entrevías It broadcasts its last chapter this Tuesday, which has become the most successful series of the season on general television and with its international premiere on Netflix scheduled for this Friday, May 20. Throughout its 16 episodes, the plots of this Mediaset and Alea Media production set in a problematic fictional neighborhood have fueled the debate on how Spanish fiction shows immigrant and racialized characters.
The Telecinco series starts with Tirso (José Coronado), an ex-military man who runs a hardware store who does not like what his neighborhood has become. The place has gone from being populated by the rural exodus to globalization caused by the arrival of immigrants. His view of his world begins to change when he has to take care of his adoptive granddaughter, Irene (Nona Sobo), a young woman of Vietnamese origin for a while. Also when the Cuban Gladys, a working woman who sees how her son Nelson gets involved with drug dealers in the area, moves to the apartment opposite.
After the broadcast of the first chapter, the residents of the Madrid neighborhood of Vallecas felt alluded to since the place where the fiction is set shares the same name. The neighborhood associations sent a letter to the producer lamenting the bad image that the series gave to the area. The main screenwriter, David Bermejo, already told this newspaper that, as the plot progressed, the viewer could verify that the premise of entrevías It was based precisely on analyzing and dismantling some clichés around which a part of Spanish society is still governed.
The two performers who play mother and son on screen as the protagonist’s new neighbors, Laura Ramos (Havana, Cuba, 43 years old) and Felipe Londoño (Medellín, Colombia, 27 years old), came to the series with very different experiences in the Spanish audiovisual. For the actress, it meant her return to the country, where she has worked intermittently since she filmed Havana Quartet (1998), by Fernando Colomo, together with Javier Cámara and Ernesto Alterio. During this time, she has also participated in productions in Brazil and, especially, in Colombia, where she has felt less pigeonholed by enjoying “characters whose nationality has not even been considered nor have they had to justify their origin.” Wherever she has gone, the actress has had to change her accent. But in Colombia “they have been more open in the integration of foreigners and a reality that is not now,” she comments at the beginning of May in a telematic conversation.
Ramos believes that, over time, Spanish scripts have been able to give nuances to this type of profile and “reflect that enormous work that a large majority of the Latin population goes through to insert themselves into Spanish society.” Although, he admits, none of his previous roles shot in Spain have gone as far as Gladys. “Some characters are good, but they are small. entrevías he has delved into a complexity and a number of contradictions and has enriched his discourse. She has moved away from what we have seen as a stereotype on other occasions. He has brought it closer to a Spanish public that I think is still in need of finding that reality”.
For Londoño, on the other hand, this has been his first experience in Spain and also outside his native Colombia. It was the fastest casting of his life. His agent asked him to record a camera test and, a few days later, he was already part of the cast led by José Coronado and Luis Zahera. In his personal experience, he arrived in Spain “with many unknowns”, but he has felt so well received that he is already starting the procedures to live and work in Madrid. “The platforms already put together a great series for you with a Chilean, an Argentine, a Colombian… That helps change the mentality. After entrevías, I have done quite a few tests in Spain and they have given me the opportunity to prepare them with a Spanish accent. They do not refuse to try it because he is Latino, ”she also comments on the screen.
In his opinion, the Telecinco series “blurs stigmas and humanizes characters that are not usually so visible in the Spanish media.” Since he appeared on screen playing Nelson, he has received messages “from Latino people from everywhere who say: it is good that these issues are beginning to be addressed.” Ramos, on the other hand, points out that the vast majority of viewers who have written to him are Spanish. “In a way, I feel that the goal was achieved and that the characters reach the whole world for their humanity.”
The seed of everything is in the script, both actors defend, so having racialized professionals or first or second generation immigrants behind the camera is also necessary for Spanish fiction to build stories with greater propriety.
In search of the blind castines
Limbo Productions Association is a cultural organization that brings together artists and creators of color in Spain. It is chaired by Malcolm Treviño-Sitté, an actor who has worked on series such as Pepe’s beach bar (Telecinco) and in Once upon a time… but not anymore (Netflix) and has recently achieved something unprecedented in Spain so far. Last Wednesday, May 4, the non-law proposition was approved promoted by this association and aimed at implanting in the Community of Madrid the open or color-blind castingwith the support of 4 of the 5 political groups represented in the Madrid Parliament.
With this initiative, it seeks to promote equal opportunities in access to work for all actors and actresses, through the Madrid regional government and its agencies. Its objective is “to promote the implementation of open castings in theatrical and audiovisual productions so that, in selection processes in which the ethnic origin of the characters is not defined by script or historical issues, access to them be the same for all applicants, regardless of their ethnic origin, ”said Asociación Limbo Producciones last week in a statement. “This does not imply forcing productions to include quotas but, on the contrary, it seeks to grant the same job opportunities to all actors and actresses,” the text clarifies.
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