Ismael Cruz Córdova ‘Absolutely’ Wants More Representation in ‘The Rings of Power’: ‘We Would Be Remiss to Not Do That’

After making history as the first person of color to portray an elf in the “Lord of the Rings” universe, Ismael Cruz Córdova “absolutely” wants more diverse representation in “The Rings of Power.”

“I think this is the beginning,” Córdova told Variety. “I think we would be remiss to not do that — to stop there.”

More from Variety

On Sunday night, Córdova received the breakthrough actor award for television at the Critics Choice Association’s second annual Celebration of Latino Cinema and Television in Los Angeles.

The “Rings of Power” star faced backlash for his casting as the Elven warrior Arondir in Amazon’s epic fantasy series. “I was viciously and consistently attacked with the most violent, painful racism,” he said in his acceptance speech. “You wake up bombarded by violence online where people are telling you that you shouldn’t exist — that your skin color has ruined their favorite childhood books.”

However, Córdova cited the positive reception he’s received as well, telling Variety, “There’s so much love and people cosplaying as Arondir, sending love, making fan art and saying, ‘We’re here for you. We see the negativity, but we’re gonna flood your inbox with positivity.’ This has changed history, and there is a big movement behind this.”

Asked what his initial reaction was to “The Rings of Power” being slated for at least four more seasons, Córdova said, “I was like, that’s a long time. But I was just grateful that I get to deepen this role because I love my character so much.”

“As an actor, you also want job security. We want that, we want to know where we’re going,” he continued. “But it’s also a job that I love. It’s something that I appreciate. So I’m just happy that we’re gonna continue creating, making impact and just bringing these stories and going deeper and deeper into the years to come.”

This year’s ceremony, hosted by Justina Machado, recognized the performances and work of Latino artists such as Jenna Ortega, Ana de Armas, Cristo Fernández, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro. Desi Arnaz was posthumously honored with the Icon Award, which was accepted by his and Lucille Ball’s daughter, Lucille Arnaz, on his behalf.

“I think it’s very meaningful because it comes from the community that I belong,” Iñárritu said about the event. “We have to become closer to give us more collective power and consciousness. And coming from a film that I did in Mexico, for Mexicans, about that strange sensation of being an immigrant — no matter what is your condition — is very meaningful to me.”

“If you look at this red carpet, we all look completely different,” said Laz Alonso, who received the actor award for television. “We’re all from different races, different countries of origin. But we have one thing in common, and that’s that we’re all under this umbrella called ‘Latinidad.’ And that’s where we can bring these diverse voices and these diverse stories to life, and really add to this industry.”

Below is the complete honorees list for the 2nd annual Celebration of Latino Cinema and Television:

Career Achievement Award
Guillermo del Toro

Director Award (Film)
Alejandro González Iñárritu (Netflix’s “Bardo”)

Actor Award (Television)
Laz Alonso (Prime Video’s “The Boys”)

Producer Award (Television)
Gloria Calderón Kellett (Prime Video’s “With Love”)

Rising Star Award (Television), presented by IMDbPro
Cristo Fernández (Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso”)

Rising Star Award (Television), presented by IMDbPro
Jenna Ortega (Netflix’s “Wednesday”)

Rising Star Award (Film), presented by IMDbPro
Brandon Perea (Universal Pictures’ “Nope”)

International Film Award
Santiago Mitre (Amazon Studios’ “Argentina, 1985”)

Breakthrough Actress Award (Television)
Catalina Sandino Moreno (“From”)

Special Honoree Award
Guillermo Rodriguez (ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live”)

Actress Award (Television)
Gina Torres (Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star”)

Breakthrough Actor Award (Television)
Ismael Cruz Córdova (Prime Video’s “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”)

Icon Award
Desi Arnaz

Actress Award (Film)
Ana de Armas (Netflix’s “Blonde”)

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.