Thanks to Cyloran for the transcript! Photos to come soon.
Jay Leno: Great to have you here, on the cover of all the magazines like GQ. Very cool. (much cheering and squealing from the audience). I know youre from England, but where abouts?
Orlando Bloom: Canterbury and Kent, just outside of London.
JL: Okay, you grew up there. Now when did you get into the whole show business . . . when did you first do a play or get on stage or anything of that nature?
OB: You know, I always really loved performing as a kid. I once . . . my first performance was a little embarrassing because I was doing a play at a local theatre and it was quite a big deal because it was the whole of Canterbury was there, and I was a monkey. Dressed in a monkey suit. There were three of us. And this monkey suit was really hot, you know? It was like one of those sort of synthetic suits, and I was only four, and Ill never forget it. I think its lived with me ever since, Ive been really paranoid about making the same mistake, but I, um, I itched my butt on stage because it was, like, I had this terrible itch, and of course the audience went mad with laughter. But I was a monkey, so it was sort of what a monkey would do! But I was like, what did I do? because Id sort of broken the routine out of what I was supposed to be doing, so I was like, Uh! So it was sort of stage fright.
JL: I was going to say, considering the other things monkeys do, thats not bad. Now when did you first leave home to do acting and all that?
OB: I was about sixteen, I moved to London, but I sort of finished my education in London and I sort of moved from Canterbury up to London because my best friend was at University up there and I sort of felt like the big city was the place to go if I was going to make it as an actor.
JL: So you went to acting school. Did you do all of those sort of theatrical . . . you know, the exercises?
OB: Oh, yeah! I went to drama school so, yeah, I was at Guilds Hall for three years and they get you to do all sorts of exercises to get you in the . . . you know, to help you loosen up and sort of be natural and stuff. One of the exercises we had to do, you had to go and study animals at the zoo, you know, in order to find . . . its quite useful way for a character to actually find the animals movement and whatever. I kind of wanted to be an ape because I kind of liked the idea of idea of sort of being a bad — (hits chest ala an ape and accidentally hits his mike).
JL: Thats very ape-like.
OB: Yeah. But my teacher insisted on me being a lizard so I wouldnt do things like that (mimes beating on chest). And I had this sort of more stillness and composure, so I was a lizard, and that just meant that I had to hold this one position for like hours on end and occasionally jog my head and stick my tongue out.
JL: Have you still got the lizard tongue out? Because that could come in handy, actually.
OB: You want to see my tongue just
(Audience squeals and cheers.)
OB: (laughing) It was sort of like that –! (quickly sticks out tongue, audience goes wild)
JL: Very good! That was very good! And youre actually, I understand you, I know you ride motorcycles like I do. Did you break your back once? Did I hear that?
OB: I did, yeah.
JL: And how did –?
OB: That kind of changed my life. I was 21 and some friends had an apartment with a roof terrace and a landing below their apartment, and the door had been warped by the weather and it had been kicking open from the outside in. And I walked into their apartment and I thought, wow this is great. I looked out the window and the roof terrace was about a meter and a half to the left and down, and I thought I could just hop across. But instead I got onto this piece of lead flashing running down the wall, like a drain pipe but not, and I just fell back. I didnt, it was rusty and old and it wasnt much to hold on to and I fell back three floors and landed on a
JL: Three floors?
OB: Yeah. I had a sort of really narrow escape because I landed the roof terrace below that was belonging to the neighbors below, and there was an old washing machine that was left out and I fell in-between the railings that were going around it and the washing machine, and I was just like there. They couldnt get to me because there was nobody in the apartment, they had to get helicopters and firemen with fire engines to try and get to me. It was pretty trippy.
JL: When you break your back arent you sort of confined to a wheelchair? I mean, thats pretty serious.
OB: It was a very narrow escape. They told me I wouldnt walk for a while, they didnt think the first four days, because I had no strength in my legs, but I bruised my spinal cord and I hadnt severed it so I was very very lucky, and it sort of kind of changed my whole approach to life. Because I was a little bit reckless. Id broke my leg on a motor bike and I had sort of broken my other leg skiing and snowboarding and had injuries. Not very elf-like. Like Legolas would never fall off a motor bike, you know what I mean? But it was . . . I kind of think of it as a really good thing. I think that things that happen to you that feel like their going to ruin your life actually theres always something really positive to have out of it.
JL: I think thats a really good attitude to have. Now tell us about Return of the King. These are epic movies. Im astounded when I see them how visual they are. Its almost like you have to see them 4 times to go, hey, I didnt see that dragon in the corner before! Tell us about what happens in this one.
OB: Well, this is the last chapter of the three and I think the last of any movie is always the most exciting, you know? Because its sort of the dramatic conclusions to whats been two films already and this is the third. So really you get a sense of closure on this and you see what happens to the Ring. I mean, if you dont know, the books obviously quite well read and well known and everything but basically it all ends well. You just get a real sense of Aragorn becomes King, Frodo and Sam go off to Mt. Doom and do their business with the Ring and it sort of works out well.
JL: And you have blonde hair and blue eyes.
OB: Thats right, yeah.
JL: (to audience) Hes not a natural blonde. (cues monitor) Lets take a look. Whats happening here? You know this scene?
OB: This is, I think this is as we enter the Paths of the Dead. This is about Aragorn assuming his responsibility to become a king. Part of it, he can call on the Dead to help him fight.
(Shows clip of Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli entering Paths of the Dead)
JL: Terrific job! Orlando, please, please come back and see us again!
OB: Love to.