"The Rings of Power was a transformative experience"
Nazanin Boniadi, who plays Bronwyn, and Tyroe Muhafdin, who plays Theo, in the new Amazon Prime series The Rings of Power, discuss what it’s like to be part of an epic television series
The first two episodes of The Rings of Power take viewers on a trip to where it all started: Middle Earth and introduces us to characters we know and don’t know from Tolkien's world. Out of the many new characters created for The Rings of Power, the mother-son duo Bronwyn and Theo, have managed to stand out. Played by Nazanin Boniadi of How I Met Your Mother fame, and the new kid on the block, Tyroe Muhafdin, these two roles were exclusively created for this The Lord of The Rings prequel. We have already seen Theo taking possession of Sauron's sword and Bronwyn taking down an orc, and with all theories suggesting they have a lot more to offer, we ask the two actors about their characters and what can be expected.
Tyroe shares that this is just the beginning. "Theo is trying to find a purpose for his existence, like any teenager, but he is exposed to something extremely powerful and uncontrollable. He begins to find his purpose through this sword, which we all know has a dark history." Tyroe finds comfort in spending time with the sword as he is conflicted by his mother being in a relationship with an elf. Though the mother-son duo has a love-hate relationship in the series, Nazanin states that her character Bronwyn would go to any extent to be with his son. "It is a relationship with angst and tension, but what keeps them together is the underlying love." Interestingly, the onscreen bond of the actors has apparently transferred offscreen too and Nazanin shares that she has almost become Tyroe's second mother in real life. "I really love him and feel he is a part of my family. I believe that our kinship is translating on screen," she says.
Bronwyn is a healer in the series and Nazanin, having been a premed student, finds this relatable. "I wanted to become a doctor at one point, and I was able to channel the healer persona in me for this role. Also, my experience as an activist helped me bring in the resilience, compassion and tenacity the character needed." Tyroe, however, had a more challenging experience playing Theo. "I am nothing like Theo, who is very serious. I can never be that serious. Having fun is my purpose in life," he says. But the common ground he shared with his role is in how both suppress emotions. "Theo does not express sadness and anger till it reaches boiling point. I believe a lot of people of my age go through this phase. I am glad I am able to represent them."
Nazanin, who had previously been a part of Hotel Mumbai (2018), hopes to work in Bollywood films in the future. "My parents grew up consuming Bollywood cinema, and in Iran, the films are still extremely popular. I believe Indian cinema brings a lot of joy to the world and getting a chance to be a part of it would be amazing." She goes on to share her love for India. "I remember it for its kindness and warmth. Staying here has been most memorable."
Speaking about the series, she believes that The Rings of Power must be consumed as the fantasy experience it is meant to be. "A good fantasy transports us to a world that is both timeless and timely. The Lord of The Rings has been a rare franchise that connects to people regardless of when and where they live. The Rings of Power is more of an exploration of human dilemmas and emotions." Tyroe seconds her: "We touch upon hope, love, trust and the ever-present good vs evil battle. These are present in everyone's life, and I believe the series can make for a cathartic experience."
That’s perhaps why Nazanin calls working in this series a “transformative experience”. “We shot during the pandemic, at a time when the entire world was shut down. We were one of the few very fortunate actors to be working then, as the entire shooting happened in New Zealand, a country that was free from the virus." She remembers feeling a lot of gratitude. "Many of my colleagues didn't have much work and I realised that I could have been in their shoes. This realisation transformed me into a more appreciative and thankful person." Tyroe considers the time he shot for the series as a self-explorative phase. "I count my blessings. I was too young to experience this scale of goodness. I also began to learn a lot about myself and now better understand my strengths and weaknesses as a person and actor."
Nazanin believes that ‘destiny’ brought together the ensemble cast of The Rings of Power. "Our creator JD Payne often says that he cast us in the series as he saw a part of middle earth in our eyes. All our personal and professional experiences have come together to create something beautiful," she signs off.