Lenny Henry admits that he likes ‘not being the doofus’ as he stars in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings prequel

British actor Sir Lenny Henry, has opened up about his risky career move from comedy to fantasy, with his latest role in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Sir Lenny Henry has revealed that he wanted to shake-up his career, after his credits were dominated by comedy for so many years.

The actor, 64, from Dudley, was originally known for children’s series Tiswas, comedy sketch The Lenny Henry Show and sitcom Chef! - as well as his consistent hosting duties on BBC’s Comic Relief, a charity organisation that he co-founded with British screenwriter, Richard Curtis.

Sir Lenny has been making a gradual transition from comedy to drama, with roles in The Syndicate (2015), Broadchurch (2017), and The Long Song (2018).

The actor has now delved into the fantasy genre with his role in Amazon Prime Video’s new Lord of the Rings prequel, The Rings of Power.

Sir Lenny Henry arrives at the afterparty for "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" world premiere at The British Museum on August 30, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Prime Video)

The Rings of Power series focuses on the second age time period and includes an early society of Hobbits, which are known as Harfoots.

Lenny plays a Harfoot elder called Sadoc Burrows, a wise yet peculiar Harfoot, a character in which has been created for the Ring of Power series.

Sir Lenry Henry attended the London premiere for the Amazon Prime Series, where he told Express.co.uk about what initially drew him to the fantasy project.

He explained that he was keen to take part in the project after reading pages sent to him by JD Payne and Patrick McKay, who wanted him to send an interpretation of the character using his phone.

Sir Lenny Henry attends "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" World Premiere at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on August 30, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Prime Video)

Showrunners JD and Patrick, have managed to take JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth saga back thousands of years as described in Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.

Lenny explained that as “the elder” his character provides wisdom to a community, which protects each other and are at one with nature.

He said that he is enjoying the shake-up to his acting career, while shifting away from his focus on comedy.

Sir Lenny said: “More and more of these parts are coming my way these days and I like it, I kind of like not being the doofus!”

Lenny Henry speaks to the audience during the Opening Ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Alexander Stadium on July 28, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

“Sometimes it’s nice to be the person that has wisdom. Also, since 2010 I’ve been doing more and more drama.”

He again credits JD and Patrick for their impressive scripts being the driving force behind his initial interest in the project.

Despite having become a household name in the comedy industry, the actor claims he has been wanting to get into the world of fantasy since he was age eight.

Lenny added: “It’s lovely to receive a script where you get excited.”

Sir Lenny Henry, winner of the Special Award, poses in the Winners room at the House Of Fraser British Academy Television Awards 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall on May 8, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

The fandom for The Lord of the Rings is definitely strong, with the first episode of this prequel getting the biggest premiere viewership ever for Amazon Prime Video.

There are currently six more episodes of the first series and so far it is unclear whether Lenny will be continuing onto the next series.

However, location plans for the next instalment are reportedly being made with filming set to take place in the UK.

After working on The Ring of Power, Lenny Henry must have taken a liking to the genre as he has signed up to appear in Netflix’s upcoming spin-off, The Witcher: Blood Origin.