Orlando Bloom and Liv Tyler: Return of the Elves
By Lynn Barker, Teen Hollywood, December 10, 2003.
Orlando Bloom and Liv Tyler look gorgeous together but they’re not a couple. Just having seen The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, we had to readjust for Orlando’s dark curly hair and leave that Legolas image behind when we interviewed the two in L.A. Dressed in jeans and t-shirt, Orlando was leaning in his chair against the wall in a dangerous balancing act. He wore blue “rags” rolled and tied as bracelets just like his “Pirates” co-star Johnny Depp and between questions, chomped on a wad of gum.
Liv was simply breathtaking even in casual green blouse and black slacks. They spilled all the info about the gag reels played for each actor on his departure from the final “Rings” film, looking at “pink golf balls” which would later be monstrous CGI enemies, being heartthrobs and dealing with melting elf ears. Orlando talked a bit about “Pirates 2”. Oh, and they sang too.
TeenHollywood: Orlando, there is an awesome scene in “King” where you climb up one of those huge elephant-like animals. How was that done?
Orlando: It was really a mound of sand bags that was shaped like the backend of that olephant, and they had the arrows in it. So I actually climbed up the arrows in that sequence and they had wires and ropes to swing along the side of it, and then I slashed the thing then there was a winch with a rope to pull me up, up and then I fall on top of the sand bags with all the guys. So they put in the elephant afterwards basically.
TeenHollywood: When you left the set the final day, we hear you were given gifts and a gag reel. What was your last shot? What was on the gag reel and what did you get?
Liv: In the first film, when Arwen is on the horse, that was the first thing I ever shot in the movie with second unit, and it was the last thing I ever shot at the end of the last movie. My very final day was the last scene where I’m kissing the King. So it was over a year-and-a-half, so you can imagine. I had no idea what that was going to be like at all. [My gag reel], the first half is really serious and like the beautiful character with really funny music. Mine has “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, and it’s all Arwen going like [she sings]‘Turn around’ I’m flirting with the boys. I got a beautiful dress. I got the dress from this movie that’s kind of red and blue, like on the sleeves when I’m laying there dying.
Orlando: And mine’s got “Hungry Eyes”. [Sings it] It’s got this thing where Aragorn pulls out his sword and Legolas is turning [Looks sexy] and then he pulls out his sword and then I’m throwing the bow, Hungry Eyes. [Sings]. I got my sword, bow and arrows and quiver. My last sequence was running into battle with Gimli and taking down some Orcs. But actually what made the cut was probably the olephant sequence. My bow actually broke two takes before my last take in the entire movie. The bow that I’d been using for the whole movie. It’s been eighteen months. Two takes before last it’s like [Makes eerie sound] It’s coming to an end. I couldn’t believe it, I was devastated. That particular bow, it was like, I mean, I nearly cried. I was like my bow, my bow! [in sad voice].
Liv: But did you get your sword? I didn’t get my sword through customs yet. They’re like we sent your...Did you get it?
TeenHollywood: We want all that gag reel stuff on the next DVD.
Liv: That’s what I said to the producer, I was like ‘You have to put this out there for the public ‘cause it’s really interesting to see.’ A lot of times when you go to the movies and you see someone you think ‘Oh, that’s kind of like them.’ And when you look at this reel you see the difference between us as people and our characters.
Orlando: You see that we’re total geeks.
Liv: There’s all these shots of me on blue screen going like, [She rolls her eyes] rolling my eyes or going to put my sword away and missing. A lot of this wasn’t always all that high tech, and there were all these scenes where I was on the back of a barrel with one of the grips going [she pretends to kick the barrel] like this. Then there’s like a golf cart or a truck just pulling me around. I mean, I thought for sure this is the end of my career. I’m going to be so silly when they see it, and I’m never going to work again and then I saw it and I was YEAH! [Laughs].
TeenHollywood: Since you didn’t see a lot of what you were fighting, did you have to totally trust your director Peter Jackson to put something great in there later?
Orlando: You just had to completely put all your heart, trust and faith into Pete and just know that he was going to pull it off. It was the same fighting the cave troll. I was like ‘Pete, you just better make this a really gnarly beast. This better be one nasty bastard otherwise I’m going to feel like a complete fool.’ So, he always came through. He said, ‘And now there’s a great light ‘cause it’s the eye and you can’t quite see it’ and you’re going [He makes faces like he’s looking but trying not to close his eyes.] [I’m thinking] This better be a really bad looking eye. [Laughter]
Liv: That was the hardest thing, just all those reaction shots of all of us. We’re not looking at anything.
TeenHollywood: Is it about time he got an Oscar?
Liv: It would be great. I feel like the biggest reward for him and for all of us is that the public has responded to these films and to these characters so much. It would be really nice if that happened, but I think that we all feel really satisfied already with that connection. It could have gone disastrously. We were all nervous about it but people are really connected to these characters and really in love with them.
TeenHollywood: Liv, did you get to keep your ears?
Liv: I didn’t, no, they were gelatin. We had a different one everyday. I once kind of fled set in the middle of the day and I went home for a couple of hours. The sun is so strong in New Zealand even when it’s cold. I pulled one of my ears off and left it on the dashboard and it melted. There was just this little carcass of the tip of an ear sort of sticking up on the dashboard.
TeenHollywood: A ton of scenes were cut out of the film. Were you thinking ‘Well eventually it will be on the DVD.’?
Liv: No, like last year I had gone down and shot like seven scenes and pick-ups and I was like ‘Yeah my part’s bigger.’ And then Peter called me the day before I saw the movie and they’d cut half my part into this last movie. He said that it worked better dramatically. I was always supposed to come back in the second one, in the middle of the second one. So that was so traumatizing for me, but at this point I’m like ‘I love it no matter what. I’m gonna have no expectations.’ I’m always so excited and surprised when I get to sit at home and watch the DVD. It just gives you that little bit more information and understanding about the characters that I think is really great. That was especially true of Viggo’s character in "The Two Towers".
TeenHollywood: How have these films changed your life?
Liv: It’s been an incredible experience for us, on a personal level and work wise. As an actor, I think I’ve changed a lot from the process of working on something for so long and trusting someone so much. I guess what’s been great about it is playing these characters with so much depth and such beautiful language and all of those things as well as learning about all the technical stuff. It was so advanced.
TeenHollywood: This is your last press tour for LOtr. How does that feel?
Orlando: It’s been really emotional. It’s been a really amazing journey to be with everyone that worked on this project, so it’s kind of weird. Flying around the world doing all this stuff has been the best, one of the most exciting parts each year at Christmas we get a chance to do it. I think I might go and break down in the toilet.
TeenHollywood: Philippa (co-writer and producer) said that her daughter, Phoebe, had a huge crush on you and you showed up at her friend’s birthday party.
Orlando: Yeah. One of Philippa’s daughter’s best friends had just lost a father or the family had split up, and the kids were really kind of upset, and it was the girl’s birthday, like I think she was turning 16 or something so I just swung by. The family had had a rough time with it. One of the great things of being in our position is that you can do that. It’s nice to be able to sign a piece of paper and put a smile on a kid’s face or to make a movie and hopefully bring something to somebody. That’s a great part of being an actor. There’s some other parts that get frustrating, but other than that, it’s a great opportunity. It’s a great job.
TeenHollywood: But doesn’t the fame part get to you?
Orlando: I try to keep it about the work. I try to keep it focused on that because that’s what I love and that’s what I trained to do. I don’t get too involved in the rest of it. People project an idea of who they think you are onto you, and yet you’re not that, it’s difficult to go, ‘Hang on a second. That’s not me.' It’s difficult not to get offended by quips that people say or little things that are written and taken out of context so you just don’t read it.
Liv: You have to stay focused on something, because if you start to acknowledge all these things around you, that every photo must look good, and everything everybody says, it can make you really kind of depressed and paranoid. I think that there’s something to be said for people getting to a certain point in their career and kind of saying, ‘You know what, I can’t do this anymore.’
TeenHollywood: Do you think being married helps?
Liv: Well I love my husband and he supports me and helps me through everything, but those other insecurities are quite personal no matter how much love you have around you. I went through a period even last year for the first time in my life where we moved, and suddenly there was paparazzi outside of our house all the time. There are so many more of those magazines that are gossip-oriented, and so many things are just made up and they’re not true, and it can make you unhappy. People think you want to know about it or your grandmother says, ‘Oh, there’s this pretty picture of you in thingamagigger’.
Orlando: And I don’t want it. I say to my mum, ‘Don’t send me any of that stuff.’ You know what, if you want to keep it. Keep it, and when I’m like old and gray and a lot wiser than I am now and it won’t matter, then maybe I’ll want to see it.
TeenHollywood: How do you go out and have fun without all the paparazzi following you?
Orlando: You avoid the sort of setup events. When you party, party with your friends. Go to a pub or a bar. Nobody’s expecting to see you, and you go and have a good time.
Liv: Go out to dinner. I mean and certainly in L.A. there’s more public events and parties. I get invited to lots of stuff and I don’t usually like to go out to those kinds of things that much because it’s pretty hard work. I do the things that I have to do for my work or for charities that I believe in but other than that, besides going to see bands, I try to not to go to too many things.
TeenHollywood: Orlando, what’s happening with Pirates of the Caribbean 2?
Orlando: I signed up to do part two and I’ll be doing that. Do I know anything about it? Nothing at all, man. I know that Ted and Terry are writing it, the same guys who wrote the first one. And I know that Gore Verbinski is going to direct it and I know that Johnny will do it, and Keira will do it, and I’ll be doing it, and that’s all I know. I think we’re going to shoot January next year.
TeenHollywood: You must have been pleased with the phenomenal success of “Pirates” this summer. Do you have any thoughts on “Pirates”’ success?
Orlando: Yeah, I think Johnny created this amazing character that just like blew everyone away, and Ted and Terry came up with this fantastic idea of pirates that go skeletal through the moonlight. I think a blockbuster movie audience expects like more bang for their buck than any other movie. So, with “Pirates”, like with “Rings”, you’ve got visual effects, you’ve got great cast, great direction, attention to detail, good characters, and well rounded arcs for each character.
TeenHollywood: Liv, I want to ask about Jersey Girl in which you co-star. Are you anxious to see how the movie is going to do especially after Gigli with Ben and Jen?
Liv: Yeah, I mean, Kevin [Smith, the director] was pretty much done cutting the movie as we were filming. So we could go home and watch. He would stay up all night editing the movie. It was incredible, so we were sort of ready to go immediately, but contractually they had to wait for Gigli to come out. I’m anxious to see it and to have it come out, and I hope the movie will be able to speak for itself, and all the other stuff [about Gigli] won’t.