be a bit more of a pirate. I get a pair of boots instead of those little shoes and stockings. So that was kind of cool.
AP: What makes these “Pirates” films so appealing?
Bloom: I guess we all want to be a pirate. Somewhere inside us I suppose it’s a real fantasy about being out on the open sea. Nothing’s stopping you from living whatever life you want to live. You’re not landlocked. And pirate booty, everyone likes a bit of pirate booty — the idea that you can dig up a pot of gold or find a treasure. That has a little dreamlike quality to it.
I think what’s cool about this movie is there’s the mythology side to it, like the myth of the ocean and Davy Jones. We’ve all heard of Davy Jones and Davy Jones’ locker but we don’t really know what it’s about. That gives (the film) a certain credibility, a method to the madness.
AP: What was it like working with Johnny Depp?
Bloom: He just tears up the screen. It was great for me. Johnny was always a bit of a hero for me growing up. I think he’s had a fantastic career making brave choices and doing movies that he wants, not conforming. I really admire that and I think he really delivers as Jack Sparrow. It was great for me to watch him go through his process.
AP: What’s next for you?
Bloom: “Haven.” I’m really excited. It comes out Sept. 15. It’s a great story, an island story. It’s a real human drama.
AP: How is it being a movie heartthrob?
Bloom: It’s very flattering but I don’t think it’s anything you ever get too used to.
AP: Did you always want to be an actor?
Bloom: I really did. I always knew that’s what I wanted to do. I feel like I lucked out. It’s kind of a dream to do this sort of stuff, and when it happens, you just hold on for dear life. It’s like a roller coaster but it’s fantastic. I wouldn’t change it for the world.