Watch: Maxim Baldry talks about the role of Isildur The rings of power
Maxim Baldry says it was a “gift” to be able to work with the showrunners of The Lord of the Rings: The rings of power to create the legendary Isildur character.
Briefly mentioned in The Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films, Isildur was a king of Gondor who cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand only to lose it later.
The rings of powerset thousands of years before the original trilogy during the Second Middle-earth Age, it features Isildur as a Númenórean seaman rising in rank.
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His character has been described by showrunners in the past as being similar to Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone in Godfather trilogy.
“When I found out I was playing him, I was like ‘oh my God, he was in the movies’ and I saw that beat again. It’s a pivotal moment linking the Second and Third Ages together,” Baldry told Yahoo Entertainment UK.
He added: “Tolkien wrote signs for some characters, but you didn’t know much about them as humans.
Read more: How far have Sam and Frodo got in Lord of the Rings?
“We had the gift of creating this character from scratch and discovering what he was like as a young sailor at the height of adulthood.
“It was lovely to do and find out some things about him that I didn’t really know and didn’t understand from the movies.”
Baldry is aware that playing a character with such a prominent place in JRR Tolkien’s work canon means that fans will have passionate opinions on his performance.
“People have a sense of belonging, I think, to the characters they grew up loving,” said the 26-year-old British star.
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He added: “They have an affinity with them, but I think it’s important for us to do it with the respect it deserves. I think we did.”
That affinity now extends to actor Lloyd Owen, who has revealed that he has become “obsessed” with Tolkien’s wider material since it opened. The Silmarillion in the search for his role.
Owen plays Elendil, Isildur’s father, who will eventually fight Sauron in hand-to-hand combat, and said The rings of power strikes a balance between serving fans and entering new viewers into the world.
He said, “We’ve all seen the first three episodes recently and I thought it was a testimony [showrunners JD Payne and Patrick McKay’s] brilliance that never patronize the public.
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“There’s a lot for you there if you want to go deeper, but it doesn’t get in the way if you’re brand new. It was a pretty delicate balance to achieve, so I was really impressed with that.”
The Lord of the Rings: The rings of power previews on First video worldwide on September 2, with weekly episodes released thereafter.
Watch: Trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The rings of power