Orlando Bloom Says How ‘Carnival Row’ Is Like ‘Lord of the Rings’

2001’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring made Orlando Bloom a movie star. Before the trilogy was finished, he landed the role of Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean, which became a trilogy with him, and for which he returned in the fifth film. His new Amazon Prime series Carnival Row should appeal to fans of his fantasy adventure film debut.

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Orlando Bloom of ‘Carnival Row’ | David Livingston/Getty Images

Carnival Row is set in a Victorian London where humans and mythological creatures co-exist, and not so peacefully. Amazon had a Carnival Row panel for the Television Critics Association on Saturday, July 27. Bloom was on the panel and compared the show to Lord of the Rings. Carnival Row premieres August 30 on Amazon Prime.

The set of ‘Carnival Row’ is as detailed as ‘Lord of the Rings’

Peter Jackson filmed The Lord of the Rings trilogy on location and in studios in New Zealand. Carnival Row created its magical world in Prague.

“I’ve been on some amazing sets over the years, and Lord of the Rings was always talked about for its authenticity,” Bloom said. “Nothing has really come close to it since I walked down the Row, really.”

Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom of ‘Carnival Row’ | David Livingston/Getty Images

There are some details that may not even be visible on camera, but they make the world of Carnival Row authentic.

“We have this character of the Haruspex, and she had these cards, these playing cards,” Bloom said. “On the back of these cards were snakeskin. I mean, just to give you a sense of it. Is anyone really going to see that?”

Fairies, Fauns, Centaurs and more populate ‘Carnival Row’

Cara Delevingne plays a faery who flies around with wings and everything. In Lord of the Rings, hobbits would refer to elves as fairies, so there’s a little overlap there. Carnival Row’s creatures do not comingle as harmoniously as they do in Lord of the Rings.

“When we talk about ‘critch,’ what word would they be using in society today?” Bloom said. “When we call a faun a puck, there’s a lot of parallels. It really looks at fear, the fear that people have. I think there’s so much fear in the world today about the idea of refugees, migrants coming into society.”

Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom of ‘Carnival Row’ | David Livingston/Getty Images

And for human men, being with a faery is a fantasy. It is forbidden in The Burgue but that doesn’t stop it from happening.

“It’s like an experience that a Burgueish man wants to have with fae,” Bloom said. “This idea of making love and being elevated into the sky, it’s like an image that plays through the show. It’s pretty dramatic.”

‘Carnival Row’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ are now on the same network

Amazon is now producing their own Lord of the Rings streaming series. 20 years later, Orlando Bloom is back in the same neighborhood as Middle Earth.

“It’s so funny, I remember being on set with Peter 20 years ago now,” Bloom said. “He was saying, wouldn’t it be funny to think about when they want to do a remake of Lord of the Rings and we were in the midst of this remarkable shoot we were doing? I was like, ‘It’s never going to happen, never going to happen.’ And here I am, working for Amazon and they’re redoing it.”

Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom of ‘Carnival Row’ | David Livingston/Getty Images

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series will be set before the films in the Silver Age. Bloom does not expect a call to reprise his role of Legolas.

“I don’t know how they’re going to approach it,” Bloom said. “I haven’t had any conversations about that. Coming back to do The Hobbit was a really wonderful little tip from Peter that he wanted me to come into that, made a lot of sense. I don’t know where I would fit in that world. I think they probably got a 19-year-old kid who’s ready to go and he’ll do a great job.”