The Spanish crime/heist television drama La Casa de Papel or Money Heist (2017-2021) is the world’s one of the most-watched, loved, and discussed drama series. Netflix started streaming it in December 2017, and soon it was the most-watched series on Netflix. Money Heist (2017-2021) has received several local and international award nominations for its screenplay, direction, costume, and acting by the cast. It is a critically acclaimed and commercially hit series and has high ratings on online rating websites such as; 93% approval rate on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and an 8.3/10 rating on IMDb.
Money Heist (2017-2021) follows the story of The Professor, a criminal mastermind who puts a team of eight highly skilled criminals to pull off the greatest heist/robbery in recorded history. The series consists of four seasons and 31 episodes so far. The fifth season/part 5 of the series will begin streaming on Netflix on September 3rd, 2021.
Cast of Money Heist
Alvaro Morte as The Professor
The criminal mastermind, who puts together a team of criminals to pull off the greatest robbery in history.
Ursula Corbero as Tokyo
A fugitive, robber, heist team member, narrator of the story.
Miguel Herran as Rio
Young computer expert and hacker, and Tokyo’s love interest.
Itziar Ituno as Raquel Murillo
A National Police inspector, who is in charge at the crime scene.
Alba Flores as Nairobi
A forgery expert, heist team member.
Jaime Lorente as Denver
Moscow’s son, heist team member.
Pedro Alonso as Berlin
Professor’s older brother and his second-in-command, who is terminally ill.
Esther Acebo as Monica Gaztambide
A hostage, who later joins Professor’s team.
Darko Peric as Helsinki
Heist team member, A former Serbian soldier.
Enrique Arce as Arturo Roman
A hostage, Former director of the Royal Mint of Spain.
Amazing Facts about Money Heist
The Original Title
The original title of the show is “La Casa de Papel” which means “The House of Paper”. When Netflix got the rights to stream the show online, they changed its name to Money Heist.
One of the Most Popular Series
Money Heist (2017-2021) is the most-watched non-English language show on Netflix since the time it was released on Netflix. It also remained on #1 on IMDb’s Most Popular television shows list. After Netflix received the international rights to stream the series online, the show went on to receive several local and international awards including an Iris Award in the Best Screenplay category. Not a lot of people know this but Money Heist failed in Spain and the creators thought of canceling the show. Thanks to Netflix it is now one of the most-watched series around the world.
The First Character Name They Decided was ‘Tokyo’
One day the creator of the show Alex Pina showed up for work wearing a shirt. The name “Tokyo” was written on the shirt, and while talking about the show, they thought “Tokyo” would be a great name for a character in the show. So the first name they ever decided on was Tokyo. And other names such as Moscow, Berlin, and Denver were decided in the next fifteen (15) minutes.
All the heist members chose the names of famous cities all around the world as their nicknames/fake names such as Berlin, Helsinki, Nairobi, Moscow, Tokyo, Oslo, Lisbon, Bogota, Denver, Palermo, Marseille, and Rio de Janeiro.
The Money Heist was actually a limited Spanish television series that consisted of a total of fifteen (15) episodes. The duration of each episode was around 70 minutes. The Antena 3 network aired these episodes in two parts. They initially released nine (9) episodes and released the other six episodes after a break. Netflix cut the duration down to 45 minutes per episode for the American audience and divided 9 episodes into thirteen episodes in the first season. Then they cut the remaining six episodes into 9 episodes for the second season.
The famous “Bella Ciao” song which is used in the series on many occasions is actually a partisan hymn that was adapted from a late 19th-century Italian country-folk song. The song is famous around the world and is used in anti-fascist movements, as a freedom song, and as a survival time song when things get tough. In WWII, the Italians used the “Bella Ciao” song as a representation of their resistance against Benito Mussolini. Bella Ciao
At the beginning of the third season of Money Heist, there are some words written above a doorway that read “Una Mattina mi sono alzato” which translates to “one morning I got up”. This is the first line of the folk song “Bella Ciao”.
When the Actors Receive the Script
The creators of Money Heist did not provide the whole script of the show to the actors at once. They used to send the script for each episode sometimes before they were supposed to start filming. The actors of the show have described it as a really exciting experience as even they would not know the fate of their own character in the show. Alvaro Morte (The Professor) has stated that the actors would text each other after getting their scripts for the next episode in wonder and excitement.
No Complete Script
The director of the series Alex Pina told during an interview that they did not finalize or write the whole story of a single series. They deliberately did this to see that where this would lead the story and they also thought that this would help them create chaos.
Who is ‘Tokyo’ Based on?
Tokyo is one of the most famous and most loved and admired characters of the show. She is one of the most important and lead characters in the series. The role of Tokyo is played by the Spanish actress Ursula Corbero. The Tokyo character in Money Heist is very much inspired by the character of Mathilda in the film Leon: The Professional (1994), which was played by Natalie Portman.
Every Money Heist (2017-2021) knows and loves Denver’s laugh. The writers of the show included it in the script that Denver would have a very unique and trashy laugh. The actors who auditioned for the role of Denver, all showed up with their own perception of Denver’s laugh and tried many different laughs. The creators of the show loved Jaime Lorente’s audition and of course his laugh and cast him to play the role of Denver.
The Filming Site Problems
The creators of the show wanted to film the outside scenes on the actual Royal Mint of Spain location. But the institution did not allow them to shoot it there, so the outside of the ‘heist’ building scenes was shot in Madrid at the Spanish Research Council building.
The crew members of the show wanted to visit the Bank of Spain to design its replica on set. But the bank authorities did not allow them to do so. So the inside of the bank that we see in the show is all fictional.
The Famous Robbery Masks
The idea for the robbery masks is taken from Salvador Dali, a renowned surrealist Spanish artist who is known for his remarks on creating confusion and making imagination limitless. This is actually exactly what the professor and his team are doing in the show.
Who Plays Rio?
The youngest member of the professor’s heist team in Rio is nineteen (19) years old at the time of the first heist. The Spanish actor Miguel Herran who played the role of Rio in the series, was twenty (20) years old when the filming of the series began.
The Man Who Refused to Play the Role of Professor
The famous Spanish actor Javier Gutierrez was offered the role of ‘the professor’ in the film. But he turned down the role as he was busy filming the television film Champions (2018) at the time.
Berlin and Professor
The creator of the show revealed in an interview that the Professor is the younger brother of Berlin. They have different last names which mean that they either had different father or mother.
Not a lot of people know this but the professor and Berlin were not brothers in the original script. They both created the back story of their own characters and shared it with the writers. Professor and Berlin thought that the professor would be Berlin’s younger and they would have the same father. They also created a back story of their ability to speak Russian, which is that Berlin took professor for some medical treatment to Russia and they spent some time there when they were young.
Neymar is also in Money Heist
The renowned Brazilian football star Neymar played the role of a monk in the series in a cameo appearance. He loves the show. There are many other international stars who love the show including the King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan.