This week marked the 46th birthday of Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Copeland Bloom. And though the actor is decidedly straight—in fact, he’s Mr. Katy Perry—it’s still a day worth celebrating because, for many gays of a certain age, Bloom was a formative crush.
After all, who among us was not enchanted by his turn as Legolas, the honorable and very pretty elf who knows his way around a bow-and-arrow in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy?
Or how about his dashing performance as Will Turner, the honorable and very pretty pirate who knows his way around a sword in the Pirates Of The Caribbean films?
What we’re trying to say is that Bloom was very, very pretty back in the day. With those steely eyes, that sharp jawline, and the taut physique, he had a chokehold on many of us baby gays in the early 2000s. (Not to make anyone feel ancient, but the first Pirates movie will celebrate its 20th anniversary this summer!)
And, guess what? Two decades later, Bloom has still got it. Exhibit A:
Um!!! Wow. So… anyway, where were we?
While Bloom dominated the box office the first 10 years of his career, the last decade has been decidedly more quiet. Still, there are a few projects from the past few years worth pointing out to anyone still harboring a crush on the actor.
First, is the indie comedy series Easy on Netflix, which took a low-key look at the lives and loves of various Chicagoans. With its anthology format, the show was something of a mixed bag for the streamer, but one of its most unforgettable episodes was the season one entry “Utopia,” which stars Bloom alongside Watchmen‘s Malin Akerman and Scrubs‘ Kate Micucci.
Bloom and Akerman play a happy couple who discover Tinder and decide to open themselves up to a third (Micucci). For a while, the episode ambles along charmingly, but we’re pleased to report its full final third is dedicated to a pretty sweet and sexy three-way. Bloom is looking good, as ever.
And then there’s a 2017 movie by the name of Retaliation, which was brought to our attention by Boy Culture, by way of Mr. Man.
In the drama, Bloom stars a man named Malky, a victim of childhood abuse who’s still dealing with the ghosts of his past, even as an adult. The British film flew under the radar, only receiving a quiet U.S. release a few years ago. Which is kind of surprising considering the wild thing that happens in its first 10 minutes.
Completely nude (aside from a healthy amount of tattoos covering his body) Bloom’s Malky grabs a container of Vaseline from his drawer, which he uses to lube up a nightstick. Then, he walks over to a standing mirror—treating audiences to a full butt shot—and proceeds to, well… put that nightstick right up his [redacted].
As Boy Culture notes, some critics hailed Bloom’s work in Retaliation as the performance of his career, while other knocked it for being too graphic (the above scene not withstanding) and too grueling of a watch. It does sit at a pretty solid 76% rating on RottenTomatoes though, so perhaps it’s worth checking out and deciding for yourself.
And, lately, Bloom’s been extra busy, so if you’ve been missing your crush on the big screen, never fear. He’s got a role in the upcoming Gran Turismo, an adaptation of the popular racing video game, as well as an action-thriller called Right Hand Red opposite Andie MacDowell.
Perhaps most intriguing is an A24 comedy from Animal Kingdom director Dave Michôd called Wizards!, about two beach bar operators who get into serious trouble after coming across some stolen loot. The movie’s wild cast includes Pete Davidson, Aladdin‘s Naomi Scott, Great Freedom‘s Franz Rogowski, and Sean Harris, who you may remember from a certain scene in The Borgias.
Anyway, happy birthday, Orlando Bloom! Thanks for still being crush-worthy, after all these years.
Easy is streaming exclusively on Netflix. Retaliation is streaming via Amazon Prime Video, and is available digitally through AppleTV, Google Play, and YouTube TV.