Who Is Miriel in ‘Rings of Energy’? ‘Lord of the Rings’ Character Defined

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Cynthia Addai-Robinson was standing on high of a mountain within the South Island of New Zealand, an space with a 360 diploma view of the island solely accessible by helicopter, on one among her first days of filming The Rings of Energy when the whole lot clicked for her: She was in The Lord of the Rings. “I had this inside second of simply recognizing what I used to be about to be a part of,” Addai-Robinson says over a Zoom name from Los Angeles days earlier than the premiere of Rings of Energy.  “It sounds tacky, however I used to be in Center-earth rapidly.” 

Addai-Robinson performs Queen Míriel in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy, Amazon Prime Video’s prequel set 1000’s of years earlier than the occasions of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. The sequence—which value a reported $1 billion to supply, making it the most costly TV present of all time—is predicated on the appendices of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels, notes that define the historical past and tradition of Center-earth, the world the place the sequence is about. Míriel, who makes her debut in episode 3 of Rings of Energy on September 8, is the Queen Regent of Númenor, an island west of Center-earth impressed by the legend of Atlantis. “After I obtained solid, I felt like I simply gained the lottery,” Addai-Robinson says. “I felt like I used to be plucked up and positioned into Center-earth. The function of Míriel has been a little bit of a secure haven for me.”

Cynthia Addai-Robinson

Photograph: Carlyle Routh. Design: Sasha Purdy/StyleCaster. Gown: CD Greene. Rings: Laruicci; Kavant & Sharart. Earrings: Jennifer Behr. Headpiece: Jennifer Behr.

However Míriel wasn’t the one Rings of Energy character Addai-Robinson auditioned for. She first learn for Bronwyn, a job she had helped different actor pals take a look at for earlier than she obtained the identical audition herself. She despatched in a self-tape on the finish of 2019. That tape led to a different tape which led to a studying with the director of the primary two Rings of Energy episodes,, J.A. Bayona. “At that time, I used to be pondering, ‘OK, if I’m studying for the director, I’m getting shut. This might occur,’” Addai-Robinson remembers. “It didn’t occur. It went away. I keep in mind being gutted, pondering, ‘I used to be so shut after which it was gone.’ I mourned it, and that was that.” A pair months later, Addai-Robinson was requested to audition once more, this time for a distinct function: Míriel. She despatched in her self-tape and the world shut down. “As soon as the pandemic began, it was the furthest factor from my thoughts,” she says. “Like everybody else on the earth, you weren’t positive what the long run was gonna maintain.” Later that summer season, after a spherical of chemistry reads over Skype, Addai-Robinson discovered she had booked the function of Míriel. 

After I obtained solid, I felt like I simply gained the lottery.

She was at house in lockdown together with her husband, director Thomas Hefferon whom she had eloped with simply weeks earlier than, when she obtained the information that she could be transferring to New Zealand in a matter of weeks and she or he couldn’t inform anybody. “I signed NDAs. We basically left and didn’t say goodbye to any pals or household,” she says. “It was like leaving at the hours of darkness to go to the opposite aspect of the world.” However for Addai-Robinson, who has been working for greater than 20 years and has starred in supporting roles in reveals like Energy and Chicago Med, Míriel, one among 5 fundamental characters in Rings of Energy, is extra than simply one other job. “I used to be on the lookout for one thing like this. However perhaps this was on the lookout for me. It’s mutual looking for each other,” she says. “I can get woowoo about destiny and timing and issues occurring once they’re imagined to, but it surely did really feel that means. I understand how exhausting I’ve labored to get so far. Nothing is unintended or coincidental. There’s plenty of work that went into attending to this place and this sort of function in this sort of venture. However I really feel like I’m not directly nonetheless at the start of this journey. The journey of constructing it.”

Cynthia Addai-Robinson

Photograph: Carlyle Routh/StyleCaster. Gown: Bibhu Mohapatra. Earrings: Melis Goral. Rings: Kavant & Sharart. Sneakers: Jimmy Choo.

I learn you auditioned for an additional Rings of Energy character earlier than Míriel. What was it? 

It was Bronwyn. However what’s wonderful in regards to the casting is everybody who inhabits their character actually has the essence of that character. I can’t think about anybody however Naz (Nazanin Boniadi) in that function. You need to belief when issues in the end don’t go your means, there’s a motive for that. I needed to have that second of the whole lot occurs for a motive. What’s been lovely is when the function of Míriel got here to me, I didn’t know what it was going to ivolve. I didn’t know a lot in regards to the character. That they had saved all the character names a secret. That they had coded names and the auditions had been simply made-up sides. As soon as I noticed what I used to be going to get to do with Míriel, it did really feel fated. It felt like that is the function I’m imagined to play. That is the person who I’m imagined to inhabit. All of it did work out because it was meant to work out.

Have been you conscious of how widespread The Lord of the Rings franchise was earlier than you grew to become part of it? 

I had seen the flicks earlier than. I hadn’t learn the books. A part of it was I had consciousness of the literature, however I felt prefer it wasn’t as simply accessible for me. I don’t suppose anybody essentially inspired me to learn the books. What I’m most enthusiastic about with Rings of Energy is the visible illustration of the tales and characters. I’m hoping that audiences, and even that youngster model of me, will get so into this, that they then return to the books. Now they really feel like they’ve some extent of entry as a result of they see a visible illustration they’ll simply determine with. The perfect literature speaks to universality. However typically you want that hook, you should see that feminine character that appears such as you or reminds you of somebody, and also you go, “I really like that character. Now, I wish to learn the books.” I do know there are plenty of adults which have grown up with these tales,  and, in fact, we wish to give them one thing that excites them as effectively. However I’ve plenty of nieces and nephews that at the moment are understanding it is a big mega epic. It makes me suppose again to after I was a child  and the way hungry I’d have been to have this. How a lot I’d have needed to see that in TV and movie, particularly within the fantasy style. Not essentially simply Tolkien, however the fantasy style may be very white, male-heavy. That is about transferring this style ahead. Fantasy, and I believe Tolkien, is about inclusivity. As a result of it’s about individuals from completely different cultures coming collectively for a typical trigger.

Cynthia Addai-Robinson

Photograph: Carlyle Routh/StyleCaster. Coat: Laruicci. Earrings: Jennifer Behr. Rings: Satya Jewellery; Kavant & Sharart. Sneakers: ALDO.

Did you ever think about you’ll be in a present like The Rings of Energy

I all the time considered myself as any individual who could possibly be a fundamental character, and I didn’t wish to place myself as somebody on the aspect. Now, it wasn’t all the time as much as me. It’s typically lower than actors. Typically you’re pegged as the very best pal when you realize you will have a lot extra to supply. There have been many alternatives I had that sense of frustration of they’re simply not even going to think about me. It wasn’t essentially I assumed it was all the time about my ethnicity or my race. On the finish of the day, I used to be by no means going to know, however I simply needed to all the time ensure that I used to be investing within the characters and making an attempt to current them as totally realized human beings. The business nonetheless has an extended approach to go. However actually my time within the business, I completely have seen progress. Being in Rings of Energy, I by no means would have imagined that. Lots of people wouldn’t have imagined it. There’s that sense of progress. Each time you will have a small victory like that, it helps for the following set of inventive minds who will now be capable of dream up these tales and dream them in a extra inclusive means. After I’m sitting down to observe a brand new present, particularly within the style house, my private need and expectation is to see variety.

The fantasy style may be very white, male-heavy. That is about transferring this style ahead. Fantasy is about inclusivity.

What has your response been to the seemingly racist and sexist criticism from some followers? 

I don’t even know the place it stems from. After I take into consideration this explicit model of toxicity, whether or not it’s racist or misogynistic, there’s additionally a deep cynicism and to me, that’s one of the poisonous issues of all. It could possibly unfold and it could make individuals lose themselves. It’s a actuality. It’s all the time been there. But it surely does tie in with what Tolkien’s exploring. You need to determine in the event you’re going to let these issues overtake you or in the event you’re going to have the power to face within the face of that. It’s exhausting to be relentlessly constructive, however I discover that to be the larger power. I believe cynicism and toxicity are fairly weak. It’s a superb train to attempt to all the time lean towards the sunshine and give attention to the constructive.

Cynthia Addai-Robinson

Photograph: Carlyle Routh/StyleCaster.

How do you suppose Míriel is completely different than different Lord of the Rings characters followers have seen? 

The character of Queen Regent Míriel and all the feminine characters on this adaptation are so totally realized. They’re so advanced, considerate and—to not overuse this phrase—however sturdy, as a result of they’re. They perform independently of male characters. They’ve their very own full interior lives. With Tolkien and plenty of his tales, they’ve tended to be very male-heavy and about male fellowship and plenty of relationships when it comes to males referring to different males. For followers of Tolkien, we’re attending to current feminine characters with company. That, to me, is the very best factor of all as a result of I believe that’s going to really feel recent and new, regardless that it’s lengthy overdue. 

How do you suppose The Rings of Energy is completely different from the flicks? 

Most individuals are acquainted with Tolkien’s variations when it comes to the Peter Jackson movies. That’s the Third Age. For our sequence, we’re setting the Second Age, which spans 1000’s of years. There’s plenty of story to cowl and to mine. With Númenor and the a part of the world I signify, nobody has ever depicted Númenor on display. That is the primary time we’re displaying what Númenor appears to be like like. There are plenty of points of the present which might be going to be new to viewers for the primary time, and issues which might be going to be acquainted. We’re acquainted with elves. We’re acquainted with dwarves. However as a result of we’re 1000’s of years earlier than. We’re in a time of relative peace. We’re in a time of relative prosperity. There’s a lot that occurs from the place our sequence begins, and the place it would in the end finish. Even in the event you’ve by no means learn Tolkein or seen any of the earlier movies, you can be utterly new to this and you can perceive and benefit from the story. It’s not a prerequisite to have seen or learn something prematurely.

Cynthia Addai-Robinson

Photograph: Carlyle Routh/StyleCaster. Carlyle Routh/StyleCaster. Coat: CD Greene. Earrings: Kavant & Sharant. Rings: Kavant & Sharart; Ginette NY.

How do you suppose Center-earth displays the actual world? 

Like many individuals in lockdown, my thoughts and coronary heart—the whole lot I used to be pondering and feeling, I used to be overwhelmed. It’s a pleasant overlap with Míriel as a result of throughout the story, she’s the queen regent of the island kingdom of Númenor. It’s a society that’s at its peak, and in the end, there’s a downfall. You could have a pacesetter that’s making an attempt to information her individuals by a time of change. There’s plenty of complexity to the storyline and to this world in the identical means we’re dwelling in advanced instances. Every part I used to be eager about and feeling, I had Míriel to navigate that for myself.  The factor about Tolkien’s tales and the rationale why we’d even do an adaptation at this time limit is that these tales are timeless. You may relate it to right now. On the finish of the day, the very best tales endure as a result of they are going to all the time resonate. There’s all the time one thing you can draw a line between what’s occurring in one among his tales and what’s occurring right now. This adaptation goes to have a world attain. There are going to be lots of people in numerous components of the world—with very completely different units of circumstances—who will all see one thing in these characters and worlds and be capable of perceive them and relate to them. Any parallels are usually not so particular as to solely relate to at least one group. Everybody will be capable of see these tales and have a right away understanding of what it’s to be scared, what it’s to be humbled, what it’s to really feel a way of guilt, what it’s to navigate a fancy household relationship. These are all issues individuals perceive. That’s what provides this story its energy.

 After I’m sitting down to observe a brand new present, particularly within the style house, my private need and expectation is to see variety.

Have you ever met any of the unique Lord of the Rings solid members? 

I haven’t, however I’d like to. When you find yourself a part of any Tolkien adaptation, you hope that paths will cross as a result of it’s this very distinctive fellowship. It’s such intensive work we did. I keep in mind listening to tales about people who labored on the Peter Jackson films, and it appeared like a equally intensive and immersive expertise. I’m positive if our paths ever cross, we might all share a pint and snigger about all of the issues we’ve skilled. However Rings of Energy may be very a lot its personal adaptation—separate from the flicks. What’s fantastic is all of those variations get to coexist. Individuals who love the flicks, I hope, once they see the sequence, they see one thing that’s acquainted, but in addition completely different. It’s uniquely its personal factor.

Cynthia Addai-Robinson

Photograph: Carlyle Routh/StyleCaster.

What’s a job individuals could be shocked you auditioned for?

I keep in mind I auditioned for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, the primary film. I obtained to learn for the function of Uhura with him, and I used to be a large J.J. Abrams fan. Nonetheless am. The very fact I used to be going to satisfy him in individual, I used to be making an attempt to strike the stability of I’m fangirling out and making an attempt to get this function and do a superb job. That was a type of ones the place I felt like, “OK, if I’m getting known as again, I’m getting in these rooms, I should be doing one thing proper.” I keep in mind pondering, “Wouldn’t it’s wonderful to not solely be in Star Trek, however to play an iconic function like Uhura?” But it surely was nonetheless early days for me. I nonetheless had an extended methods to go earlier than I had that sense of confidence and increase my resume. I used to be nonetheless very unknown.

Do you are feeling strain for Rings of Energy to reside as much as the expectations of Lord of the Rings followers? 

It’s humorous as a result of we’ve been requested that query rather a lot over the course of doing this press tour. One in all my different solid mates was answering the opposite day that he has felt strain, and I mentioned, “Properly, you realize, strain makes a diamond.

Cynthia Addai-Robinson

Photograph: Carlyle Routh. Design: Sasha Purdy/StyleCaster.


Photographer: Carlyle Routh

Stylist: Andrew Gelwicks at The Solely Company

Make-up: Billie Gene at Unique Artists Administration

Hair: Monae Everett at Epiphany Company

Pictures Assistant: Scott Leder

Stylist Assistants: Kyle Gleason, Kelly Goldybrown

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