Since its release on Prime Video, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’s” has faced online criticism based on its cast.
Ismael Cruz Cordova, one of “The Rings of Power’s” performers, recently described how he had been the target of personal harassment, including phone hacking and death threats, on the Just for Variety podcast.
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As Cordova clarifies: “My phone got hacked. I had bank account attempts of being hacked. My PayPal got hacked. My friends got messages. I got death threats. I got things mailed to me. People found out my address. It was a lot of that. [But] we’re still here.”
The trolls have argued that elves shouldn’t be Black, among other things. Regarding his selection for the role, Cordova discussed how his love of rejection contributed to his desire to play a Black elf in “The Rings of Power.” Since elves are typically portrayed as being white, Cordova believed that his casting as a Black elf was crucial since it would “change things.”
Cordova declared: “I grew up with that rejection all around me. And that’s something that’s driven me. I was not going to take a ‘no’ for an answer because I knew what this role would entail. I knew what it would do in the scope of fantasy. I knew that I wanted to be part of something historic, especially with the elves. The elves have been historically portrayed as white and Aryan. I wanted to be an elf. I was a mountain boy [who grew up in Puerto Rico]. I was in love with nature, and I knew it would change things.”
Cordova even said that Amazon Studios had employed an on-set therapist to be available to assist anyone who might be having trouble dealing with the cast’s racial response. From his point of view, having the therapist on set was incredibly helpful since he found her presence soothing even when he didn’t need to speak with her.
He said: “You need support when this happens because the voices are so loud and they’re coming at you from so many places. I loved seeing her there, even if we didn’t speak. I knew there was someone there seeing me completely. It wasn’t just as an actor.”