For nearly 70 years, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” have returned to Middle-earth time and time again—first in the pages of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novels, then on the big screen in Peter Jackson’s epic film adaptations. Now, Amazon Prime Video has your ticket back with the prequel series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” which debuted Sept. 2. But what would it take to land a role on the show?
Think of this in-depth guide as your road map into Middle-earth, from essential information on “The Rings of Power” to insight into the casting process to audition advice from the series’ stars.
- What is “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” about?
- Who is in the cast of “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”?
- When does filming for “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” Season 2 start?
- Where can you find “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” casting calls and auditions?
- Who are the casting directors for “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”?
- What are the best audition tips for landing a role on “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”?
Based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s appendices to his “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy as well as “The Hobbit,” “The Rings of Power,” uses a blend of familiar names and fresh faces to take us back to the Second Age of Middle-earth. The series will focus on Galadriel (Morfydd Clark), a younger version of the Elven queen Cate Blanchett played in Peter Jackson’s films, as she rallies a group of warriors to fight against an evil rising in the shadows. The story takes place thousands of years before Bilbo Baggins first ventured out of the Shire. The series also features a young Elrond (Robert Aramayo), as well as an all-new band of Elves, Dwarves, men, and halflings.
According to Vanity Fair, the series begins with Galadriel looking to hunt down the last of the evil Sauron’s collaborators as revenge against the murder of her brother. This story will ultimately reveal how she became the wise ruler of Lothlórien and how her deeds would come to shape the future of Middle-earth.
Season 1's cast features:
- Morfydd Clark as Galadriel
- Nazanin Boniadi as Bronwyn
- Peter Mullan as King Durin III
- Benjamin Walker as High King Gil-galad
- Lenny Henry as Sadoc Burrows
- Robert Aramayo as Elrond
- Cynthia Addai-Robinson as Queen Regent Míriel
- Ismael Cruz Cordova as Arondir
- Ema Horvath as Eärien
- Markella Kavenagh as Elanor “Nori” Brandyfoot
- Owain Arthur as Prince Durin IV
- Maxim Baldry as Isildur
- Sophia Nomvete as Princess Disa
- Trystan Gravelle as Pharazôn
- Charles Edwards as Celebrimbor
- Charlie Vickers as Halbrand
- Lloyd Owen as Elendil
- Sara Zwangobani as Marigold Brandyfoot
- Thusitha Jayasundera as Malva
- Megan Richards as Poppy Proudfellow
While filming for Season 2 isn’t underway just yet, “The Rings of Power” received an early renewal well ahead of the Season 1 premiere. As Deadline noted, Amazon Studios acquired the global TV rights to “The Lord of the Rings,” and with that came a multi-season commitment to the series and its potential spinoff. Deadline also reported that production will move from New Zealand to the U.K. for Season 2. Preproduction for the second season was set to run concurrently to postproduction for Season 1, but an official start date hasn’t been announced.
Ben Rothstein/Prime Video
While the show isn’t currently casting, we are hopeful that future notices will trickle in. Many Amazon series, such as "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” cast with us for featured and background roles. To stay up to date on the latest productions looking for talent, we suggest bookmarking our guide to getting cast on an Amazon Prime Video project.
Along with this resource, we also have a “Lord of the Rings”–inspired roundup of gigs that are hiring talent now. Landing a fantasy role will help scratch that itch ahead of any Season 2 audition announcements while also keeping your acting game strong.
Matt Grace/Prime Video
Building an ensemble cast isn’t an easy task, but the CDs behind “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” know how to get the job done. The prequel series is cast by Theo Park (Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso”), Kirsty McGregor, and Stu Turner (who were both part of the team that cast “The Wilds,” another Amazon ensemble series).
Having put together dozens of projects between them, this team truly knows the ins and outs of casting, and they want actors to understand what goes on in their minds and behind the scenes. For instance, Park told us that, unless specifically requested, she doesn’t care about an actor’s educational background as long as they have what it takes to bring a given role to life.
“There are certainly some projects where the creatives are interested in people having classical training, for reasons of the material itself. I may seek out those people [actors who have been to drama school]. But generally, it doesn’t bother me whether you’ve trained or not. It’s [about] whether you’re right for the part,” she explained.
Park also wants actors to be patient. She knows waiting to hear back can be nerve-wracking; but there’s a good chance she’s also waiting to hear back. “[Actors] probably don’t know that we get a lot of silence, too. Sometimes we’re chasing and chasing for feedback from the producers, but the producers are busy, and they just can’t get around to seeing the tapes yet,” she said. “Actors probably don’t realize that it’s hard for us to get some answers, as much as we want to. It’s in our best interest to get them their feedback as soon as possible.”
Ben Rothstein/Prime Video
Although this might be the cast’s first foray into Middle-earth, it’s not their first time onscreen. Here’s the best audition advice the “Rings of Power” stars have to offer:
- Learn your craft: From stage to screen, Benjamin Walker (High King Gil-galad) has done it all. He says he relies on an insatiable desire to keep learning. “Study,” he told us. “By study, I mean really take what your teachers have to say seriously—try fully. Learn everything you can. You don’t have to agree with it all. You don’t have to like it all. But you have to try it all. I’d also say what they can’t teach you in school is that it also takes time. We live in a very ‘American Idol’ mentality, and that has not been my experience, and I would encourage people to not aspire for that. It is a craft…that should last the entirety of your life. Some things look [like they happened] overnight, but [they didn’t]. Who remembers the third runner-up of the third season of ‘American Idol’? You wouldn’t want that anyway. Who knows? Maybe they’re brilliant. Maybe it’s, like, Kelly Clarkson, you asshole.”
- Give yourself some space: While auditions are an essential part of the process, Clark said that she tries to avoid obsessing over the outcome. “I try to not let the audition live in my mind rent-free for too long,” she told us. “If I think about it too much, I start to imagine what it would actually be like on the job—where it’s filming, and stuff like that. And I don’t find that very useful. So I try not to take in any of the practical details, because that makes it unmanageable. Instead, just focus on the audition—the actual text. I also try to do no more than about two hours of prep before an audition, because there’s a fine balance between putting enough effort in and still being able to cast it aside. You don’t get 95% of auditions, so it’s useful to keep them as transitory things. I think compartmentalizing like that has kept me sane. I give it a reasonable amount of time but don’t allow it to take over my life.”
- Commit to the moment: When you’re in the audition room, you have to be present and invested. Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Queen Regent Míriel) says that you must be all in—anything less than 100% simply will not do. “It’s a mini performance,” she told us. “You have to really give the full performance in that moment. You can’t be halfway about it. You have to really commit to giving it all that you have, and let that be enough. Of course you want the job, but it’s not about getting a job; it’s about authenticity and a real focus.”
- Recognize your power: For Ismael Cruz Cordova (Arondir), success comes from recognizing that you have more power over the situation than you think. “You need to take a risk,” he said. “A mistake that we make [is believing] that we’re powerless in this process and we’re expected to be powerless. You start realizing you are a component that [casting directors are] looking for to complete a puzzle. You become empowered. They want that. I’m sure you’ve heard many casting directors say, ‘We want them to be good; we want them to get the role.’ Of course, I’m not going to do that on set, but if it’s going to work for me to captivate you, I’ll do it. If I believe in a role, up until the very last, I will be campaigning for it in any way possible that is legal.”