Sir Lenny Henry reflects on fantasy series ‘trying to be more inclusive’

Sir Lenny Henry has said that he feels the fantasy series is “trying to be more inclusive” than the selection and storytelling.

The 64-year-old comedian and actor plays Sadoc Burrows in the upcoming Lord of the Rings series titled The Rings Of Power, which was inspired by author JRR Tolkien’s extended notes.

Despite the progress that has been made, he says that some “purists” have more difficulty believing that a black actor can play a Hobbit or elf than believing in a dragon. .

Reflecting on how fantasy series are diversifying more, he told British GQ: “There’s a real sense of trying to be more inclusive than we are in this world.”

However, he noted that House of the Dragon star Steve Toussaint has said that “purists” have said things about his role in the new Games of Thrones prequel series.

“They had no trouble believing in a dragon, but they had a hard time believing that a black man could be a member of the court,” Sir Lenny said.

“Or a Negro could be a Hobbit or an elf… the narrator can do what they want, because they are the storytellers.

“In re-imagining stories from 1,000 years ago, they are not part of a well-known rule, this is a re-imagining and re-writing of the story.

“And (Rings of Power presenters) JD Payne and Patrick McKay just went, ‘What if?’ The two greatest words in storytelling: What if? “

The series, which shows Sir Lenny as almost unrecognizable as Harfoot – the forerunner of the Hobbit – is set thousands of years before the events of the world-famous book The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, and follows after the events of the Second Age and the forging of the famous rings.

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Besides stepping into Tolkien’s famous fantasy world, the actor also recently appeared in Neil Gaiman’s film The Sandman as a voice actor and he will play the lead role in the prequel to The Witcher. .

Sir Lenny said he would love to be part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy but added that “change takes a long time”.

Reflecting on the impact of being the only black person in the room in the early days of his career, he said it made him feel like he had to “defend himself” and stand up for what he believed in. thought.

“Whenever you walk into a room, and you’re the only black person, or the only woman, or the only gay, or the only person with a disability, or the only person in the family,” he explained. working class, you really have that inner ‘Okay, here I am again’ moment. It’s just me, isn’t it?

“So you feel like you have to defend yourself, you have to defend what you believe in and where you come from.

“So you spend a lot of time making your point or explaining your point to people who don’t know what you’re talking about.

“The great thing about the last five years, is that people are slowly starting to understand what we’ve been doing about it for the past 20 years.”

Read the full interview with Lenny Henry by Ben Allen in the British newspaper GQ. Sir Lenny Henry reflects on fantasy series ‘trying to be more inclusive’

Fry Electronics Team

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