First of all, this entry is not meant to distress the many fans of Orlando Bloom, nor to in any way disparage his talents. Personally, I think he’s one of the most physically attractive actors to come along in the last five years. I can’t imagine anyone better suited to play the role of Legolas the elfin archer in “Lord of the Rings.” However, I can’t help but feel that some of his films have served to illustrate the principle that for women--if I may be so bold as to speak for them--looking hot is not really enough. Even as hot as Orlando Bloom.
First case in point is “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Recognizing the need to utilize an up-and-coming heartthrob for the role of romantic lead Will Turner, the filmmakers cast Orlando. And going in, it worked for me: one of the reasons I wanted to see the movie was to enjoy that beautiful face on the screen. However, it turned out it was Johnny Depp’s performance as the drunken ne’er-do-well Jack Sparrow that stole the show. Not only that, but Johnny suddenly became the hot-guy-du-jour. I’ll bet more than a few men found this puzzling. Me, I found Jack Sparrow so sexy I not only put him up on my computer wallpaper for awhile, but I dressed as a pirate that Halloween. Yeah, I’m weird that way.
Sometimes the things women find sexy even they can’t explain. I loved Jack’s eyeliner and quirky manner of dress. And of course he was damn funny. I suppose part of it was that he was clever and resourceful with a little ironic bungling thrown in for fun. And of course he was dashing and dangerous in a really bizarre sort of way. Anyway there was a whole lot more there to get excited about than you found in the blandly heroic Will, no matter how hot he looked when swashbuckling.
Things went even more awry in “Troy.” Again, Orlando looked great in his ancient Trojan togs, but the appeal stopped there when his character Paris turned out to be so self-centered and whiny. Movie fans know all about this sad turn in Orlando’s career so I won’t dwell on it any further.
My most recent foray into attempting to enjoy Orlando Bloom was this past weekend when we rented “Kingdom of Heaven.” Orlando’s physical appearance in this film was superb: the dark hair and short beard is a very flattering look for him. I don’t want to put any spoilers in here, so suffice it to say that unfortunately his character was ultimately undone by an unfortunate plot development. He makes a choice that to me made him seem selfish, unmoved by his own responsibility for tragedy, and eager to take glory when he actually incurred disaster. I was no longer attracted to him; in fact, I thought him quite off-putting.
Orlando’s performance cannot be blamed--he had to say the lines written for him. But this was the third time I watched a man with staggeringly good looks give a performance that pretty much drained him of sex appeal. That’s probably a bit extreme, but die-hard fans of the man have to be a little disappointed too.
What a waste of a pretty face, huh? Now if this guy could ever get to play a role that was strong, interesting, funny, dangerous, or truly heroic, it would be really something. It would be like, well, Legolas, only a bigger part. Maybe he has had such a role in some film I missed seeing, and I hope so. But I’m actually at the point when he doesn’t even look that hot to me anymore, and that’s unfortunate. Because whereas guys will pay to see Jessica Alba play any role, women don’t work quite that way. To get to us, the protagonist can’t simply be beautiful, he has to be able to shoot arrows with deadly accuracy while scaling a giant elephant.
Now that’s hot.