SDCC: Amazon's "Carnival Row" Is A Socially Relevant Fantasy Starring Orlando Bloom

Amazon's "Carnival Row" is fully embracing the 'Fear of the Other' theme that has become increasingly prevalent in works of fiction over the last few years. With the world's sociopolitical climate growing more tumultuous it's no surprise that content creators are drawing inspiration from these issues when developing stories and character for audience to empathise with. The world of "Carnival Row" uses a fantastical premise of fairy-like creatures which symbolize the Other that this society's most privileged are prone to discriminating against. When the show visited San Diego Comic Con, Amazon included it in its roster of experiences and won many over with its effective immersion and efficiency in introducing these themes to those who went through this experience.

Series lead Orlando Bloom portrays a human, Rycroft Philostrate, and found the show's material to be rich and easy to connect to. "First of all, the great gift and opportunity of stepping into this show was because it was so timely and it did feel like it spoke to a lot of the issues and with relevance to what's happening in the world today. Alongside that, because we're in this fantastical world in this remarkable brain child of Travis Beacham, we're able to examine with real humanity some of the really tragic and desperate situations that are happening in the world but with an objective and an empathetic view because we're looking at the fae folk, as we call them. It enables us to step outside of ourselves and look at this situation and think around it. It was so beautifully handled by both Travis and Mark in the writing that it was a gift for all of us. Of course, I think as actors, we feel a certain sense of responsibility to deliver on that. That's really down to the show-runners and in the writing and that was the very good fortune that we had with them."

With established names like Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne leading the show, it begs the question of whether more diverse faces will be included in the conversation. Actor David Gyasi, who portrays Agreus, chimes in on this discussion of the show's relevance to the world we all live in.

"I have two kids and I'm of African origin. They're showing signs of wanting to get into this business. There's the African side of me that's like, 'Well you have the option of being a lawyer, doctor, or an engineer.' Then there's the other side of me that I think... when you want to get into this business the best advice that I give people is, go out and talk to people and listen. That helps you to get a perspective on life and how humans work and so, as an actor, when you get an opportunity and a script that feels like it's speaking about our world that we recognise, it's a real gift and like Orlando says, an honour. That's how we approached it."

Producer Travis Beacham adds his perspective as a writer on the show. "It's important. I think the thing that art has a chance to do is get people to look at issues and discuss those issues. I don't know if it necessarily needs to be more than that. That alone is a very substantial lift. I think a lot of our problems that we have as a society stem from the fact that we don't talk about things anymore. It's considered rude to discuss politics. As a result, we all have placed ourselves in these bubbles. The nice thing about art is it can maybe, hopefully, jump-start some of those conversations. If you have those conversations, it's ultimately healthy for our society."

"Carnival Row" will premiere on August 30 on Amazon Prime.

Listen to the full press conference or "Carnival Row" from SDCC here:


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