Ismael Cruz Córdova is one to watch

Nazanin Boniadi and Ismael Cruz Córdova in Episode 1 of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Thanks to Prime Video

There may be one ring to rule them all, but there’s one actor to stake his claim and make a name for himself The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Ismael Cruz Córdova plays the elven Arondir in the Amazon (AMZN) Prime series, but that role barely even scratches the surface of what else he can do. Cruz Córdova spoke to The Observer about everything from faerie improv to his time on Sesame Street, and with such a reach, he’s definitely one to watch.

Ismael Cruz Cordova and Saoirse Ronan at the New York premiere Mary Queen of Scotland. Photo by MJ Photos/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images

An important supporting player

Cruz Córdova has had the opportunity to work with A-list talents, from recurring roles early in his career on prestigious TV shows such as The good woman And Ray Donovan to be cast in 2016’s ambitious drama from Oscar-winning director Ang Lee Billy Lynn’s Long Rest Walk. The actor is full of praise for many of his co-stars; Saoirse Ronan (with whom he performed in Mary Queen of Scotland) is a ‘masterclass’, Nicole Kidman (with whom he performed in Undo it) is an “incredible power.” According to Cruz Córdova, every colleague has made him “a better actor and a better person”.

That said, few acting experiences were as informative as his time Sesame Street. Cruz Córdova played Mando, a techie writer who joined the block for about a dozen episodes. When asked which was more intimidating, Sesame Street or Middle-Earth, the actor laughs. “Let me tell you they are very close. They both have such beloved characters, they both have such strength, they both impacted people’s lives, and they both took absolutely everything I knew and everything I could give.

Power rings and an unlikely elf

In Power rings, Cruz Córdova plays Arondir, a warrior elf who has a complicated relationship with the people he has to watch over. While he’s a standout in the cast (he received a Critics Choice nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series), the actor was surprisingly up in the air as to whether he’d win the role of Arondir. After several auditions, callbacks and self-tapes, Cruz Córdova was rejected, but he says he and his team were resolute and didn’t want to say no: “I really believed that this part was the one I had to play. that I wanted to play.” That dedication paid off when he was invited to a surprise screen test in New Zealand. Cruz Córdova knows that moment was a game changer. “I went, like a dark horse as they call it, and did what I knew I could do. Because I always believed that if they saw me in person, they would get my energy and they see what I stand for, they would change their mind. And they did.”

The role of Arondir gave the actor many challenges, but not all of them had to do with the character. When Power rings announced its diverse cast, there was intense backlash over the actors of color brought into the series. Cruz Córdova says the negativity surrounding his casting as the series’ first non-white elf affected his performance, but he was able to use it as an inspiration. “It confirms that you’re working on something that needs to be done, you’re working on something that needs to be changed, and that kind of feedback tells you you’re on the right track.” He says he fought for the role with that in mind, hoping that he would “clear space for [him]himself and for others” with Arondir, a character he believes corresponds to his own values ​​and experiences.

(L to R) Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Ismael Cruz Córdova and Charlie Vickers in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Matt Grace/Prime video

His affinity for the character yielded one of the season’s quietest beautiful moments, as Arondir is forced by his orc captors to kill a tree to save another’s life. Before knocking down his axe, the elf puts his hand on the trunk and apologizes for the damage he is about to do. According to Cruz Córdova, it is an idea he came up with for his screen test while rehearsing in a park. “I was very bold and just did it,” he says, “and it stuck. It went all the way to the show. It’s one of my character’s most iconic moments, and I think it’s because it’s very full of heart.

That heart is one of many things that have been preserved Power rings in the awards talk this year, but the actor is already looking forward to how the next season will go. although Cruz Córdova remained largely silent in Season 2, he offers fans a guarantee. “I find the second season very exciting. I think people are really in for a treat.’

Who to watch: Ismael Cruz Córdova, star of 'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power'

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *