Sir Lenny Henry has reflected on his role in the upcoming The Lord of the Rings series The Rings Of Power, saying: “I was always aiming at something like this.”
The 64-year-old comedian and actor, best known for his lively, humorous roles, stars as Sadoc Burrows in the new series inspired by author JRR Tolkien’s extended notes.
Reflecting on his transition from solo comedian to seasoned actor, Sir Lenny told the PA news agency: “I’d been doing comedy since I was 16 years old, and then I did Othello and then The Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre… I wanted to work with great scripts.
“You know, I think when you do Shakespeare you kind of go, you want to do good things.
very excited today – Power of the Rings London Premiere – Just seen Markella and Meghan and Sofia …😀😀😀
— Lenny Henry (@LennyHenry) August 30, 2022
“So that was my goal, to be in things, where I could be in a good thing with other people that were good.
“To me, the change happened in the last 10 to 15 years, and I was always aiming at something like this.”
Speaking at the premiere for the highly anticipated show, which launches on Amazon Prime on September 2, Sir Lenny shared his love for forming “little families” with each project he is a part of.
“I think the change from being a solo comedian to being an actor with groups of people and forming these little families continually, made me realise that I wanted to be connected with other people, with other actors,” he said.
The series, which sees an almost unrecognisable Sir Lenny as a Harfoot – a Hobbit predecessor – is set thousands of years before the events of the world-renowned The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings books and follows the events of the Second Age and the forging of the famous rings.
Unite against the darkness. #TheRingsOfPower debuts September 1 at 9pm ET/September 2 at 2am UK.
— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) August 30, 2022
Sir Lenny added: “This is a big show, so if you’re not going to enjoy this you might as well go home, so I’m really enjoying myself.”
Sir Lenny’s co-star and the series’ standout star Morfydd Clark, who debuts as Galadriel, shared how she took inspiration from Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of the powerful royal elf in Peter Jackson’s movies.
“I just used that performance, by one of the greatest actresses in the world, as a guide that that’s where (Galadriel) was going,” the 33-year-old told PA.
She added: “And that was quite comforting, and interesting, because she has thousands of years to go before she gets there… and gets a very special ring, and so things are going to change.
“So it’s nice knowing that, in the end, she’s going to be okay.”
Robert Aramayo, who portrays Elrond in The Rings Of Power, revealed he initially found the prospect of starring in the series “scary,” before settling into his role.
“Elrond is an intimidating character, and Tolkien is an intimidating universe, and so it’s scary,” he said.
“I guess that’s always the first step, to be like, here we go.”
Despite admitting he felt pressure because of the level of The Lord Of The Rings fandom that already exists, Aramayo, 29, added: “What matters, what’s important, is the work and that’s what you focus on.”
The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power begins on Amazon Prime on September 2, with new episodes available weekly.