Transcribed by Julianne
(scans from Julianne, click to enlarge)
With a cast of 77, a crew of 2,500, and a budget of Ј200 million – not to
mention the 20,000 extras – 'The Lord Of The Rings' trilogy is one of the most
ambitious epics ever made. Orlando Bloom, 24, who plays the elf prince, Legolas,
took a Polariod photograph every day of the 15 months of filming in New Zealand.
In this diary, he gives an insider's view into the making of the first film 'The
Fellowship Of The Ring'.
Looking back at photos of
myself in costume is strange. I have dark hair and brown eyes but to
play Legolas I wore a blond wig, blue contact lenses and pointed
elf-ears, which took a bit of getting used to. When I saw the film for
the first time I was freaked out. Being transformed from Orlando into
Legolas involved an hour-and-a-half of hair and makeup. Some days I
would have my ears put on, only to be told I wasn't needed until later,
so I would go back to my house to catch up on some sleep still wearing
I love this picture
because it really highlights the visual impressiveness in every scene.
When I saw the first film I realised the extent to which the director
Peter Jackson has created another character out of the landscape. Making
'Lord Of The Rings' has been Peter's ambition for many years. He had a
vision in his head and was determined that, as far as possible, the end
result would fit that vision. Whenever possible, Peter insisted we shot
on location – very often weather regardless, as the umbrellas in the
When we weren't filming,
we were all hanging around together. Pool games got pretty competitive
– the Elves versus the Hobbits was a particularly long-running battle.
Sean Bean, who plays Boromir, is an avid chess player and would often
play between takes. Here he is engrossed in a game with one of the
actors who played a Hobbit double. If you look closely, you can see the
white remnants of the face mask around his neckline.
Liv Tyler, who plays Elrond's
daughter, Arwen Undуmiel, became a very close friend of mine, but I
was quite indimidated by her at first. Before filming had started, I was
sitting in the hair and makeup trailer having my hairline raised for the
wig. As it was being shaved back, Liv came and sat next to me for her
wig fitting. We had met only once, the night before, and I was obviously
a bit in awe of her. I turned and asked her what she thought of my new
hairline. She replied that it was 'kinda cute', but suggested that I
would look better with the sides totally shaved off. Obviously I was
going to do anything Liv Tyler told me to do and, before I knew it, I
had a Mohawk!
Shooting 'The Lord Of The
Rings' was absolutely exhausting but it was an unforgettable
experience. The places we filmed were often breathtakingly beautiful and
off the beaten track. A lot of the mountain locations – like the one
in this picture, in which Peter Jackson is directing Ian McKellen [Gandalf]
– were accessible only by helicopter. Working with actors as
accomplished as Ian was a bit daunting at first but most of the time on
set I didn't have the chance to feel starstruck; we were just a group of
actors involved in an epic production which sometimes felt like a wild
horse that we were all trying to keep under control. It was a very
unifying experience in that sense.
I felt a bit overwhelmed
and disorientated when I first got to New Zealand but as soon as I saw
the house that was to be my home for the 15 months of filming, I felt
pretty excited. It was a two-bedroom beach-house on Marine Parade in
Seatoun, Wellington, with sundecks outside every room and an electric
garage for my jeep. It was very much my haven and I still miss it.
There are four Hobbits in the
Fellowship, who are played by Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd
and Dominic Monaghan. But a Hobbit is only 3ft 6in, so all the actors
needed midget doubles who wore masks moulded from the actors' faces.
This picture is of Elijah Wood's and Billy Boyd's doubles in their masks.
Viggo Mortensen, who plays Aragorn and is a great cigar smoker, had just
wedged his cigar into the mouth of Elijah's double.
Those of us who got into
surfing – and that was lots of us – used to spend most of our
free time driving around looking for good sites and waiting for waves.
This picture is [left to right] Dominic Monagham, Billy Boyd, me and
Dave Williams who was a runner. One night Billy and I went moonlight
surfing. Something flipped over in the water and we thought it was a
shark, but then we realised it was a seal. Leaving when we finished
filming was very hard as we had all become very close. The nine of us
who made up 'The Fellowship Of The Ring' had matching tattoos done –
the number nine in Elvish script. Mine is on the inside of my right
forearm and will always remind me of that time.
One of Legolas's great skills
is archery, and many of my scenes involved working with a bow and
arrow. Despite the fact that I was well rehearsed, this shot took about
six hours to get right. I broke an arrow in the process and the whole
thing was totally exhausting. I don't even know if the shot made it into
the movie after all that.
The films are very physical
and making them was a very draining experience. There are several huge
battle sequences which took days to get right. We did a lot of work on
blue screen, like here (where the computer-generated backdrop is added
in later) but Peter was insistent that we did as much as we could for
real. We all had personal trainers, but I needed more help than most;
because of the physicality of my part and also because I broke my back
four years ago and it still gives me quite a lot of pain. I had a stunt
double, but everything I could do myself I did. He would demonstrate to
me what I had to do and I would learn by copying him. The coolest thing
was the fact that Bob Anderson, who taught me to fence, also taught