'The closer I come to finding what is really authentic, the lighter I feel'

Ismael Cruz Córdova comes from what he describes as a tough childhood in Puerto Rico. It’s why his success in film and television nowadays is not just for himself.
  • fashion director Holly Macnaghten

  • by Chris Cotonou

  • photography Kim Lang

Actor Ismail Cruz Córdova wears Khaki linen-blend trousers, Ralph Lauren; cream knitted polo, Oliver Spencer; olive suede and leather shoes, Malone Souliers; straw fedora, Anderson & Sheppard.

Ismael Cruz Córdova is on a mission. For the 35-year-old, acting isn’t just an art form or a mode of self-expression but an urgent calling, a means to improve representation for generations that follow him. It’s why the Puerto Rican is so excited to see the release of the Amazon Prime series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Córdova plays the warrior elf Arondir, as part of a new era in the franchise in which young Afro-Latinos will be able to watch someone they identify with in these sweeping fantasy universes. “I didn’t have that growing up,” Ismael tells The Rake, “so it’s part of a legacy Iwant to leave behind.”


August 2022


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