EXCL: Bloom Interview!
ELIZABETHTOWN (unfortunately) doesn't hit theaters until October, but we got to chat with star Orlando Bloom last week during a rare break in filming on the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequels. The plans to chat about the film happened real quick; so quick, I was worried they'd dissolve just about as quickly as they materialized. But I couldn't have been more thrilled to rap with Orlando - a guy who's sure to follow in the footsteps of the other classic Cameron Crowe characters: John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler, Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire, Kate Hudson as Penny Lane...and soon it'll be Orlando Bloom as Drew Baylor.
Hopefully this will be just the beginning of our coverage of ELIZABETHTOWN as it prepares to delight us with its very presence this fall. Here's Orlando...
Hey Orlando, how are you?
Good, how's it goin' man?
It's goin... The weather's really beautiful here in Jersey today so that's a plus.
Well it's another beautiful day here in LA.
Isn't every day a beautiful day in LA?
I know, right?
So are you off from filming PIRATES for a while?
Just for a day?
Well I got a day off, yeah.
Where are you filming now?
We're back in LA.
It's gotta be tough with that grueling film schedule to be able to do much of anything. But it's nice they gave you some time off to help promote this.
Yeah, it's cool. Cause I love this movie (laughs).
I haven't gotten a chance to see it yet so pardon me if I sound a little ignorant.
No worries, man.
Can you explain how you became involved with the movie when Ashton [Kutcher] dropped out?
I worked with Cameron first many years ago on a Gap commercial. The idea of doing that for us was that my manager and I were huge fans of his and wanted to work with him. Working on a commercial was an opportunity to meet and make a connection. We did that and kept in touch, sending music, postcards and whatever. When ELIZABETHTOWN was... I actually met him at a hotel and he had like six pages of the script. And he was like, "I haven't shown this to anybody except Nancy [Wilson, Crowe's wife] and I want to hear it come off the page and I would love to hear you read the text. I was obviously hugely flattered.
I met him a few more times and scheduling-wise he wasn't ready to shoot and I was doing TROY and then he was going to go with Ashton and I guess that didn't work and then I was doing KINGDOM [OF HEAVEN] and then it worked out that I got to do that after KINGDOM and it was, sort of, a dream come true coming from a big movie like KINGDOM and working with Ridley and then working with Cameron on a really specific, human drama of this kind of ilk. That sort of happy/sad romantic/drama/comedy that Cameron really knows how pull off.
And this is your first real leading role in a modern film.
Yeah.... Yeah, first American leading role and first contemporary leading role. It's new ground for me and I felt very lucky to be in the hands of Cameron, you know?
That being so, do you feel more pressure on a movie like this or on a movie like KINGDOM or TROY where the studio has more at stake financially?
I think, in a way, I felt some pressure... but I've gotten over that pressure thing. It was a bit of a trip at first. I feel like I've been so lucky. I've had so many incredible experiences, I feel like they've come very early in my career and I keep counting my lucky stars (laughs). I feel like I've got a lot to learn and I'm still growing and developing who I am as well as how I act and who I am as an actor. The pressure is not something... I kinda got over that on KINGDOM. I realized, as an actor, the only thing you have control over is the work you do on that day. I work really hard to deliver really good work on the day and the best I feel I'm capable of doing. You know what I mean?
It's like there's no regrets. Uh...
It's really all you do - to give your best.
It's all you can do. The rest of it is in the hands of the director who's cutting it and the studio who's releasing it and you do your best to get the movie out there. I'm very proud of this movie. I'm proud of all the movies I've worked on. It's a very personal story for Cameron and for me an amazing experience to work on.
I can only imagine. I was talking to Jessica Biel a while back and she said that despite the fact that she was only on set for about five days, it was the best experience shooting a movie she's ever had. Can you talk about what it's like to work on the set of a Cameron Crowe movie?
He uses music as a tool to create a mood and set a scene and it really... And music's a huge - I love music - influence in my life, so it was amazing to have music blasting on set right up 'til the point he called action. It creates the tension and the mood for the scene, you know?
Are those his choices musically, yours or both?
Yeah some of his, then some of yours or whatever, perhaps, sometimes. Sometimes he'll put on a tune and you'll go, No, no, can you put on something else? Or he'll just play a great tune. It's just fantastic.
Did he give you any music to listen to as a homework assignment, per se?
I got a lot of music (laughs). I got a LOT of music on this job. It was great. An iPod full of stuff. Just listening to loads of tunes, you know?
Besides the basic synopsis of the movie that we've read online, can you elaborate a little bit on your character, Drew, and the journey he takes throughout the film?
The movie...begins with an ending and ends with a beginning. It's about a guy who has lived his life for success, the moments of momentary happiness. To be the best. His career and his work and his girlfriend is the hot girl at work and his friends are all work related and his family life has drifted away from him as it's become all about the guy who's gonna be THE guy. And he's given free rein in the company to design this shoe that'll be like the new Nike Air Max or something. It's released into the world to a sort of roar of laughter and humiliation for the company. So he's a guy who has had everything and lived on this top level. The success of the family.
Suddenly it's all gone and what do you do when your life has been all about that. We can all relate to that. We can all relate to being young and trying to make a life for ourselves in a career and losing touch with family because we're so preoccupied with making a life for ourselves. So what happens when all that disappears. What do you do? What happens for Drew is quite beautiful and amazing is he's introduced to life and love and to his family that he hasn't given enough time to and now does.
Had you ever been to this portion of America before filming on ELIZABETHTOWN?
The "heartland!"...(laughs) Yeah! It was my first time and I really have to tell you I get why it's called "the heartland." I had a great time being there and I loved it.
Is it hard to pick up on that kind of Americana not being from the country?
I loved it. I just loved being down there. Drinking ale late, eating ribs, having, like, barbeque, the weather, the humidity, the gnats, the bugs... I kinda got into the whole thing.
What time of year did you guys film down there?
[Asking someone] What time of year did we film ELIZABETHTOWN in Kentucky? June, July? [Back on the phone] Yeah it was June, July.
A summer shoot.
Yeah, it was awesome.
What part of that culture, if any, did you take with you when you left?
When you work in this industry you sort of find yourself in the big cities of the world and America like LA, New York, whatever. To see the reality, the real life... It was very human. It was a special place. I don't feel like we took anything away from being in Louisville, I think we put everything into being in Louisville, as well. Film crews can come through a town and leave it drained and empty (laughs). I don't feel like we did that at all. We really were a part of the community for the time that we were there. We were embraced by the community and embraced the community and we really had a nice time. I loved it. I'm looking forward to getting down there for the premiere.
Are you definitely going to do a premiere down there?
Yeah. It's on the schedule and we're trying to make the days work so I can get of filming PIRATES to get down there.
If you had to pick one of your favorite moments from one of Cameron's previous films, which would you pick?
Oh man! I thought when Cuba Gooding, Jr. went, "Show me the money!" and he was dancing up and down in the room was hilarious! I mean Cameron is a genius. "You had me at hello," all that stuff. There's a few of them in our movie and I hope they stick.
Best of luck, can't wait to see the movie!
ELIZABETHTOWN hits all theaters on October 14th