Orlando Bloom is swapping Hollywood for a Manchester academy chain in a bid to boost pupils' Oxbridge chances, The Times reports today.
The actor – famous for his roles in the Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lord of the Rings series of films – is said to be helping to launch a chain of academies backed by hedge fund manager Andrew Law.
Bloom is due to fly to Manchester on Friday to lead workshops with 11-year-olds teaching the “Cicero curriculum” – devised by Bloom’s teacher, Patsy Rodenburg, one of the world’s leading voice coaches.
He will be based at Cheadle Hulme High School – Law's former school – and the other schools that will make up the Laurus Trust. Two of the schools are primaries and will teach the new curriculum to children from the age of 5, according to The Times.
With Paapa Essiedu, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s first black Hamlet, Bloom is expected to teach skills such as improvisation and developing a strong speaking voice, through to increasing presence and improving posture, facial expression and eye contact.
A spokesman said: “The thinking is that teaching these skills will not only get students interested in acting – a profession in which state school kids are now hugely under-represented – but also boost their confidence and social ability in a way that will make all the difference when it comes to Oxbridge interviews, competition for top jobs, interviews and impressing in the workplace.”
Bloom, whose girlfriend is American pop singer Katy Perry, is a former pupil at the independent King’s School, Canterbury, Kent, but has spoken of being frustrated by dyslexia and of how the acting skills he learnt in childhood drama classes helped him overcome his difficulties.