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Orlando Bloom

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Life is good for Orlando Bloom. The 29-year-old actor has a surefire hit on the way with the sequel to the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean and, despite tabloid rumors to the contrary, his relationship with actress Kate Bosworth is going smoothly. PEOPLE recently caught up with the swashbuckling star about getting to wear cool pirate shoes, turning 30 and settling down.

What was it like going back to do a sequel?
It’s great. No one expected us to make another two films when we made the first. It was like, “Okay, Pirates of the Caribbean – done.” But then with the success of it they were like, “Let’s do some more.” (Director) Gore Verbinski created a story that could evolve and it did and it felt very natural and very comfortable.

What’s different about your character Will?
I get a pair of pirate boots instead of those little shoes that I was wearing (in the first movie) and stockings, which weren’t cool at all. There is a dark side to Will that sort of evolves because he starts to assume this pirate thing.

You guys did tons of night shoots in the water.
Yeah. Freezing my nuts off. Listen, those rain machines pump out cold water. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the Caribbean. When it’s nighttime and the wind kicks up and you’re in a wetsuit, it’s not fun.

Are you looking forward to turning 30 in January?
It’s going to be great. I’m not a big partier. I like to dance and whatever, but I’m not one of those guys who throws lavish parties for the sake of it. It’s not my thing. But I will probably get a few friends together in a way that’s hopefully private and fun.

How do you deal with the tabloids going after your personal life?
Some days it’s harder than others. Some days you can go out and no one even notices you and then other days you’ve got 10 cars trailing you with a camera and you go, “Where did you come from?”

Does your mother ever call you up worried about something she’s read?
Oh, God, yes. I’m like, “Mom, who do you believe? Someone who talks rubbish or your son who you’ve known since he was born and who you brought into the world?” She believes the rubbish.

Have you and girlfriend Kate Bosworth made bets on whose movie is going to to be bigger?
(Laughs) No. I saw Superman Returns. I’m so proud of her.

Can you see yourself ever married with kids?
I can’t wait, but I’m still young. Johnny (Depp)’s not married. But he’s got kids, and he started that at 35 or 40. There is a lot of living to do.