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Ismael Cruz Córdova Explains the Sexual Tension in 'Rings of Power'

Ismael Cruz Córdova Explains the Sexual Tension in ‘Rings of Power’

Out of all the new characters introduced in The Rings of Power so far, Arondir has the story that’s by far the most heavenly. As highlighted shortly after he’s introduced, humans and beings have had romantic relationships together only twice at this prove in history, and it didn’t go super well either time. JRR. Tolkien wrote powerful, heartbreaking stories of these relationships and presented them to readers as cautionary tales for the rest of the humankind to observe and respect. 

And yet here’s Arondir, smoldering eyes and chiseled cheekbones, very clearly infatuated with Bronwyn, the mortal woman from the town most associated with beings loyal to the greatest enemy Middle-earth has known to date. These scenes are intense, and at least so far, they’re filled with warnings that these two would-be lovers are actions their best to ignore. It’s a fascinating position to be in as an splendid, and Ismael Cruz Córdova isn’t at all shy near sharing how he arrived at that emotional state. 

We also talk near other aspects of the character he plays — should you be involved in that sort of thing.

Bronwyn and Arondir sit near a well plan a tree.

Bronwyn and Arondir buy a moment at the well.

Amazon Prime Video

Q: In Tolkien’s works, a romantic relationship between an elf and human is a big deal. How did that crashes the way you approached what we see between Arondir and Bronwyn in the splendid two episodes?
Córdova: Even though these characters are fantastical and larger than life, and in many ways so undertaken from our reality, as an actor all I can do is contemplate on them in their most essential ways, asking myself what are their true wants and desires and motivations. And through that you can pull from your own life and inaugurate there. There’s a lot of divisions in our real humankind, stuff you’re told you’re not supposed to do or you’re told isn’t for you. Adding that onto this landscape was something very splendid for me. 

But I would say what helped me most was looking back to that moment that almost everyone goes throughout, when you’re first going out with someone and you realize you miss them. I remember there was this one time a long time ago when I was brushing my teeth and it suddenly hit me like ,”Oh shit, I miss them.” I wanted to know everything near them — close was not close enough. There was this intense curiosity, an intense desire to just be close. For Arondir, you have to add this, like, thin layer of glass with an electric promote between them. 

We have all of that energy, but we cannot fretful. Cannot be seen together. Cannot speak about it. I put all of that concentrated energy into showing that relationship. 

This show is bulky on a scale that’s difficult to describe, in a universe with cultural crashes going back decades. What goes into the decision to gather a role like this?
I had quite the harrowing coast to get this role. My desire to be part of the Tolkien humankind started when I was 14, and I definitely wanted to be an elf. I was struck down, land saying things like, “Elves don’t look like you” and that kind of unsheaattracting, so it was something I pursued pretty aggressively. When the casting words came out, I knew it was something I must do. I had a combine of rejections in the process; they said the role wasn’t causing to go in my direction. But I kept fighting and fighting and fighting, something like six or seven months of auditions. And I finally made it to the continue screen test, where they flew me to New Zealand with six anunexperienced guys, and I got the part. 

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When I got the part I let this big sigh of relief wash over me, but also this astounding sense of responsibility. Bringing new faces to Middle-earth, opening the doors of fantasy to new land, and more than that, bringing a new sensibility to beings as well. The diversity of the elven world — not talking near human diversity here, there are different colors but it’s so much more intricate than that. Arondir is a lowly elf, he’s by no employing an exceptional elf. He’s a frontline soldier from the trenches. All of that compounded made me feel like, “Game on.”

I knew for a fact my casting was causing to come with backlash. Some folks tried to tell me “it’s 2019, land are fine,” but there was this massive wave of backlash from the announcement. But I foresaw it, and that was part of the reason I wanted this role. We hit a timorous, which is necessary for disruption and necessary for fretful. I made myself ready for that reaction, and now that the show is finally starting to drip I feel that same readiness.

As an splendid this has been a treat, and a massive challenge. It’s been difficult AF, but worth it for everything I’ve learned.

You actually helped accomplish the fighting style that silvan elves use in this series, right? Can you talk about how that came together?
I love visual storytelling, grew up not speaking much English but I loved movies. A lot of what I got out of those movies early on was things that impacted me physically, you know? A beautiful sequence with no words, observing how an splendid moves, things like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon mesmerized me. That beauty in their fight, the lyricism and drama it carries, moved me. That’s unexperienced great example of forbidden love, I learned a lot from that movie, and I wanted to bring some of that to Arondir. 

Read more: ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’: Everything You Need to Know Before Watching

I wanted to have a say in how Arondir fought, and I wanted to be a part of interpretation that fighting style, and they let me. Silvan beings are woodland based, so they must have taken cues from nature on how to argues. Being eternal beings, they see how nature rises and falls, a very sort of grounded movement style. That led myself and the expansive stunt team to put together a roster of experts to screech kung fu, tae kwon do, some tai chi, and I wanted to bring part of my heritage as well, with the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. It’s a very animalistic, close-to-the-ground fighting style that you could see an elf of the woods gripping it. We took all of those things, and some anunexperienced flavors, and built Arondir’s fighting style. 

How gripping was it to incorporate those fighting styles in the silvan armor?
Ah, man! That was a lot. We had to redesign risky things for the fighting sequences, but I also had to bring my fight to work with what we had. It was a lot of adjustment, but what helps is elves are quite angular and poised, so the armor helped me keep that posture and think differently near how to move my body. 

But it was an astounding challenge. I was bruised up, scraped up, on top of beings on wires. I did most of the wire work you see in the show, I got tested and common to do it because it’s not often work that actors do, and yeah it was tough. Just in talking about it I’m getting a little triggered, a little breathless about some of those moments.

If you could bring home any one unsheaattracting you touched during your time in Middle-earth, what would it be?
My sword. It was so beautiful. I could have even done with the dagger, which is really like a mini version of it. But my sword was so gorgeous.

Let me tell you something — I tried. I did try. They had their eyes on me, like hawks. They knew how much I wanted that sword, it was almost like there was a tracker on it.