British actor Orlando Bloom found a personal connection in South Africa when he arrived in the country to shoot crime movie Zulu.

The Lord Of The Rings star was raised believing his mother's husband, South African writer and activist Harry Bloom, was his biological father and was 13 before he discovered his real dad was actually a family friend.

When the actor arrived in South Africa to start filming the gritty thriller, he was presented with a book celebrating his stepfather's work in the country.

He tells Britain's Radar magazine, "There is a connection there (in South Africa). My mother's husband Harry Bloom was a writer, a novelist, a reporter and an anti-apartheid activist. When I arrived (in South Africa) they gave me a book called Jewish Memories of Mandela and there was a two-page spread on Harry Bloom as a political figure.

"Having grown up until I was 13 believing he was my father, and having him die when I was four, there are ideas and histories that you create for yourself. So I had an interesting connection with South Africa, and it was great to be there."