The Lord Of The Rings: Rings of Power star Ismael Cruz Cordova has hit back at critics as he spoke to fans at Lucca Comics and Games. At Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power Panel today, Cordova, who describes himself as Afro Puerto Rican discussed his casting as the elf Arondir. He was joined on stage by Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who plays the Queen Regent Miriel, Sophia Nomvette, who has quickly become a fan favourite as Princess Disa as well as General Director of Lucca Comics and Games, Emanuele Vietina.
“When I first got into Tolkien, it was something that I think many people here can identify with,” he said. “When you find that piece of work, when you belong it that world, it’s heartfelt – especially the elves – these are my people! I grew up in the mountains of Puerto Rico, their respect and love for nature – I identified with that.
“There were many hurdles, many opinions about me not looking like what an elf should look like, that was slightly discouraging but clearly not enough!
“I am the type of person, and I think we [Addai Robinson and Nomvette] are the type of people where a no is just wood for our fire. A denial has never been for me the end of any road. And that is Arondir – he is a warrior, lit by love, and has that direction to go forward to what he believes in. My life’s journey as an artist, an actor, a person of colour has been that, how to find my way in this world to know where I truly know where want to go, despite how many obstacles are in my way.”
Many actors including Sophie Nomvette, Cynthia Addai-Robinson as well as Lenny Henry have been subjected to vile abuse over their casting which has forced many members of the original cast to speak out.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power can be found on Prime Video. Lucca Comics & Games will be taking place from 28th October to 1st November. More information can be found here.