Nearly 20 years ago, Orlando Bloom was everywhere. As a huge Lord of the Rings fan, I was thrilled with his depiction of the bad-ass elf Legolas when The Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters in 2001.

The world was treated to Legolas for three years straight (those were the days!) as the trilogy installments were released one after the other. When The Return of the King came out in 2003 (and went on to win 11 Oscars), we got a triple dose of Bloom. In addition to Legolas, he also played real-life Australian bushranger Joe Byrne opposite Heath Ledger in Ned Kelley, on top of debuting his Pirates of the Caribbean character, Will Turner. He would go on to reprise both Legolas and Turner in two films in The Hobbit trilogy and in two more POTC films (plus a quick cameo in a third), respectively.

Between 2007 and 2013 Orlando was still making movies, but they were all lower profile than his work in two of the world’s biggest franchises (I guess it’s hard not to be lower profile than those). But then, just like the stealthy elf he portrayed, Bloom pretty much disappeared from the public eye at some point in 2017.

Perhaps it was because he and singer Katy Perry — who had been dating since January 2016 —broke up in early 2017. We’ll never know. But what we do know is that he didn’t star in any films while the couple reconciled the following year, or when they got engaged the year after that (we’re now up to 2019).

However, 2019 did kick off the beginning of Bloom’s television career in the Amazon Prime series Carnival Row. And this year, he’s starred in two highly acclaimed dramas — a drastic departure from his previous work.

In The Outpost, which is based on real events, he plays a soldier stationed with a small group in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border. And in Retaliation, he plays a man who was sexually abused by his priest as a child and is now out for revenge. Both performances are tough to watch but both earned critical raves.

These days, Bloom’s focus is on the fact that he and Perry are expecting a baby girl at literally any second. (Their wedding has been postponed multiple times due to COVID-19.) I feel like compared to past years, he’s been a much more visible presence on social media, be it pleading for help to find his beloved dog Mighty (who was tragically lost), surprising Perry during her album launch livestreams, posting hilarious videos of her mega-pregnantness, promoting his voice work as Prince Harry (!!!) in the upcoming animated HBO Max series The Prince, or opening up about how extreme fame in his 20s really messed with his head.

What’s next for Orlando, aside from sleepless nights with a newborn? He’ll be bringing Will Turner back once again for a sixth Pirates installment, and has also already finished filming for a very cool-sounding time-travel movie called Needle in a Timestick, which co-stars Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr., Freida Pinto and Cynthia Erivo. Let’s hope we get to see it one way or the other soon!

All the best to Orlando and Katy as they embark upon this next phase of their lives together.

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