Lenny Henry discusses his first experience of The Rings of Power

Sir Lenny Henry said working on Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power served as "a Tolkien primer" for himself and other members of the cast. The 64-year-old British comedian plays Sadoc Burrows in the TV show, who is an elder of the Harfoots — the predecessors of Hobbits.

Set thousands of years before the events of the Lord of the Rings novels, the show follows the events of the Second Age, including the rise of Sauron and the forging of the titular rings.

"It was a real grounding in everything to do with Tolkien and his world-building," Henry told Yahoo.

Video transcript

TOM BUTLER: Obviously, the lore is so expansive. Like, Tolkien wrote so much. Do you guys have to be fully across all of it, or are you just reading what's in front of you on the script?

BEN WALKER: I mean, why wouldn't you want to be? That's one of the-- part of the job is that we get paid to read and study Tolkien. This is a great job. I would say that they have-- Amazon has assembled a team for you. If this is-- if you are new to this, you can talk to Griff Jones, for example, and you can really do a deep dive on--

CHARLES EDWARDS: He's like the Tolkien expert.

BEN WALKER: --Fingolfin. Like, you can really get in there.


BEN WALKER: And any kind of question you might have, there is an answer for it. But I garner such pleasure from immersing myself in his writing that that's-- I'd be doing it anyway.


MARKELLA KAVENAGH: We had Griff, who was a Tolkien expert, which was amazing. And then I guess we just kind of as a cast as well would find things out and kind of share information. And the showrunners were really knowledgeable, and so it was nice to have that context before.

MEGAN RICHARDS: It was a real grounding in everything to do with Tolkien and his world building. My first immersive, wonderful day on set was-- I didn't have a script, and I was a bit frustrated that I hadn't seen episodes two or three or whatever, and I just wanted to know what the story was.

And the production manager said, come with me. And he walked me through the story by showing me all the props-- swords, shields, and the half-foot clothes, the bits of the set, staffs, books. I was-- by the time I got done, I was like, oh god, I want to be in the show. You are in the show. OK. It's so exciting to see the amount of invention that had gone into creating this world.