“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” cast members Cynthia Addai-Robinson, who plays Queen Regent Miriel. Ismael Cruz Cordova, the warrior elf Arondir; And Sophia Nomvete, Princess Disa, the first black female dwarf in Middle-earth, made a trip to Lucca Comics & Games Sunday, a special event in the medieval Tuscan city of Lucca dedicated to pop culture, cosplay and comics.
In an interview with various, The three actors of color spoke out about backlash against racism for being cast as the main characters on the Prime Video show.
“There was a bit of apologetics, a bit of silence, but there was an undeniable change,” Nomvet said.
Read below for the entire discussion.
How does it feel to be at this huge Comic Con-like event in a medieval Tuscan town with thousands of cosplayers on the streets?
Cynthia Addai-Robinson: I am very happy to see the level of creativity and passion. All these different movies, TV shows, books, comic books and manga. It only takes time to make these clothes from what people have at home! It brings you back to something so clean and pure and non-judgmental. It’s about finding their community when people come to these events. Feeling a little lonely, a little strange. Because what we’re doing can be challenging at times, it’s a good reminder of why we’re doing it – to be a part of this great storytelling environment.
Sophia NomveteOne thing I would add is that the difference here is usually in the location of the city section, which is the convention. The whole meeting will be held in the city of Lucca.
Ismael Cruz Cordova: I really appreciate whoever created this for creating a safe space for diversity. That is very important to me.
Speaking of which, the inclusion of people of color in the cast of “The Rings of Power” sparked a racist backlash online. After a few weeks, do you think the conversation about this topic has died down a bit?
Cruz: The fact that the focus is turned upwards shows you what the power of this kind of show is. Hitting that nerve, and having it live in us as reactions, brings attention to the grandeur of fantasy, the grandeur of “Lord of the Rings,” and why it’s good that we’re actually here. Is it too small? oh no! It took air time from the depth of who we are as artists. But it shows where we are in the world and how much work we still have to do. I’m so thankful that we were the ones who were able to reshape, reshape, reshape, and make history.
Addai-Robinson: In order not to have such an effect, the pendulum must swing. We are in the middle of that process. We want to normalize it. We need to discuss it, because we are now at a point where we need to acknowledge exactly what we are doing in society – again and again. The level of harassment or violence against us – it was a painful journey to get there – but it lifted us up. It has put us in a position where one day the pendulum will swing back to where it wants to be. To get to the point where there’s no explosion based solely on that, we’ll have badges on people who fought the great fight when the release announcement comes. While it was challenging, it was an amazing time to be a part of. The doors are open and accessibility is fully available for everyone to feel safe in the franchise and the history of this scale. It was very useful and energizing. Tears have been shed, blood has been shed – metaphorically – but here we are.
Nomvete: To answer your question, we still have a lot of controversy, but there has been a change. Do you know what it was? It looked like he was sitting. It almost seems like we have to prove it ourselves. We had to defend ourselves. But there is no denying that these people are in a position where they should be present and should be there. There is no one else who can play the role. I feel really closed off. Even if someone knew that thought was wrong, my beloved apologized to me.
Cruz: At first there was a lot of “tell us what you do.” The show didn’t air. Now the characters are living in their own right. We have created these characters, with the help of a team, who live by themselves and have their own influence. And when the conversation and the noise continues outside the house, these characters are undeniable. We felt a lot of love.
Addai-RobinsonOn a personal level, I am very determined to never let the controversy define the role or define the experience. There is a certain amount of adjustment you have to make when people are trying to reach you. I had to try my best to control this experience for myself. He is greater than me; It’s bigger than us. You may have personal reasons for being a part of something, it extends beyond that. People take what they take. But at this point we feel freer and happier to just talk about the story and the characters.