We chat to Orlando about the new Musketeers film and the upcoming Lord Of The Rings prequel The Hobbit

Pretty boy Orlando Bloom broke through over a decade ago, in 2001 as the elf-prince Legolas in The Lord of the Rings, a role he’d reprise throughout the trilogy, before going on to tackle another major franchise from 2003 with the role of Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. As a lead he’s starred in The Calcium Kid (2004), Elizabethtown and Kingdom of Heaven (both 2005).
He appears this month in The Three Musketeers’ – a retelling of the Alexandre Dumas classic by Paul WS Anderson, with Milla Jovovich, Logan Lerman and Christoph Waltz – he plays the villainous Duke of Buckingham.

How would you describe this new version of The Three Musketeers?
To me it feel likes a very contemporary telling of the story. I think that the weaponry, because it was shot in 3D, feels very cutting edge, and just stylistically, the script certainly read very contemporary. It was like some of those moments where in Oceans Eleven they are all talking in the middle of a room and then suddenly it like cuts to a big action scene. It was very well thought out, and obviously being shot in 3D, Paul had already shot Resident Evil Afterlife in 3D, with the same cameras that James Cameron had used, so he was very familiar, he was very comfortable and familiar with the 3D world, so that was good, because it was new for me.

Was the fact that you’re playing a villain part of the appeal?
Yeah, that’s why I did the movie actually. I’m not sure I would have wanted to play D’Artagnan. I wanted to do something like play the bad guy, D’Artagnan is a great role, but I think Logan is 18 and he’s playing an 18-year-old and that’s the character. He was 18, and I think that this the first time that that’s ever happened. I mean, I saw a Douglas Fairbanks silent movie and he was 60 or something playing D’Artagnan! But when I sat down with Paul Anderson and also with the producer, Jeremy Bolt, I hadn’t read the script, yet they said, ‘When we thought of this, we thought of you, and we were thinking this would be a really interesting turn, a real difference, a new shift, a new take on something,’ and I was like, ‘Great, great’. So I read it and I just really enjoyed it.

What’s cool about being the bad guy?
They have more fun, so much more fun, and it is totally liberating. I mean, the way that the Duke of Buckingham carries himself. He’s like, ‘I don’t have to pull a sword because I have the whole British Empire behind me’, do you know what I mean? It’s like, ‘You can’t mess with me.’ So he’s sort of like a big, petulant child in many ways. I thought of him as this big, petulant child.

Your most famous roles are as the good guy…
I know and that’s why this was the direction I had been itching to go in. Imagine having been in three Pirates movies and seeing everyone else chew up the scenery if you like. So this was just a very good fit, because I had done a handful of goody movies. Pirates had been great fun, though.

How did you find watching the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie?
I didn’t see it, but great, I had the best time on Pirates of the Caribbean. I haven’t got to see the fourth movie, but I will watch it and Johnny is a great guy. I’m happy for them, too. If I thought that there was something great for me to do I would have been a part of it, but there wasn’t – Will is down at the bottom of the ocean, Elizabeth is off, so it’s cool, you know? I mean, Pirates is and always will have been a great opportunity for me. And it led to a lot of other things in my life.

And what are you shooting next, The Hobbit?
I’m doing The Hobbit in New Zealand and then I’m going to do a little film called The Mandrake Experiment in London.
And how does it feel going back to Tolkien and New Zealand and all that back-to-back filming?
It’s great. I think that this is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, so that’s something that I have to take into consideration, but I think that also that gives me a little freedom because, it’s going to be great. I’m excited to do it.

The Three Musketeers is now showing in Irish cinemas