In Netflix’s “Money Heist,” or “La Casa de Papel,” the driving force of the series was the gang pulling off its biggest heist: taking the Bank of Spain – and its gold − hostage. In its prequel, “Berlin” (now streaming), the heist takes a backseat as the titular character (reprised by Pedro Alonso) engages in a different type of pursuit.

Now, we’re “stealing the mythology of romantic love from the French,” Alonso quips during an interview with USA TODAY conducted in Spanish. The new series takes place years before the “very dark, murky and dangerous” character finds out about his terminal diagnosis and before he joins his half-brother The Professor (Álvaro Morte) in robbing the Bank of Spain.

“Berlin” was also created by Álex Pina and his Sky Rojo collaborator Esther Martínez Lobato and gives the backstory to the character’s time as a jewelry thief as he attempts to pull off a major heist, stealing $44 million euros worth of jewels in Paris, which belonged to royals from across Europe. To pull off the heist, Berlin enlists Cameron (Begoña Vargas), Roi (Julio Peña), Keila (Michelle Jenner), Bruce (Joel Sánchez) and Damían Vázquez (Tristán Ulloa) to round out his team.

Alonso describes “Berlin” as “much less dense” and “much more free of torment” than the original material.

‘Berlin’ is a (dark) romantic comedy, focusing on moments of ‘grand splendor’
Amid the heist, Berlin gets caught up obsessing over Camille (Samantha Siqueiros), the wife of one of the men he’s stalking in hopes of getting intel about the jewelry whereabouts.

Losing himself in his infatuation with Camille, whom he’s only known via security cameras planted in her and her husband’s flat, Berlin orchestrates a fake meet-cute, introduces himself as Simon, and quickly, Camille falls for the bit and the two begin their steamy love affair.

“We’ve continued to discover that the hidden side of Berlin was increasingly luminous,” Alonso says. “Now we’ve thrown ourselves into a different energetic galaxy, now we’ve thrown ourselves into comedy, romantic comedy and into a moment of grand splendor for the character.”

Although the character’s DNA is that of someone “always very ambivalent and always unpredictable, there’s something that’s more feel-good movie protagonist about him here,” Alonso says.

Following delays in the development of the spinoff because of the pandemic and then watching as the Russia-Ukraine war unfolded, Alonso says, he and the team wanted to give viewers a sense of levity.

“During the first month or so of filming, the word we repeated the most was tone. What is the new tone of the character?” Alonso says. “On the one hand, we did not want to denature Berlin’s character whose part of his magic is danger.”

Pedro Alonso reinvented ‘energy’ of Berlin for spinoff
By the end of “Money Heist” Season 2, Berlin dies taking one for the team since his terminal illness would kill him anyway. But because the character had already generated “incredible sympathy” from viewers, the creators continued to delve into his past through flashbacks in the seasons that followed.

“We all thought the character had incredible potential to continue evolving his dramatic arc, even independently,” Alonso says.

Reprising his character of Berlin for this spinoff gave Alonso some pause given the media frenzy and “madness” that ensued with “Money Heist,” but “it took me a day and a half to say yes” to the role.

Then, it was all about “reinventing the energy of the character.” Alonso adds, “Berlin continues to show us that his character has an incredible ability to jump between genres, tones and galaxies like few other characters that I have ever known.”

Does anyone from Netflix’s ‘Money Heist’ appear in ‘Berlin’?
While the prequel doesn’t feature the full original cast from “Money Heist,” Alicia Sierra (Najwa Nimri) and Raquel Murillo (Itziar Ituño) reprise their characters.

Being part of the Robin Hood-esque group of strangers that robbed the Royal Mint of Spain in “Money Heist” seemingly wasn’t the first time Berlin’s path semi-crossed with Sierra and Murrillo. In “Berlin,” both women are part of the law enforcement teams coming together to investigate the heist Berlin and his team tried to pull off.

‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ S2 ending unpacked: Is Lisa guilty? And is the show renewed?

Will Netflix’s ‘Berlin’ get a Season 2?
There has been no official confirmation from Netflix on whether “Berlin” will get a Season 2. “Only time will tell,” Alonso tells USA TODAY.

How ‘Money Heist’ became a global hit
“Money Heist,” which premiered in 2017 on Spain’s Antena 3 before Netflix acquired the show later that year, has become one of the streaming service’s most popular non-English series.

“We didn’t even create the show for Netflix, so it was completely surprising,” the show’s creator told USA TODAY in 2021, adding that the level of success it reached “happens only once in a lifetime, and it just so happened to us.”

Per Netflix in 2021, about 65 million subscribers watched at least a few minutes of the fourth season of “Money Heist” in the first four weeks of its April 2020 release, during the pandemic, and the show made its overall top 10 list in 51 countries, including Vietnam, India and Portugal, as it did in the U.S. when the first half of the final season arrived that year.

The show ended in December 2021. Aside from “Berlin,” the show’s popularity has also spawned other Netflix series. In 2022, “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area” premiered on the streaming platform.


By Damyan Ivanov

My name is Damyan Ivanov and i was born in 1998 in Varna, Bulgaria. Graduated high school in 2016 and since then i'm working on wordpress news websites.