If you hear the name “Orlando Bloom,” most people think of Legolas in the Lord of the Rings. He had a great time with that production and he got the same tattoo as the rest of the cast. Does he still keep the tattoo? I also asked him about his new iconic character, Philo, and his journey in the 2nd season of Carnival Row.
Note: We apologize for the quality of the video but there was a power outage in the area so we had to use a hotspot for internet connectivity.
Q: Please describe your character and what kind of journey he will go through this season.
We meet Philo (Rycroft Philostrate, Orlando Bloom’s character) at the beginning of Season Two and he’s taken this big step to reveal his secret, which is that he is part “fae.” That was a secret that he kept because he was living through the institutions of the “Burgue”: he was raised in the orphanage, brought up in the army, and then the police and, I think, had that secret come to light, it would have been the end of his life as he knew it. So we slipped into this idea that he is embracing his fae nature, and of course, it comes with a whole heap and host of complexities because of the shame and guilt of living a lie for so long and coming to terms with his nature and understanding what that means. It is also something that he has to learn, and It throws him into a whole spiral of complexities. I think we see that in Episode Six.
I had a wonderful time getting to physicalize his inner life, we physicalize his shadow self, and I play a version of Philo on camera, with another version of Philo alongside him, which is his shadow self. I kind of really toyed with this idea of how the Batman and Joker operate, or him being some jester or some sociopathic, weird, dark inner voice that was really hounding him and having a real impact on his own progress in the world. So, it was really cool to get to do all of that. And, of course, how does it impact his relationship with Vignette? What does that really look like after all this time? Life is messy, relationships are messy, people are messy, and we are what we do; we’re not just what we say. That was a big part. He’s a man of action, he takes action and tries to do the right thing, but he’s never straightforward, and I really enjoyed that about the show; I enjoyed playing that in the show.
Q: I believe you still get approached by fans calling you Legolas, but do you still have the tattoo on your wrist, and what do you recall from your experience on Lord of the Rings?
Yea, yea I still have it, of course.
It doesn’t go away; it’s a tattoo, so it’s inked. It’s interesting because that was a totally unique and remarkable time in my life and I’ll never not be grateful for the profound experience and impact it had on my life, playing that character and being a part of those movies, and I think one of the great things about Carnival Row, is that we have a fantasy movie in this show. What was so wonderful about the fantasy movies of Lord of the Rings is that they were so grounded in reality, they felt really real and tangible. I think that’s part of what works so well for Carnival Row because you’ve got this fantasy world that is incredibly detailed and the characters are very true to life, and there is an aspect of life mirroring art. It’s an opportunity to comment on the social injustices of the world in some way through a fantasy lens. Whilst Lord of the Rings were these remarkable books, we didn’t have that, so it was like up for grabs, anything could happen, and it was exciting and uncharted in its own way.