From his head, the series left as diverse as ‘Los Serrano’ and ‘Vis a vis’, with which he can perfectly trace with his curriculum the evolution of fiction on Spanish television in this century. Although very different, both fictions have an emotional component in common Ivan Escobar. (Palencia, 1971) gives it so much importance. confirm something and ‘Express’, the first original series of Starzplay in Spain (co-produced with The Mediapro Studio), which plays his muse, Maggie Civantos.
Did Starzplay start on the right foot, with one of the best?
In today’s market, there are no better or worse screenwriters, just projects. Starzplay wanted a bet with a lot of personality, which would leave no one indifferent and they listened to a lot of manufacturers. I told them what the underlying theme was: the madness in which we are involved, where everything is explicit. And there was something to that concept that connected. Because they were looking for a glimpse into the current reality.
How did the topic of kidnapping come about as a metaphor?
Express kidnapping is something that scares me and attracts me, but it’s just an excuse. The deep issue is speed.
It arises from an anecdote of a trip to Los Angeles where we are going to talk about a series. They put us in a room and there were no chairs. Just a table. Such meetings last only 10 minutes. I projected that idea: there are no chairs for us to leave anytime soon. There is speed food, divorces speak … But where does that time go? These are not better lives, but rather it goes down a sink where it is lost forever.
“They would think: he’s crazy, it’s not a ‘thriller’ of prosecutions. But the thing is, he did not want to make an American series.”
There are many genres. And lots of reflections. Is that what they were looking for?
That was the challenge. And fear. Because they would think: he went crazy, it’s not a ‘thriller’ of shots and chases. But I did not want to make an American series. I wanted tenderness, humor, violence, reflections. A much more multifaceted look, because that’s life.
At first, it’s shocking to put humor in a series of kidnappings.
In a funeral home, people laugh to dispel fear. It was the most attractive and difficult thing to convey to Starzplay and Mediapro: that we did not want to make a pure ‘thriller’, but it seemed like a challenge to hybridize the genres and tell it through Bárbara’s gaze, a woman who wants to be all fronts: she tries to be a mother, a police officer, a woman … And she fails with everything. That story of the losers is what I find most appealing.
He says he did not want to do an American with chase.
It is that we would lose. I prefer to see a mother arguing with her daughter and fighting over a kiss from her as a seven-car race along a six-lane highway. First, because Americans have more money and do it better. But also from my point of view it is dead on emotion. The last thing I wanted to do was express myself to be an American series.
There is tension, but the emotional part permeates everything.
This is what we wanted. Even generating dilemmas. Between the bad and the worst, what do I choose? What do I do? We want to ask the viewer what he would do. We did not want a cold thing that just goes into the eyes, because it was spectacular, but rather one that evoked emotional sensations.
The protagonist stops solving a kidnapping to go to a meeting at her daughter’s school.
And how schizophrenic it is to say that to a producer. How is a criminal psychologist going to do that? But it happens in real life. The image of our protagonist is that of that Chinese cymbal character that when you roll up one, the other starts falling.
And the family scenes, instead of relaxing, bring more conflicts.
And these are real conflicts. Everyone who has children knows this. You have a struggle at home, another at work, another with your partner. We needed all of these layers to fit into the series. And who was able to interpret it? Maggie Civantos.
It had to be her, right?
Fundamental. Because we wanted a woman who was trying to fight for marriage but felt that her husband had failed her at the worst time; who tries to get along with his daughter and can not, but he loves her. How the hell are you going on that journey with so many stones? And Maggie has already shown in ‘Vis a vis’ that she is capable. It’s impossible for me to think of ‘Express’ without Maggie Civantos, because it’s a vehicle look that grabs you by the hand as a spectator and takes you through her life. I fall in love.
“I can not think of ‘Express’ without actress Maggie Civantos. It had to be her.”
An imperfect heroine.
Modern fiction is no longer inhabited by heroes, but by people who make mistakes.
The female characters are very present in this series.
It was our obsession. But not because it is politically correct. We were very clear that it was Maggie, and a woman on whom a broken family was maintained. We also had to surround ourselves with women who write, produce … We do not want to advocate anything, but we believe that equality comes through normalization. I do not think it has to be a headline for a woman to play in a fiction.
“The explicit kidnapping democratizes crime and fear. And that’s one of the leitmotifs of the series.”
A very different family from that of ‘Los Serrano’, of his creation. Until all the time, so stereotypical.
In this kind of Mercadona where there are series without personality, with happy endings and stereotypical characters, we are obsessed with arousing sensations. Do not leave the viewer indifferent. Set aside the series that are similar. If you approach ‘Express’, it’s for a bet. These are recognizable situations, but with characters with layers. This is essential.
They will be documented to speak of kidnapping with austerity.
Yes, we talked to the police and victims. And we have seen that virtually all of us know someone who has been kidnapped. He was terrifying. In Latin America, it’s a real plague and it’s a crime that comes here because it does not need a large infrastructure: two children with a bad day and a trunk. And they crack your life. This facility for committing crimes democratizes crime and fear, which are very much present. Even on the news. Fear is one of the leitmotifs of the series.
The Canadian News
Canada’s largets news curation site with over 20+ agency partners