NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Actor Orlando Bloom is best known for his action-packed adventures on the big screen, and now he is taking on his first Broadway role in the revival of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
And as CBS 2’s Dana Tyler reported Wednesday, Bloom will have a formidable leading lady in two-time Tony Award nominee and Westchester County native Condola Rashad.
The pair rode into Times Square on a motorcycle Wednesday to promote the new production. Romeo will be a biker in the modern take on the Shakespearean tragedy, which is believed to have been written between 1591 and 1595.
Tyler asked Bloom if he was nervous about making his Broadway debut.
“Excited, and with a good dose of butterflies in my stomach” was how he described the feeling. “But you know, it’s a job, isn’t it. And it’s a really great one at that.”
Bloom, 36, shot to blockbuster stardom in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, in which he played elf prince Legolas. He was also a hit in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, in which he portrayed blacksmith Will Turner.
But Bloom said he always wanted to return to the stage. And co-star Rashad is on a Broadway roll after raves in this year’s “The Trip to the Bountiful.”
She said she is eager to explore Juliet.
“People have this idea of her sometimes that she’s a wallflower and fragile, and she is innocent and she is delicate — but she’s witty, and she has a brain, and she’s actually a very active young woman,” Rashad said.
Bloom described the Juliet character as having “a remarkable brain — she has the brain in the show in fact.”
The new play about a pair of star-crossed lovers will have the original language, but will not be set in the 14th century. And five-time Tony-nominated director David Leaveaux chose not to be colorblind about the two warring families.
“Yes – the Capulets are black, and the Montagues are white. But that’s actually not the reason for the feud,” Rashad said. “It just so happens that the families are of different races, which takes it a step further for an interracial cast.”
The pair spray-painted good luck graffiti on the Richard Rodgers Theatre just as tourists do on Juliet’s wall in Verona, Italy.
Bloom said he hoped to get “a lot of joy” out of starting in the production.
“I’m enjoying working on the language — Shakespeare text gives you that feeling, connection,” he said. “I feel like I’ll be different by the end of this.”
Previews for “Romeo and Juliet” start on Aug. 24. It opens on Sept. 19.
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