From left: Paco Tous (Moscow), Álvaro Morte (The Profesor) and Jaime Lorente (Denver) in a scene from Netflix’s Money Heist: Part 4
Photos courtesy of Netflix
Money Heist stars talk about the show’s shockers, surprises & success
Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

A few days before Netflix’s popular Spanish crime drama Money Heist: Part 4 premiered on the international streaming service last April 3, The STAR joined a video-conference interview with four of its stars.

These were Álvaro Morte (The Profesor), Alba Flores (Nairobi), Jaime Lorente (Denver) and Belen Cuesta who plays the famous gang’s new recruit named — surprise! — Manila.

Money Heist follows a group of robbers scheming and carrying out assaults on the Royal Mint of Spain and the Bank of Spain. In Season 4, the ongoing heist finds itself in absolute chaos. The first episode shows The Professor going crazy with the thought that his ladylove Lisbon (Itziar Ituño) was executed. Rio (Miguel Herrán) and Tokyo (Úrsula Corberó), on the other hand, have just blown up a military tank. Nairobi is fighting for her life — and she wants out. The way things are going, the grand plan is about to collapse, with the gang threatened further by a new and very dangerous enemy.

During the 20-minute chat with the Philippine press, the stars talked about Season 4, particularly some of its shockers and surprises. They also shared a few “theories” as to why Money Heist is a global success.

Belen Cuesta as Manila

Here are excerpts from the interview:

(To Álvaro) Who do you think among the other characters can mastermind the heist besides The Professor?

Alvaro: “This question is blowing half my mind, as to someone who would play the mastermind not being myself. I think the person in charge of this and more obsessed in all of this is The Professor. We discovered in the third season that the relationship with his brother, Berlin (played by Pedro Alonso), there’s a part that brings them together, and that is planning and thinking of the perfect scheme. And it’s enjoyable this way, because they are pure nerds in a different style and they have a peculiar relationship, taken for granted that they adore each other. They are able to love each other fully. And this is something that joins them besides the figure of Palermo (Rodrigo dela Cerna) as essential in the engineering of what is needed to carry out this assault.

“I would say, maybe this is a bit humbling, but I think the mastermind of all this is The Professor. But it’s a different (question) if I weren’t there and who would I leave in charge of it. And in that case, it would undoubtedly be a woman because I think, in general terms, they are more reasonable, wiser and more emphatic. I would never leave Denver in charge, that’s for sure (laughs)!”

(To Alba) What was it like filming Season 4, knowing what you know about how the story of your character evolves in the series?

Alba: “The shock was more when I received the last chapter of the third season. They warned me that something very strong was going to happen to my character. They said don’t be shocked, something shocking will happen to your character, and that I couldn’t expect, I couldn’t see that coming! But anything that happens in the fourth season is more than welcome. I just put myself in the hands of the scriptwriters, you trust them to do anything that they want to do with your character and they have the license to do whatever they want.”

(To Belen) What was it like joining Season 4? What do you know of Manila, your character’s name, which is also the capital of the Philippines?

Belen: “It was fun but you have this feeling of being the new student in class and everybody knows each other. Fortunately, I have wonderful co-actors, which made things easy. There was no special ritual because everything went very fast. But I have to say, I was very much welcome and everything went well for me. They made me at ease and comfortable. They have been kind with me.

Another scene from Season 4

“I’ve never been to the Philippines. I’ve never had any contact with the country, but I would love to travel there. I think it is a perfect occasion, taking into account that I’m named after the capital, and that is as far as I can get. But it is true, I’ve always wanted to go there. That is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

What do you think of the global impact of the show and what is the key to its success?

Alba: “I have a wonderful theory for its success. Well, I have so many theories about the key to our success. Now, I believe about the day-to-day heroes and the thing is, I believe that the world was craving to find someone to relate to. And I think in the script, anyone can find someone to relate to because it has to do with a system we live in... Some people who have ordinary lives... They are ordinary criminals and they become social heroes, and this journey in the day-to-day lives... This has been done before in Hollywood and seeing this in a different country, and maybe the artistic language is different and we have this Latin character, we are passionate, we are very expressive, and this combination made the rest of the world or people relate to us more.”

Esther Acebo (Stockholm), Alba Flores (Nairobi), Itziar Ituño (Lisbon) and Úrsula Corberó (Tokyo
Photos courtesy of Netflix

Do you think the members of the gang are good people despite what they are doing?

Jaime: “I believe that they are good persons and they have this good heart but obviously they are in a context, in this Big Brother (thing), where all the pressure that they feel takes them to a place, that enables a behavior that is of a bad person. They make mistakes like any human being and the beauty of this new season is that we see these characters go down to hell and in that hell, they are going to do things that are maybe questionable, morally speaking.

“But in the case of Denver, I think, he has this wonderful heart, this is something that characterizes that this gang is love. And I think The Professor discovers this in the third season and takes this as (something) to reflect upon what’s happening. Why what’s happening to him happens to him? But they love each other and they are good people, yes.”

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