- May 28, 2021
Packed with cliff-hangers. Reaches for your emotions. Messes with them in interesting ways. Draws you to the edge of your seat. Keeps you holding your breath; anticipating, enjoying. And once in a while, introduces you to sweet music like Bella Ciao. Yes, I’m talking about Money Heist, the Netflix Spanish heist crime drama series. The series currently holds the record as the most-watched non-English film on Netflix.
When Money Heist, originally called La Casa De Papel (The House of Paper) was first released in 2017, no one imagined the excellence it would bag. And now as the creators prepare to close the curtain on it with the fifth and final season, we are eager to know how it all ends. And sad, too, wondering if there will come another series to lift us to the levels of thrill this one has.
In the series, Sergio Marquina famously known as Professor or El Professor, follows in the footsteps of his father who was a scheming thief. When his father died, he left behind a plan to rob a bank; a plan that Professor takes and refines, before putting together a group of eight hand-selected individuals who’ll execute the heist.
Each one is code-named after a city. Tokyo, Moscow, Berlin, Nairobi, Rio, Denver, Helsinki, and Oslo (Sn 1). The mysterious Professor talks them through a meticulous plan he has worked on for years, and they must follow it religiously. They then attack the Royal Mint of Spain and take hostages. And with that, the stage for the series is set. One, two, action! Run, adrenalin, run.
It is narrated in real-time by the character of Tokyo, one of the bad-ass female robbers in the series. The creators generously use flashbacks to move the plot.
This man, Professor
The series features a talented star cast– put them in the master plotting that has scoops of creative twists– and the result is a binge-worthy high adrenalin series. However, in this article, we choose to focus on the character of Professor, played by Álvaro Morte.
Laid-back, nerdy, and a perfectionist, Professor’s character is highly intelligent. These traits won him the adoration of fans all over the world.
But did you know that behind that charming intelligent character is a resilient Álvaro Morte?
To get the lead position of Professor in Money Heist, Álvaro Morte had barriers to overcome. In an interview, he revealed, “I did 5 auditions for this position. I auditioned for greater than two months” (sic)
More than the glamour on stage, there’s greater resilience backstage
How often do we see a super-star shining in their respective roles, and praise-bomb them with love and admiration? Almost all the time, I suppose. But then, how often do we stop to realize that behind the excellence, there were hours, days, months, and years of hard work and sweat?
Success comes to those who are willing to keep going even when the process is lengthened. I’ve talked to writers before, about their books, and one of the major questions has been, how long did it take you to write it? Whereas answers vary, one thing is always clear: It took a lot of focus and discipline, littered with frustration and moments of despair. But in the end, for those who keep pushing, their effort is lifted up under the shine of the world, for all to see and admire.
Two things we can learn from Álvaro Morte’s tenacity
1. Behind every beautiful light fixture emitting glorious light in beautiful homes and spaces, lies an ugly network of wire connections. Every glamour on the stage owes it to sweat and pain of resilience backstage.
2. Success is a process. In whatever you do, enjoy the pain and frustrations backstage. They prepare you. Grow through the process. And when the time is right– and it will come– curtains will open. That will be your moment!
Also read: Why the Instant Success Narrative Is a Lie
**An interesting fact about Money Heist**
The series introduces us to the song Bella Ciao. In more than one instance, this song plays and it has risen to be associated with Money Heist. But there’s a history behind the song, and therefore a reason why it was chosen.
In Money Heist, the robbers become heroes because they are stealing for a cause: To redistribute wealth in a setting where the rich extort the poor. Bella Ciao traces back to the 20th Century when it was sung as a resistance anthem. Italian rice-pickers sang the hymn as a revolution against unbearable working conditions. Later, Italian resistance fighters also sang it during World War Two.
Now you know!
Watch and listen to Bella Ciao as Professor and Berlin sing on the night before they attack the bank.
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