Actor Orlando Bloom plans to hang up his sword after spending nearly a decade making the blockbuster trilogies Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lord of the Rings to tread the boards of a London theatre this summer.
Bloom, 30, begins rehearsals in June for Celebration by British playwright David Storey. The play will open in July.
"I just need to do this," Bloom said in an interview last week. "I wanted to feel like going back to basics in a sense and having just a completely different experience."
Bloom had intended to go onto the stage after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in Britain, but instead ended up on the big screen in a series of blockbuster sword-and-sandal films, starting with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which began production in 1999.
He also appeared in Troy, Kingdom of Heaven and the three Pirates films, the latest of which hits theatres on Friday.
"I think everything takes its toll," he said, when asked whether the nearly decade-long glare of fame had been a strain. "It just felt like I wanted to get back into the driver's seat of my career and my life, and part of that is coming back to what I have known in the past ... really solidifying the foundation of my working career."
Working with acclaimed stage actors Bill Nighy and Geoffrey Rush in Pirates also whetted his desire to return to stage acting, he said.
"They all keep their hand in because it's working on the craft ... it's really having that immediate interaction with the audience, having great text and letting the dialogue fall and see how it lands," Bloom said.
Bloom would not close the door on making a fourth Pirates film after his theatre hiatus.
"It's been an incredible ride for everyone involved. Nobody thought we were going to make three movies out of the one successful starter," he said. "Who knows what the future holds. Right now I can't even think about that."