Ahead of Season five, the actor describes his character from the popular Spanish crime series as a paradox
The charismatic Pedro Alonso, who plays Berlin in Money Heist, the popular Spanish crime drama television series created by Álex Pina, describes his character as a paradox. Speaking from his home in Madrid over a video call, Alonso elaborates, “He is unpredictable, brutal and immoral. He is also intelligent, delving into every situation and living each moment of his life fully.”
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Money Heist was originally a limited series that was expanded after Netflix acquired global streaming rights. The original mini-series was re-cut and released in two parts in December 2017 and April 2018. Season 3 and 4 were released in 2019 and 2020. The fifth and final season will also be released in two five-episode volumes, with the first coming out on September 3 and the second in December 2021.
The man with a plan
Pedro Alonso in ‘Money Heist’
The show tells of an audacious plan by a man known as The Professor (Álvaro Morte) to steal the Royal Mint of Spain. The Professor brings together eight people with different talents who are to know each other only by code names — the names of cities. The plan is to lay siege on the mint, holding people hostage and printing €1.2 billion.
Running on adrenaline, the riveting show ratchets up the tension even as loyalties shift and the lines between hostages, the criminals and the police get blurred. Season 3 and 4 see the gang attacking the Bank of Spain.
Season Five, according to Alonso will see a larger canvas. “In the previous seasons, we saw action. In this season the action is going to take on mythological proportions. The writers have pushed the boundaries to the limit of the limit of the limit (laughs).”
Filming for the fifth season concluded in May 2021. Shooting during the pandemic was difficult but went well, Alonso says. “This was a big production and COVID-19 destroyed all plans. We could do it thanks to the excellent planning by the production team.Many friends could not work in the last year because of the pandemic and I felt a sense of responsibility to try to honour this privilege.”
Two sides of a coin
The eighth episode will reveal different shades of Berlin’s character, says the 50-year-old actor. “It is an emotional piece that may help you understand how Berlin is connected to the others. I try to put different levels of information in my process of creating the character; but sometimes I cannot anticipate what is going to happen. Berlin is simultaneously happy and unhappy. Something good could happen to Berlin for which he would have to pay a steep price.”
Money Heist has been a global phenomenon. Alonso is aware of the show’s popularity in India. “We are very, very, popular,” he says mischievously.
Time for change
Pedro Alonso in ‘Money Heist’
On how the show has changed his life, Alonso comments, “ For the first two years of the phenomenon, I was like, no, no, no, all is okay, all is the same. That is not true; Money Heist changed my life tremendously. I have tried to keep my life separate from the project. I have tried to renovate, liberate, to be exposed as well as stay protected.”
Alonso is also deeply appreciative of all the good things that happened because of the show. An inveterate traveller, Alonso was just back from a Greek holiday, which he loved, the actor says, “I get to travel and meet people, which is incredible. People open their hearts and homes to me because of the show.”
While admitting not knowing much about Indian cinema, Alonso reveals that he is an admirer of Indian culture. “In my house, I have statues of Indian gods and practice meditation. I am more connected with the knowledge and culture of India than the cinema.”
The first part of Season 5 of Money Heist is currently streaming on Netflix