Movie Reviews

Rings Of Power’s Arondir Actor Had A Casting Odyssey Worthy Of LOTR

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power actor Ismael Cruz Córdova details his grueling, months-long audition odyssey to earn the role of Arondir. Based on the beloved fantasy novels by author J.R.R. Tolkien, The Rings of Power takes place thousands of years before the events of Peter Jackson’s acclaimed The Lord of the Rings trilogy, chronicling the rise of evil in the Second Age of Middle-earth. The show has earned strong reviews from critics thus far, with praise levied at its scope, scale, and faithfulness to the themes present in Tolkien’s work.

While The Rings of Power brings back several familiar names, including Galadriel (Morfydd Clark) and Elrond (Robert Aramayo), the majority of the characters in the show will be new to audiences. Among the new characters is Arondir, an elf who is in love with Bronwyn (Nazanin Boniadi), a human. Arondir has found himself on the front lines of an Orc incursion in the Southlands. The most recent episode of The Rings of Power saw the character captured by Orcs and forced to work as a slave, with the promise of more action to come as the show progresses. Although the character’s journey in The Rings of Power has been one filled with ups and downs, Cruz now reveals that his casting process wasn’t too different.

Related: The Rings Of Power Viewership Numbers Proves Audience Ratings Are Useless

In a new interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Cruz details his casting process for the show, saying that it took multiple auditions over the course of many months (and many locations). After explaining the struggle of trying to send in his self-tape audition from a small village in South Africa with no Wi-Fi, the actor reveals that he was actually turned down for the role several times. Then, however, Cruz got a surprise call to meet the producers in New Zealand where he nailed his in-person audition. One element of his improvisation even made it into the final show. Check out Cruz’s full story below:

With source material as beloved as The Lord of the Rings, casting was evidently something that The Rings of Power producers took very seriously. Cruz was likely in competition with hundreds of other actors for the role and, while his casting process was anything but straightforward, his effort clearly paid off in the end. Cruz’s story also reveals just how strong his in-person audition must have been, with Arondir’s touching moment with the tree from episode 3 actually coming in part from an improvised element from his audition.

Cruz’s journey to landing the role of Arondir in The Rings of Power was full of ups and downs, and he clearly put a lot of effort into the process. It’s unfortunate, then, that his casting has been the subject of racist backlash online, with a small subset of angry fans criticizing The Rings of Power for the casting of someone who isn’t white to play the role of an Elf. It remains to be seen how Arondir’s story will unfold in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, but Cruz’s wild audition process is an entertaining story in itself.

Source: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

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