After season 4, Úrsula Corberó, Álvaro Morte and Miguel Herrán have already become world idols, but it never hurts to remember the beginnings.
A few years ago, Rio, Tokyo or Berlin were only names of big cities, but now they have a completely different meaning for the followers of La Casa de Papel. The Netflix series has become a true national fiction success and its fans outside of our borders number in the millions.
With La Casa de Papel season 4 just hitting the platform, it’s worth looking back to see how it all began. Surely Úrsula Corberó, Miguel Herrán, Álvaro Morte and the rest of the actors who give life to the group of robbers were not expecting the success that the production has achieved when they did the auditions.
These are the personal stories of the robbers of ‘La casa de papel’
Thanks to the Antena 3 website we can have access to the tests that the protagonists did and, among other things, to know the reasons that convinced the team of the series that they were the perfect candidates to carry out the blows to the National Mint and Stamp Factory and, later, to the Bank of Spain.
Miguel Herrán (Rio) and Úrsula Corberó (Tokyo)
Rio is one of the most different of the bunch. He is not a conflictive boy nor has he had problems with the law, so the actor who played him had to convey tenderness and some weakness. “Rio had to be the boy who is in this for other reasons and who is going to fall in love like a lamb from minute one and you had to love the character a lot, a lot, a lot“, explains Eva Leira. That is why they did not hesitate to have Miguel Herran: “… he is an actor with a heart that does not fit in his chest. It is a love … the candor of Rio”.
Just on the other side is Tokio, the girl with whom he falls madly in love. The role ended up being for Úrsula Corberó, but the casting team was looking for someone very different. At first, Tokio was a veteran with a lot of experience behind her and little to lose.
“The Tokyo process is long because it is true that, at the beginning, I was an older woman. He was someone who had a lot of past and who was hooked on this because he had nothing to lose anymore. Along the way we began to realize that we could function more with a little playful energy, that it was not someone so much … That it was not his last chance, “says Yolanda Serrano.
Jaime Lorente (Denver) and Darko Peric (Helsinki)
Denver is one of the robbers with the strongest personality. This pimp has won the affection of the audience with his good background and heart, so the actor had to convey exactly those emotions. This is how Jaime Lorente arrived, one of the cast members who immediately fitted in with his character.
“We’ve always thought he’s a spectacular actor. He’s a guy who has incredible acting resources. […] It was a magical test, absolutely magical. In fact, I think Denver existed as soon as he did.“, explains casting director Eva Leira.
Helsinki is another tough guy who has also connected with the public and part of the credit goes to Darko Peric, the actor who brings him to life. Peric also caught the attention of the team very quickly: “One of the things that gave me this role was laughter. I don’t know if it’s true, this is what I heard,” says the interpreter himself. In the video of the test we see a Helsinki different from the one that later appeared in the series.
Álvaro Morte (The Professor) and Alba Flores (Nairobi)
It didn’t have to be easy for the casting team to find someone with the character of the group leader. Contrary to what we have seen in many fictions, the architect of the plan is someone intellectual, slow and not violent. Now it is difficult for us to see another person in the role other than Alvaro Death, but much of the work was effort of the interpreter. “We start from the word of The Professor that this takes us all in one direction, but we were all very open to explore many possibilities”, explains Yolanda Serrano, casting manager.
For her part, Alba Flores was chosen by the creator himself, Álex Pina. They had already worked together in Vis a Vis, so Pina knew perfectly how the actress worked and did not hesitate to incorporate her into her new project – as she did later with Najwa Nimri – without having to do a new test. “Alba, I’m doing this series and I’m missing a character, a girl from the band, and I want it to be you ”, this is how Pina asked Flores to become Nairobi.
Enrique Arce (Arturito) and Esther Acebo (Mónica Gaztambide)
The success of The Money Heist It not only applies to the protagonists, but also the secondary ones are living a great time. After all, who doesn’t know Arturito or Mónica Gaztambide, one of the new members of the band? Enrique Arce and Esther Acebo, the actors who play them, are very grateful for the opportunity and, above all, because the team allowed them to model the characters according to their criteria.
“It’s the curious thing about the castings. In life I would have imagined that, after finishing the first chapter, the character could be built in a direction so diametrically opposite to the reading I did the first day when I was preparing for the test”, Explain Enrique Arce. “That character has a load of black humor that works, but it really is dramatic.”, adds the creator, Álex Pina.
His partner, Esther Acebo, thinks the same and assures that she is still excited: “I have not been able to fall into better hands, I have an attack of emotion that lasts and I do not know how long it will last.”