Next Friday June 18 is the date chosen by Netflix to premiere the fourth season of ‘Elite’. You will still have to wait a few days to see the new episodes, but in Espinof we had the opportunity to interview Carlos Montero, one of the creators of the series, especially what awaits us ahead. A good aperitif to make the wait more bearable
The changes of the fourth season
Carlos, how has your role in the series changed in the fourth season compared to the previous ones?
It has not changed much, because I was not writing in the second and the third. Well, in the second one a chapter, but the coordination was carried out by Darío and I was already in executive production. Here I am still the same. I am in all the script meetings, I do decide a lot of script things, but then I am not writing. The change above all is that before there was Darío and now there is Jaime Vaca, who are two different people with different energies, but the two are very close friends and I have worked with them for many years. In that sense, the transition has been very natural and logical, really.
What was it that led you to choose Jaime Vaca as your new showrunner?
Jaime already had experience as a series creator with ‘The other look’. I’ve known him since ‘Physics or Chemistry’. When I left the series, I left him and Carlos Ruano coordinating … And Jaime had been with us since the second season of ‘Elite’. It was the logical thing to do, and he was delighted to take over.
In addition to the new characters, what is the main novelty of the fourth season compared to the previous ones?
The universe remains the same, the tone more or less as well. Obviously, Jaime has given him his character and energy, it shows there. The big change is that his personality is there, and then the series has a lot of strength, it is very fresh, it is more brazen. It was before, but now even more so.
How did the ‘Elite: Short Stories’ project come about?
Between Netflix and us. Netflix both wanted to expand the universe a bit and Darío and I had really wanted to tell things, to close some stories a little, to return to take characters that were no longer there. The possibility of doing so arose. I invented this format of the short stories of three short chapters to tell a story. We are super proud, because at first it was a bit dizzying to write in this format, but later we found something very cool there, because it is more intimate, smaller. By not being tied to a mystery plot, you can explore other things. I am looking forward to seeing it to see what you think. Darío and I are very happy.
Did it come before or after season four?
It was written almost the entire fourth season and there we went back, yes. In fact, Jaime was working on the fourth while Darío and I were writing ‘Elite: Short Stories’.
The new characters
Of the new characters, the signing of Diego Martín catches my attention. Was it easier to have him in mind for the character of Benjamin?
We liked Diego a lot and he has more than proven experience. In that sense it was easier, but when we wrote the character, we weren’t thinking of anyone in particular. Later when his name comes up it’s fantastic. He is great in the series and it is the first time that an adult character has so much weight.
In the case of Ari, Patrick, Mencía and Phillippe, they all have their own romantic-sexual plot, which of them was the one that emerged earlier in the construction process of the fourth season?
I think Patrick’s. We really wanted to explore open relationships in such an explicit way. In addition, we wanted to put a very powerful character in the middle of that relationship between Omar and Ander that everyone loves so much. We knew that Patrick, first as a character and then with Manu Ríos, was the best way to shake that relationship.
And what would you say each of the new characters brings to ‘Elite’?
In this season, above all, we are talking about privilege. They are four characters richer than the rich. In the other seasons it revolved more around the collision with the poor who arrived. Here we liked to play the opposite, that they are richer and more privileged. They are aware of it and quite capricious. He has a very big ego. At first they can even be quite unpleasant for you, but soon you start to love them, because their ego works a bit as a barrier to avoid suffering.
In the case of Phillippe, what references did you use to build a prince of our time?
We talk a lot about it. In the end it is a mix between totally fictional films like ‘Princess by surprise’ in which everything is very fake, but we wanted it to also have that air of glamor. And then you see a little the heirs of the crowns as they are, how little you can read, especially through the gossip magazines. Between all of you you are making a mix.
The future of ‘Elite’ (and of Montero himself)
The fourth season is partly a new beginning, because part of the cast remains but another part is new, how do you see the future of ‘Elite’ when there are no longer any of the original actors?
There we will have to see if the brand is strong enough to withstand it. In the fourth we will see it, because in the fourth the new ones have a lot of strength and prominence. We believe that if the fourth season works, there will be ‘Elite’ for a while.
Now that ‘The Paper House’ is coming to an end, is there any chance that Christian and Nano will return to the series or has their story on the series already concluded?
I do not know, that’s the truth. Jaime is already in ‘El Cid’ and Miguel will have a thousand films. They are both very good and they do not lack work. I don’t think they have much interest in returning to ‘Elite’. If they wanted to go back, then obviously we would find a way to fit it.
With how physical the series is, perhaps even more so in this fourth season, did any adjustments have to be made for the coronavirus?
Obviously, all the protocols had to be followed and all the actors have PCR every week, I don’t know if antigens every three or four days … Of course, but once that is over, no. We knew we had to shoot ‘Elite’ as it has always been shot, because if not, it was another series. It would be very ridiculous if ‘Elite’ did not have all that physical part. We thought about it at the beginning, especially because I think we were the second series to start shooting with the whole pandemic. At first, we were not quite sure how to do it, but we decided together that if the protocol was strictly followed, it could be done as usual.
What character from any other series do you think could be a good fit in the ‘Elite’ universe?
Well I do not know. I can think of actors, but characters … This series has such a unique universe that I think that any element from outside can be distorted. I think … could any of ‘La casa de papel’ be there? They are so strong that they would like to rob the school on the second day. I do not know.
Finally, what can you tell us about ‘Fair’?
We are delighted. Yesterday I was watching the montage of chapters 7 and 8. I think it is a series that is going to surprise a lot because it has a very new tone. It is a mix between thriller, fantasy and horror. It comes out of the disturbed head of Agustín Martínez, which is a series mostly about him. I’m helping him out and I’m delighted that my name is there.