By Samantha Hayes
Actor Orlando Bloom has been granted leave from filming The Hobbit in Wellington to promote his latest 3D film The Three Musketeers in Sydney.
It was another chance for the actor to don tights and a sword, an ensemble which has made him a star of two of the planet's most lucrative movie franchises.
Bloom is not a Musketeer but rather the flamboyant Duke of Buckingham, the Musketeers' well dressed enemy and the reason France is set to go to war with England.
Bloom says the Duke was a great character to play.
“I just pick something that I think I can have fun with and do something with and the Duke of Buckingham was a really great character to revel in for a while. He's a petulant child in many ways,” he says.
Bloom does not like to compare his latest film to Pirates of the Caribbean but there are similarities: The sword fights, cheesy humour, and period costume.
But for now Bloom has donned some different tights, those of Legolas the Elven Prince of Mirkwood.
He is back in Wellington after a 10-year break, shooting the two 3D Hobbit films.
“Wellington is unchanged in many ways but I walk into Stone Street Studios and that has definitely grown,” he says.
Bloom and his cast mates called Wellington home for several years shooting the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. The films launched Bloom's career.
While he would not comment in depth about the prequels, he does believe they can rival Return of the King's success, which won 11 Oscars.
“Peter Jackson is a pretty amazing guy.”
Bloom has been house hunting near Wellington with his Australian supermodel wife Miranda Kerr.
He says his less glamourous role as father to 7-month-old Flynn is wonderful.
“I enjoy changing nappies,” he says.