Orlando Bloom hopes 'To the Edge' inspires viewers to face their fears

Adventure docu-series "Orlando Bloom: To the Edge" premieres Thursday. Photo courtesy of Peacock
1 of 5 | Adventure docu-series "Orlando Bloom: To the Edge" premieres Thursday. Photo courtesy of Peacock

NEW YORK, April 18 (UPI) -- Wingsuiting, free diving and rock climbing aren't the only new challenges the star of Orlando Bloom: To The Edge faced while filming his new three-part adventure docuseries.

Premiering Thursday on Peacock, the show also marks the first time the actor is seen as his authentic self, not a fictional hero, in a long-form project.


"The intention with which I went into it was to overcome my fears or to challenge myself and a big part of that was stepping into an unscripted docu-series," Bloom, 47, told UPI in a Zoom interview Wednesday.

"I kind of just rolled up my sleeves and embraced the world and focused predominantly on what was in front of me," he said. "I tried to stay present. That was really probably the biggest takeaway from doing any of it."


The series will be the first opportunity many viewers have to really get to know the star of the Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean blockbusters, as well as Troy and Carnival Row.

"Of course, I've done so much publicity around the world for different movies I've been in, but sometimes things can be taken out of context [or you wonder] are you going to be misrepresented in some way? This is a long form, an-hour-each episode," Bloom said.

The actor shares on the series how important his Buddhist practice is when he is expressing gratitude or preparing to do something difficult.

"You see me chanting on the show. That is something that I haven't been super public about," he said. "We talk about it a little bit at different times."

The series also depicts in detail all of the training and discipline one must endure before jumping out of an airplane in a parachute-less wingsuit or diving deep into the ocean.

"In this day and age, we see these 15-second, insane clips on social-media platforms and we think, 'That's easy, I'll try that!'" Bloom joked.

"What you don't see are the years, months and hours of dedication that go into it. That was very revealing, as well. The learning curve was quick," he said of his own experience.


"I only had a handful of days on each of these [episodes] to get up to speed and attempt some of the things that most people wouldn't do.

"You see that after 25 jumps [out of a plane with a parachute], my 26th jump was with a wingsuit. They were like, 'We're not sure if anyone's ever done this before.' I was like, 'Cool.'"

Noting he had some of the world's best teachers to guide him, Bloom said he was confident they wouldn't let him do stunts unless they thought he had mastered the skills necessary to execute them safely.

"It was definitely more of a lesson in becoming capable, that feeling of achievement of becoming capable," Bloom added.

The actor said in the first episode of the show that he decided to take on this project because so much fear existed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he came out of the lockdowns wanting to do something completely different and physically brave.

He said he hopes this resonates with viewers who feel after the pandemic like they want to try something new or conquer something that has held them back.

"Fear can sometimes be crippling," Bloom said.

"For each individual, it is completely unique and different. For somebody, it might be a social engagement or speaking in public," he said, revealing that he became an actor, in part, because of serious stage fright.


"I hope people will look at the show and look at what your edge may be and how you can lean into the discomfort of overcoming whatever the fear may be playing into you," Bloom said.

Asked how much he told his partner, pop music star Katy Perry, and other loved ones about the series before he filmed it, Bloom said with a laugh, "I think I underplayed it to some extent."

"Katy kind of probably assumed that I was doing a show and there is insurance in place and people aren't going to let me die," Bloom said.

"I will say I felt like my life was in my hands at different times. I did feel that," he added. "There were safety [rules] and protocols that we were following. But there are variables that can go south very, very quickly."

Bloom, who has always been an adrenaline junkie, said he no longer is reckless or impulsive like he was in his youth, with the risks he takes these days under the supervision of experts.

"There is more at stake," he said. "I have a beautiful family and I really do love my life and I am grateful."


He said he feels like what he experienced through the show makes him a better partner and father in his personal life.

"I can take that back to the daily of my life, just being way more present for my family, being more capable and giving me a confidence that [makes me feel], 'If I can overcome this, what else can I do?' It's not like I'm suddenly going to climb the Eiffel Tower. It's sort of like how does that condense down to my day-to-day?"

Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom attend Breakthrough Prize ceremony

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom attend the 10th annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles on April 13, 2024. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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