By Javier Romualdo
Los Angeles, Sep 2 (EFE).- After weeks of casting, trips to New Zealand and months of filming in a shroud of secrecy, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has finally hit our screens with high expectations as the most expensive series in history.
The Amazon show, a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and based on the mythology of J.R.R. Tolkien, was released Friday after some four years of confidential production, with an estimated budget of $450 for eight episodes.
The cast, now free to talk about the new show, spoke to Efe about what it was like to work under a vow of secrecy.
“Well, I remember for me because I’m US-based and I left sort of in the middle of lockdown, so I started a little bit later than some folks who started before the pandemic,” Cynthia Addai-Robinson said.
“So when I was cast, not only could I not say what I was working on, who I was playing, but sort of had to just leave the country and say ‘ I’m going somewhere, and I’ll tell you very soon but I can’t tell you know’ which is a strange way to leave home,” she added.
Addai-Robinson is among the plethora of actors, both new and established, who make up the immense cast in the Rings of Power, which takes place thousands of years before the trilogy.
She plays Míriel, the queen regent of Númenor, the setting for a substantial chunk of the series.
While Addai-Robinson was a later addition to the cast, others had to wait longer to be called up.
Lloyd Owen, who plays Elindil, said he got the part 18 months after his first audition.
“I had said to my agent, ‘don’t bother giving me the call if I have or have not got any particular work just send me an email, because it saves you being the grim reaper and having to give the bad news’.
“So, I woke up one morning and he said ‘you asked me to contact you by email about work’ and there were a few dots and I had to scroll down, he said ‘good things come to those who wait’,” he told Efe.
His next task was to fly to New Zealand, the filming location for Peter Jackson’s award-winning movie trilogy. Such was the enthusiasm in the country during filming that New Zealand’s economy minister Stuart Nash boasted about the investment in a radio interview at the height of the pandemic.
But while government officials blurted out details, most of the actors arrived without even knowing which character they were to play.
Charles Edwards, who plays elven-smith Celebrimbor, said: “We took a leap of faith because not only was it an unknown quantity this series, there were rumors — I remember a lot of people going ‘what is this Amazon thing’ but also to make the decision to go and live in New Zealand for a time (…) also not to be sure what part your playing.”
Puerto Rican actor Ismael Cruz Córdova spoke of the responsibility he felt portraying the first “elf of color,” Arondir, in the series.
“That’s something that I didn’t take lightly. He’s not a man of a lot of words, but there’s a lot of movement. I do believe that in movement you can have conflict and catharsis in drama.” EFE