Orlando Bloom began reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy as a teenager before abandoning the books in favor of sports and girls. He did not complete the three volumes until his early twenties: first in print, and then on camera as one of a handful of actors carefully selected for New Line Cinema's highly anticipated, $270 million, three-film screen adaptation of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The international success of the trilogy's first installment, The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), made Bloom a sought-after young actor. The talented Brit works the talk show circuit, mugs in magazines, and appears at every important award show -- always with a playful demeanor and an uncorrupted smile that suggest he could still be just as easily fulfilled by rugby and romance.
Bloom was raised in Canterbury, Kent, with his sister, Samantha. Their mother taught them to enjoy the arts and encouraged them to participate in the local Kent Festival. Bloom began by reciting poetry and prose, displaying an advanced sensitivity to tone and modulation. Yet, it wasn't this precociousness or his frequent trips to the theater that influenced Bloom to become a professional actor. He was in awe of larger-than-life characters -- from Superman to the members of the A-Team -- and knew the only way to become one was to play one on the screen.