Bachelor No. 1

Everybody’s taken with this Troy boy.

… Troy’s young lover has been ranked higher on Yahoo!’s Buzz Index than Brad Pitt, Viggo Mortensen and Johnny Depp, People’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive. That’s even more impressive when you consider that Bloom rose to the top while acting alongside those actors in Troy, The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean, respectively. Who else would even get noticed next to those guys? Mortensen, for one, is happy to hand off the heartthrob torch: Any phone numbers women pass him, “I give to Orlando,” he says.

Bloom has explained that he tries to treat women the way he’d want them treated if he were their fathers.

Bloom’s disposition is also sweet. “I took my children to see him when he was at our hotel,” says a mom of three in Malta, where he was filming Troy. “He helped me use my camera and offered to take another picture to be sure.” Maybe that’s because Bloom knows he owes at least some of his recent success to the besotted masses. Girls were screaming outside the hotel where he first met with director Wolfgang Petersen. “They were going nuts,” says Petersen, who thought, “Oh my! I’d better cast this guy!”

Bloom met Diane Kruger (his Helen of Troy) just a week before their semi-nude love scene. “He took me aside and said, ‘This is the first time I’m doing this,'” says Kruger. “When the cameras cut, he would give me my robe, not looking at me.” The two eventually got past their embarrassment, and Bloom made sure she was included in dinners out with the guys. She was also invited to cliff-diving expeditions while they filmed in Malta. “People are drawn to him, and the adventurous side of him comes through,” she says. “He’s full of life.”

In fact, the 5’11” Bloom is a bungee-jumping, surfing, snowboarding fool. “I’ve broken my nose, both legs, my wrist, a finger, a toe, some ribs, cracked my skull three time and broke my back in a fall,” he has said. Though Bloom still has rods in his back, the event didn’t slow him down much.

His mum, Sonia Bloom, who worked at a language school, named him for the 17th-century British composer Orlando Gibbons. At age 4, Bloom lost the man he believed to be his father, South African writer Harry Bloom, and learned eight years later that his and older sister Samantha’s biological father was family friend Colin Stone, whom he sees regularly. “I was lucky,” he has said. “I had two dads.”

says Rings costar Dominic Monaghan, “I don’t think Orlando necessarily feels like a sex symbol. But if it’s going to enable him to keep working, then he’s going to play along.”

Bloom would prefer a career like Depp’s or Pitt’s. “They created a heartthrob thing, then went against it,” he says. “You kind of have to.”

This article has been edited for The complete story appeared in People Jun.2005.

June 28, 2005 | Interview | this post contains affiliate links