News culture The Rings of Power: this actress from the Amazon Prime series has not forgotten the racist comments
At the time of its announcement, the Amazon Prime Video series The Rings of Power was not necessarily well received by Middle-earth fans. The community pointed out several of the artistic choices of the production, including the presence of black actors in the casting. But the controversy went further when the actors in question suffered a wave of harassment and insults on social networks. Actress Sophia Nomvete recently returned to this painful moment.
Controversial creative choices
The Amazon Prime Video series The Rings of Power has been in the news since its release in September last year. The most expensive television program of all time, the adaptation of the writings of JRR Tolkien did not necessarily win over fans when it aired. Beyond the intrinsic quality of the series, many viewers and fans of the Lord of the Rings universe criticized the production for creative choices deemed disrespectful to the initial material.
At the top, we note in particular the controversy linked to the presence of black actors in the series, born from the presentation of the casting. For some fans, black people have no place in Middle-earth because they would be absent from Tolkien’s texts. A controversy that has no place for the actors concerned, who have also suffered from verbal abuse. This is the case of Sophia Nomvete, interpreter of Princess Disa in the series, who was insulted on social networks.
A story worth telling
Sophia Nomvete recently returned to this difficult passage in her life, when her participation in the Rings of Power was announced. The British actress recalled the hate messages she received at the time from The Hollywood Reporter. Rather than push her to give up her role, the actress explained that these messages have on the contrary proven to her that her presence was essential.
When the announcement was made and our photographs were shared to show our roles, I was statistically the most attacked cast member. There was the “N-word”, I had no place here. “You’re too fat, you’re too black. Why are you here?”. I got a very polite message saying “I’m sure you’re a wonderful actress and a lovely person. I just think you shouldn’t be a part of this, that’s not fair. If you could possibly send a resignation letter to Amazon, I would be very grateful.” I thought “no, I won’t do that, I can’t. I can’t afford to quit, unfortunately I’m here to stay.
I understood that my presence in the show was not just a celebration, it was an act of defiance against a reality that is not true, namely the fact that we do not have our place on the screens or in fantasy worlds. I understood that for my daughter, and for future generations as well as the industry (…) I had to do my best with character. So I went to the showrunners and begged them to make this moment important. I begged them not to relegate the character to the background or to just make her “the wife of” or the fat and funny friend. I begged them to make her a real sexual titan.
I realized (…) that I had to help people understand and embrace and endear (these characters) – you would never look down on a scared child. they are scared. They’re scared because they’ve never seen us before. So at that time and during the show, I made it my mission to take away their fear, to help them understand and to educate them, to show them that we can tell a story, that we can be present and that the show will only be better for it than our industry and our world will be better for it.
Sophia Nomvete therefore transformed her interpretation into a personal fight. A recurring battle in the film and television industry, often questioned by people who above all want adaptations that are faithful to the original works. But in the case of the actress, difficult to hear this argument when, on the one hand, Tolkien did not systematically define the physical characteristics of each of the characters he created, and when on the other hand the character of Princess Disa is an original creation specifically designed for the series.