For Esther Acebo, who plays Stockholm, and Belén Cuesta, who plays Manila, La Casa de Papel is both a show about strong women, and it isn’t. Because La Casa de Papel isn’t interested in the usual binary, or in establishing differences between how the storytelling treats male and female characters. “Everything is at the same level,” Acebo shared. “In war, we are all the same.”
The actresses, who were joined in this interview with Remezcla by Jaime Lorente, who plays Denver, were very open about how important it was for them to do a show with depth, but also a show with cool action sequences and such a “complex choreography,” even if Belén Cuesta confirmed what we already knew – it was exhausting to shoot.
And thrilling, because the actors, who according to Jaime would only “learn the story as they were shooting it,” got to discover the journey of the people they were portraying in real-time. That seems like a complicated way to work, but all actors shared it helps to free you up from expectations. “Some people will think the ending is appropriate, some will think it’s not. It’s always like that,” Cuesta told us, with the understanding of someone who has watched many shows and gotten emotionally invested.
There’s very little the actors can do to control either the expectations – or the actual ending.
Ironically, even the reception of the show, something they also have no control over, but that involves them much more closely, caught this trio by surprise. “It’s very exciting to know your work is watched by so many people,” Acebo confessed, and then was quick to add, “and nerve-wracking too.”
Perhaps a little more exciting than anything, particularly considering the way the show has gone against stereotypes in so many ways. Cuesta remarked on this, as she went back to the topic of the way the show writes men and women, by telling us that in the show “the person who throws the grenade is the person that needs to throw the grenade in a specific moment, not the pretty girl or the buff guy.”
“We’re all just human beings trying to survive,” Acebo rounded off the idea “and there’s no gender to that.”
And though the show does feature a romance between the characters of Stockholm and Denver the actors who play them didn’t want to give any hints as to where the romance on-screen is heading. They did, however, have a couple of things to say about what they hope people take out of the relationship between their characters.
“If you want to be with someone, take care of them. Take care of the relationship,” Lorente was very clear. “Be honest,” Acebo added. “Honest about the good things, and the bad things. Not just with the person you love, but with yourself, too.” That’s the only way to make a relationship work.
Whether Lorente and Acebo’s characters can make it work remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, these three actors are very much ready to see people’s reactions to La Casa de Papel season 5 as a whole. Whatever that reaction might be, they’ve really enjoyed the journey, and they hope people can find something to enjoy too.
La Casa de Papel season 5 volume 1, which consists of 5 episodes, is available on Netflix now.