Cynthia Addai-Robinson isn’t just staying in Middle Earth. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power star took a break from Míriel to portray Eloise in Prime Video’s family dramedy The People We Hate At The Wedding, which is now available to stream. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Cynthia about transitioning from high fantasy to present-day London.
“It was a totally completely different vibe and a different type of character. It’s great because you sometimes are sort of hoping and wishing something will come along just to kind of give you a new challenge,” Cynthia said. “It’s been a minute since I flexed my funny bone, so this project appeared and it was exactly the kind of thing that I’ve been wanting to do for a while and just hasn’t been available to me in this way. It felt fated.”
In The People We Hate At The Wedding, Cynthia’s Eloise is the oldest sibling to Kristen Bell’s Alice and Ben Platt’s Paul. While Alice and Ben think Eloise has it all together, she’s always felt like she’s been on the outside looking in.
“I think what’s interesting about Eloise and even the depiction of Eloise within her own family is that she feels like she doesn’t belong,” Cynthia explained. “Even though she’s aspirational to other people out in the world, to even her own siblings, they view her with awe and disdain. I think she senses that and picks up on that. There’s just that sense of, I feel like these people should know me best, and I feel like they don’t know me at all. I think a lot of people in their family have had experiences like that, whether it’s with their parents or their siblings.”
She continued, “There’s also an interesting idea of blended families, but also sort of blended cultures. It’s definitely an interesting push and pull between your different cultural identities or different sort of heritages that sort of define who you are. That’s definitely something for me that I felt like there was a really strong parallel. I was born in London, but I left the UK at a very, very young age, as you can tell by my voice, and moved to the U.S. My mother’s from Ghana, so my upbringing was sort of this Ghanaian, British, American upbringing. They all sort of are a makeup of my worldview, my experiences, so it’s interesting if you have blended families that come from two different cultures, just seeing how sometimes that attempt at meshing oftentimes leads to a lot of misunderstanding and then, fortunately, for the movie leads to a lot of comedy as well.”
The worlds of The Lord of the Rings and House of the Dragon collided in The People We Hate At The Wedding. Cynthia’s onscreen fiance is John MacMillan, who played Laenor Velaryon in the HBO series.
“John and I had a good chuckle because when we first met we knew that we were in a very special club, which is the club where you’re on a really big show, but you’re not allowed to talk about it,” Cynthia quipped. “We bonded over that. We both completed our time on our respective shows, and then I had the pleasure of finally getting a chance to watch House of the Dragon and I’m like, oh my gosh, okay, so like, that’s who he’s playing. I didn’t know anything about his character, and he didn’t know anything about mine. But I was hoping that some very eagle-eyed viewers would see Míriel and Laenor in an alternate universe in a land far, far away as husband and wife.”
In the film, Eloise has poignant conversations with both of her siblings. Even when emotions are heightened in family situations, Cynthia pointed out that levity is important. “I think some of the things that these characters are navigating in and of themselves are not funny at all, obviously, but I think it’s almost that thing of you can sort of laugh at yourself, you can laugh at the sort of ridiculousness of finding yourself in a situation. I think that having that balance to me feels very true to life,” Cynthia told HollywoodLife. “Oftentimes, life is literally switching there in very fast succession between comedy and tragedy or drama. I think what I love about the film is it really does strike a balance. When it’s time to laugh, it’s hilarious. But when it sort of gets a little bit more serious, it feels very grounded because it’s really about these sort of familial relationships and just how deeply they’re affected by one another.”
When Cynthia found out that she was going to be working alongside Kristen, Ben, and Allison Janney, she was “absolutely giddy because I’m a fan of all of their work, both in comedy and in drama. Allison, Kristen, and Ben, they’re all really adept at doing both.”
Cynthia couldn’t reveal much about The Rings of Power season 2. “l will coyly say that season 2 of Rings of Power has started filming in London, and that’s all I can say,” she said.
Like all viewers, Cynthia was just as shocked as everyone else regarding that jaw-dropping Sauron reveal. “I hadn’t read any of that part of the script. I hadn’t seen any of that being filmed. It was a very, very small, trusted circle of people who are involved in the filming of all of those Sauron reveal scenes. I had my suspicions. Charlie Vickers is a very, very lovely, talented actor, but I had a feeling even though it was never officially confirmed amongst the cast,” Cynthia admitted. “But I’m just so proud of our first season for really laying the foundation for a huge epic tale. Season one is the introduction. It’s the introduction to these worlds, these characters, and what an amazing cliffhanger to sort of leave it at so that people are wondering what season 2 is going to be like and what the story is going to be now that we’ve got these things set in motion.”
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