‘The Professor’ Alvaro Morte: ‘I hope Money Heist entertains people dealing with the lockdown’

Actor speaks about the fourth season of the Spanish crime drama that dropped on Netflix this Friday, and how he’s dealing with the coronavirus pandemic

April 03, 2020 06:15 pm | Updated December 05, 2021 08:54 am IST

Alvaro Morte as ‘The Professor’ on ‘Money Heist’

Alvaro Morte as ‘The Professor’ on ‘Money Heist’

Spanish star Alvaro Morte, better known in this part of the world as The Professor of Spanish crime drama Money Heist , says he is practising social distancing like the rest of the world and believes humanity will emerge stronger from the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.

As COVID-19 spreads across the globe and millions of people stay cooped indoors, the fourth season of Netflix’s most watched non-English drama dropped on Friday.

Spain is among the countries worst hit by the virus with 1,12,065 cases and over 10,000 fatalities.

Morte, who recently took to Instagram to sing Bella Ciao , the Italian resistance song that features prominently in the show, believes this is the time for people to reflect on their roles as individuals and as part of society.


“I’m trying to be as responsible as I can, leaving my house just for the really essential things. I’m aware there are so many people working very hard and having a hard time so that the rest of us can lead as normal a life as can be,” Morte told PTI over the phone from his home in Madrid.

“I try to give the time we are in the importance it deserves. We should take time to reflect what is happening, to try to be responsible individually speaking and as a society,” the actor added.

Morte said that everyone should try and bring out something positive from what’s happening, try to learn something and try to see what we can change in order to become a better society.

Morte also had a small message for his fans in India: “I am sending all my love from here. All the strength and courage I can send through this confinement and lockdown. I hope the show entertains you a little bit,” he said.

The Netflix drama, more elegantly titled La Casa de Papel (The Paper House) in Spanish, revolves around Morte’s character bringing together a bunch of other career criminals who dress up in red jumpsuits and a Salvador Dali mask to rob the Royal Mint of Spain.

Unsurprisingly, the red costumes, the Dali mask and ‘Bella Ciao’ (Goodbye Beautiful) have become popular with fans world over, even featuring in real political protests. A recent video of an Italian neighbourhood singing the song during the lockdown was circulated widely on social media.

Asked about the significance of the folk anthem in the show, Morte said it is their attempt to remind the audiences the struggles of humanity and the advances it has made.

The Italian protest song was first sung by women working in paddy fields and later adopted as the anti-fascist anthem by Italian Resistance.

“I’m well aware of the icons of the show and how powerful they have been. We have the red jumpsuits, the Dali masks and the anthem ‘Bella Ciao’, which is a very interesting detail. Human beings have gone through processes that have somehow marked history. It’s something we mustn’t forget. For us to put this anthem again on the table, is a way of telling the audience that we mustn’t forget what we have achieved. We must try not to go backwards, always forwards,” Morte said.

In the fourth season of the show, the actor said, The Professor starts losing control with his gang stuck inside the Bank of Spain and his girlfriend, ex-cop Raquel, caught by the police.

“It is made complicated by enabling this character to be dragged by the things of the heart because he always says that his brain is an engine. He tries not to have anything sentimental influence what he does. It is funny to see him fall into the trap he condemns everyone about,” Morte explains.

To make his character interesting, the 45-year-old came up with personality traits like The Professor’s habit of adjusting his glasses when he is nervous.

“I love to study my characters and include the physical point of view. I analyse the character from inside and then add gestures the physicality that, I think, goes along with the character. For The Professor, I inspired myself from the superhero universe. I find his glasses to be like a mask. I found a very specific way of doing it in this double movement. I studied a lot to include this in the character,” he said.

Asked about the change the show has brought in his life, Morte said it is a mixed bag.

“On a professional level, it has changed many things. I have many projects on the table right now thanks to the show. I feel really grateful. But on a personal level, it has been difficult as I feel I have lost my anonymity. We are observed all the time. I try to protect my family as much as possible from it,” he concluded.

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