Money Heist star Enrique Arce has revealed he fought against the inclusion of a storyline in which his character sexually assaults a fellow bank heist hostage.
The Spanish actor has played former Royal Mint director Arturo Roman on the hit Netflix thriller since its first season, who has been a consistent thorn in the side of the Salvador Dali gang of robbers.
In the first two seasons, he organises several escape attempts to varying degrees of success, which are often foiled by his own incompetence or cowardice in moments sometimes played as comic relief.
However, the character took a very dark turn in Money Heist season four, when he drugged and sexually assaulted Bank of Spain employee Amanda (played by Olalla Hernández), in a scene that left many fans shocked.
Arce himself was surprised at the decision and attempted to talk the showrunners out of taking this direction, fearing it would “kill” the character’s appeal as a comical villain.
“I was disappointed and I did tell the creator and executive producer,” he told RadioTimes.com. “I said: ‘I think the character is miserable as it is already in a joking, funny way’.
“What I tried to tell the creative team, I said ‘you’re killing the soul of this character by doing this scene where he molests the governor’s secretary’.
“And I pleaded, I pleaded, I couldn’t sleep for days thinking about that scene, because I really don’t even believe in that as fiction. So, when that happened and I had to do it… OK, fine, but then I was like, ‘Oh, you killed the character. You killed it.’”
By the end of season four, Arturo’s fellow hostages have become wise to his manipulative ways and support Amanda after she comes forward, but Arce has hinted that there could be some redemption for the character in the final season.
The first five episodes launch later this week and the actor has said that they “revitalised the quote-unquote ‘hero’ in [Arturo]”, as the Bank of Spain heist reaches its conclusion.
Arce added: “It’s going to be a tear jerker. This first volume is almost like adrenaline-filled and then it kind of melts down to an amazingly beautiful, well-resolved ending. We’ve heard of [fans of] other series being disappointed with endings; this, my friend, is not going to be one of them.”
If you want spoiler-filled details on the Money Heist season five, part one ending, including the latest character to be killed off on the show, read our full breakdown here.