Arturo Valls, Carlos Areces, Pilar Castro and Toni Acosta, among others, star in the series ‘Sin novedad’, which this Sunday hits HBO Max
Fun, agile and, above all, fresh. These are the adjectives that come to mind when watching the six episodes that make up ‘Without novelty’, the new series that from today, and in one fell swoop, is available on HBO Max. Six actors -some more, there are also cameos by comedians such as Henar Álvarez, Goyo González or Miguel Maldonado- and three scenarios support this fiction around the nights on duty of two policemen (Arturo Valls and Carlos Areces), the two thugs a those who watch (Toni Acosta and Omar Banana) and the two people in charge of the switchboard at the police station (Pilar Castro and Adriana Torrebejano). What seems to be the great police operation of the year goes into the background because there is no movement whatsoever. And around the dialogues that arise when one waits, a series is built as tight in budget as it is suggestive.
Of Australian origin, Rodrigo Sopeña and Álex Mendíbil have been in charge of adapting the fiction to these parts. “The series came to me through Warner’s producer Clara Nieto. They sought me out, I think, for having been the script coordinator for ‘Camera café’, seeing that the series had a certain connection with it in terms of format, for leaving the actors in more or less fixed scenes, where the dialogue is the most important thing ”, explains Mendíbil.
With the Australian scripts already in hand, the work of those responsible for the series consisted of bringing Australian humor, “something more eschatological and childish”, closer to ours. Also, in the original series, the thug couple is made up of two tough guys, looking like lifelong movie noir thugs. “Here we wanted to change that and almost all its plots and dialogues could be said to be practically new.”
It is not the only aspect where they put their hand. Australian fiction was shot on chroma, but in Spain it has been shot in real settings. “That has allowed for a little more action,” says Mendíbil, “within the limits that are still restricted to the space of each of the couples.”
“It is the great difference with the original,” says Carlos Areces. The actor spent six nights in a car with Arturo Valls, his partner in the series, to shoot his part. “In the Australian the characters rarely get out of the car and when they do, they hardly interact with the exterior elements. We have allowed ourselves to go out, take a walk, have a dialogue outside, “he says. For Areces, ‘Sin novedad’ has been one of the “most comfortable” shootings he remembers, although shooting at night, as he says, is “unbearable”.
«The hardest thing about recording is waiting. It is very boring to have the typical ten-page sequence in which you only have two sentences, because in the middle of the shots you don’t go out, and in the other shots where you go out you have to be there, as a turnip. That is very tedious, “he clarifies. However, “when you’re talking all the time, when it’s a two-character dialogue, it’s much easier to be active, that keeps you awake and keeps you interested in what you’re developing. And if you’re sitting in a car on top, it’s very comfortable, “he says with a laugh.
Shot in record time -16 days-, it is worth asking if it is more difficult to build a production with little action and that basically revolves around dialogue. “For me,” Areces replies, “it has been a pleasant novelty.” And he argues: «The usual thing, especially when you make movies, is that you say two sentences and they cut because you change position, the cameras change … Here, as everything was inside the car, you can play with the real rhythm, you play With pauses, you speed up when you want … There is a special chemistry. And since we recorded the short shots and the general shot at the same time, you didn’t have to wait for your feet to avoid stepping on you, you didn’t have to be remembering what you had done in the general shot so that later there would be no record. Each pass was a new take and you could play it differently, focusing primarily on the dialogue and the script. ”
That there was already a friendship and a previous relationship with Arturo Valls also made things easier. “Imagine you get there and get along like the Ramones or Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in ‘What Happened to Baby Jane?'” He jokes.
I saw a policeman waiting for something to happen, but is Carlos Areces waiting for things to happen or looking for them? «I am about letting life act. I like routine until I get bored of it. I like certain routines, my friends, going to the movies, but I also like that there are certain doses of surprise, as long as they are pleasant, “he says. «I don’t like routine at work, for example. I like to be able to change, do different projects and that they have nothing to do with each other to be able to be, but the work routine I do find it very tedious because I also worked in an office and this closed hours, of eight hours, it was bad enough. I like that on a routine basis, there are incentives.
‘No News’ is available on HBO Max.