Let me start off by saying, I was late to the Money Heist party. I heard my colleagues erupt in choruses of Bella Ciao (when we were still sitting next to each other!) and just smiled and ignored (like I do on group chats now).
But, with all the time that quarantine has left me with, getting started on Money Heist was a no-brainer. And now, I’m obsessed. With the show, and even more so, with the Professor.
When I ended season 1, I was in love with the character. Because in a span of 9 (really long) episodes, the Professor proved to be one of the most intelligent, fictional characters I’d ever come across.
Almost in the league of Tony Stark (almost, I said, almost!). But, I put that down to just intelligent writing.
However, by the end of season 4, I am not just in love with the Professor, but also Álvaro Morte – the actor who so convincingly plays the Professor, it’s almost like he was born to be a master of robberies.
Just like Robert Downey Jr. was born to play Iron Man. Just saying.
The Professor is definitely not Morte’s first stint in front of the camera. The 45-year-old actor has been wowing the audience with his barely-there, shy smile and intense stares since 2002.
But it was his role of the Professor aka Salva aka Sergio Maquina, in Money Heist (La Casa De Papel), which earned him worldwide recognition. And why wouldn’t it?
As fans of the show are aware of, Professor is the brains behind each large-scale, impressive AF robbery.
Even if you’re a saint who has never done a bad deed, you’d have to appreciate the Professor’s detailed planning. Even if it is for a robbery!
But what wins you over is not just his attention to details, but rather, his humble, almost unassuming manner.
The professor cooks up some of the elaborate robberies in the fictional crime universe, and still maintains a demeanour that reminds you of your favourite uncle in the family. The one you go to for hugs and candies.
But when he is devising contingency plans upon contingency plans, or silently choke-slamming someone to sleep, you can see his whole persona transform.
He literally lights up at the thought of having outsmarted his opponent. And we light up, watching him in action.
In my humble opinion, this is exactly where Morte’s natural charisma comes to play. Because, one look at him (or rather, his Instagram account), and you know he’s got charisma in spades.
Additionally, while there is no discounting his on-point portrayal of the intelligent but shy planner, season 4 also exposed us to the Professor’s vulnerabilities and need for revenge.
And it allowed us to enjoy the range that Álvaro Morte can deliver.
For me, what started as a genuine appreciation for the show’s writers has transformed into a one-sided loved affair for the show’s protagonist.
And that is probably because of how well Morte has portrayed a character as complex and lovable as the Professor.
Let’s just say, the Professor has me convinced I am a sapiosexual. And Álvaro Morte has me hunting down his filmography on Netflix. Now that’s what I call the perfect quarantine distraction!