Álvaro Rico plays a young rapist in ‘Alba’, the series broadcast by Antena 3 on Wednesday nights
The actor Álvaro Rico (La Puebla de Montalbán, Toledo, 25 years old) gets into the skin of a rapist in his role in the series ‘Alba’, which broadcasts Antena 3 on Wednesdays, starting at 10:45 p.m. In fiction, he plays Jacobo Entrerríos, a cruel and manipulative young man who aspires to one day run the family business, and who participates in a multiple rape. In this way, the interpreter adds a new project to his brief but intense professional career, where he reached the highest quotas of popularity thanks to the series ‘Elite’.
-How does an actor prepare for a role as complicated as that of a rapist?
-I always try to prepare the characters in the same way. Now I am faced with the role of a rapist. It involves other perspectives and other ingredients, but in the end I always face the interpretation from the same place: a good job on the script and an analysis to get to know the character until I understand how he thinks with the help of ‘coaches’. I try to give normality to this protagonist, in particular, as it could be any other. Once we start to delve into the character, I can understand that he has nuances and dark sides that others don’t. And on many occasions it has been difficult. I, like Álvaro, am far from the character’s life. But we had to be honest with what we had and play with all the tools and the truth to tell this story.
What was your first thought when receiving this role?
-I was delighted. Because I remember that, when I did the casting and talking about the character, in the end, as an actor, I like to do good roles. This one was, knowing that playing a guy who takes the duty on his own and that he believes he has the right to be able to commit sexual assault. He is an extremely rich character to be able to work on him and deepen. Despite the fact that he must be a hated character in fiction, he is part of the gear to tell and give the message that we want to give in ‘Alba’. That these things happen and that the violations be extinguished.
-Have you felt rejection towards your character?
-Of course. A few days ago, I said that as an actor I always try, as a principle, not to judge the character. But when you have something like that, as much as you don’t want to, in the end you judge him because you’re human. As a citizen you want these things not to happen and there is a kind of internal battle between the actor Álvaro and the person who tries not to judge him, but he does. In the end, we have been honest, we have taken it to the extreme that the story required and I think it has been a good job.
-The recording of the rape of the series was very hard, as other cast members have recalled. Did the filming of other scenes mark you?
– I would say that many. That of rape was perhaps the most explicit. In ‘Alba’ there were many scenes of psychological violence. It has made me think a lot, questioning certain behaviors that we can consider normal in today’s society. Jacobo has made me even a better person or more aware of everything that is happening with gender violence. There were moments of filming that were complicated but, without taking away its importance, in the end we are actors. Within this cruel and raw story, as actors we enjoyed working, because we all went together. You have to enjoy the interpretation of the character.
-Do you think ‘Alba’ can help raise awareness?
-In the end, we make entertainment but the icing on the cake is that the stories we are telling reach homes, serve to create debates and, ultimately, that they can make a better society and change the world. ‘Alba’ is one of those stories that, of course, educate and hopefully generate debates at home. That women and men can see it and reflect, and have solid principles and values. That would be the greatest achievement of fiction.
-Have you been able to see the original series, ‘Fatmagül’?
-I haven’t seen it, because it was a kind of pact we made with the ‘Alba’ management team and the producers. The best thing was not to see ‘Fatmagül’. We know that our fiction drinks from the original but it has been more like an inspiration. It’s not even an adaptation. We wanted to create the character from scratch, without being contaminated by anything.
-For four years it has achieved great popularity, also outside our borders. How have you managed it?
I’m still managing it. They are stages. In the end, what I have tried to do and do is to be focused on what I am and what I want to be. I am an actor who is at the service of the stories and the characters, the people who direct me and the producer who trusts me. All the fireworks that are around me, I understand that they do not belong to my control. And they can affect me more or less. It is an immense privilege that ‘Elite’, in this case, has transcended several borders and the only thing to do is celebrate it because what you want is for your work to reach the greatest number of people. I’m in the middle of that management process, because entering another stage or other projects, in the end I think I’m still growing and maturing and putting things in their place. It is a continuous learning as an actor and, above all, as a person.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.