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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 21:02 GMT 22:02 UK
Bloom greets fans at UK premiere
Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom stars as a blacksmith-turned-crusader
More than 1,000 fans turned out in London's Leicester Square to greet Orlando Bloom at the premiere of his movie Kingdom of Heaven.

The British actor said the "amazing" reception he received made him "really feel like I'm back home".

Director Sir Ridley Scott was also at the premiere, along with his stars Jeremy Irons and David Thewlis.

The film has prompted debate over its depiction of the 12th century struggle between European crusaders and Muslims.

Some have called the film insensitive and dangerous in today's political and religious climate.

But Sir Ridley said those who were complaining about the film had probably not even seen it.

Orlando Bloom
Bloom signed autographs for waiting fans`

"They have not seen the movie. They keep going on about being threatened by this and that is absolutely rubbish."

And Jeremy Irons, who stars in the film, said: "There are so many cultural and religious differences in the world.

"The world is getting so small, you have got to learn to live together."

'Good place'

Bloom, 28, said he felt "lucky" to be working with Sir Ridley, who previously directed him in Black Hawk Down.

"When you are in the hands of a director like Ridley Scott, that's a good place to be. He knows how to make a good movie."

Bloom was accompanied by his mother and sister.

Also at the premiere were stars of the film Eva Green and Michael Sheen.

A heavily-pregnant Anna Friel attended the show to support partner Thewlis, while the next Doctor Who, David Tennant, was also there.

Some Islamic scholars have accused the film of being anti-Islamic.

Sir Ridley Scott and wife Giannina
Sir Ridley Scott was accompanied by his wife Giannina

Dr Khaled Abou El Fadl, professor of Islamic law at the University of California, went as far as saying it was bound to provoke hate crimes.

At the other end of the spectrum, Cambridge academic Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith dubbed it "Osama Bin Laden's version of history" and said it "will fuel Islamic fundamentalists".

Sir Ridley says the film will challenges extremism of all kinds.

"Religious difference, right now, is causing a great lack of understanding, so I felt it was important to show that not all Muslims are bad, and that not everyone in the West is good," he said.

The film sees Bloom take the lead role of Balian, a blacksmith who is knighted and given responsibility for protecting Jerusalem from the invaders.

He has starred in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean and Troy.

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31 Dec 02 |  Entertainment


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