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‘Rings of Power’ star Ismael Cruz Cordova says Amazon hired an on-set therapist to deal with racist backlash

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” star ismael cruz cordova The cast and crew have been open about the mental health of the cast and crew while shooting for the Amazon Prime Video series.

during this week’s appearance “Only Diversity, podcast, the actor told me that an on-set therapist was on hand to offer help after receiving racist backlash against the show’s inclusive and diverse casting. “You need support when this happens because the sounds are so loud and they’re coming at you from so many places,” says Córdova.

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cordova, who was shooting for season 2 in the UK When we talked, says that only the presence of the doctor was beneficial. “I love seeing her there, even if we don’t talk,” he said. “I knew there was someone out there watching me all over. It wasn’t just as an actor.

Therapists were brought on board when shooting resumed during the pandemic. Córdova’s character Arondir is the first person of color to play an elf on-screen in the “LOTR” universe. “It hurt,” Cordova says of the backlash. “It had a psychological and mental health impact. It’s something I’m very, very open about so that people understand that what they do and say online really does hurt people, really does have an impact on us.” Is.

It was not just the attacks on social media. “My phone got hacked,” Cordova recalls. “I had a bank account attempt to be hacked. My PayPal got hacked. My friends got the message. I have received death threats. Things have been mailed to me. People found my address. It was a lot.

But then he says with a big smile, “We’re still here.”

Córdova has also been open about how badly she wanted to be on the show – so much so that when she wasn’t originally cast, she convinced the producers to reconsider. “I grew up with that rejection all around me. And that is something that drives me,” he explains. “I wasn’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer because I knew what this role would do. I knew what it would do in the realm of fiction. I knew I wanted to be a part of something historical, especially fictional with dwarves. Elves have historically been portrayed as white and Aryan. I wanted to be an elf. I was a mountain boy (who grew up in Puerto Rico). I loved nature And I knew this would change things.

After starring in the “LOTR” universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe could be in Cordova’s future as well. He says Marvel Studios has approached him about various projects: “I have great relationships with the Marvel casting directors.”

Lately he says he was in a rush to play adam waRLocked in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” but the role went to Will Poulter: “I really wanted that, but Will Poulter looks amazing doing it so I’m not mad. But it was a tough one because I love that whole story.

But rejection motivates him. “I always feel like the roles I don’t get because they keep me open to the roles I want to do,” Córdova explains.

In fact, when we first met at the Emmys in September, Córdova revealed his dream Marvel project, Hector Ayala, aka White Tiger. “I think it’s just another character that’s just brilliant,” he says now. “I love characters who are incredible heroes who are people who’ve got the worst deck. That’s my story. And I think we have many stories. And life is not just this short journey of redemption. How many of us have been bullied? How many of us were poor? How many of us have thrown away? Our identity was such that you could not be. Too many of us had cards that were bad decks.”

You can listen to the full interview with Cordova on “Just for Variety” above or wherever you find your favorite podcast.

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