May 27, 2022 12:23 pm

Maggie Civantos gets into the skin of a criminal psychologist in Express: “I hope this series helps the viewer to rethink how we are living”

The next January 16 arrives Express, the first Spanish series of Starzplay created by Ivan Escobar; best known for hits like Boat Y Vis a Vis. His protagonist, although he looks a little different, is also familiar to us. Famous for playing Macarena Ferreiro in Vis a Vis and Angeles Vidal in The Cable Girls, Maggie Civantos returns to streaming with this new bet that addresses a very current social problem: express kidnappings.

With a brown look, the actress puts herself in the shoes of a criminal psychologist named Bárbara, who -after having been the victim of this terrifying form of extortion- decides to work as a negotiator in similar cases with the intention of helping other victims and discovering who cracked his life forever. “I wanted to achieve a character who is a leader, decisive and strong but, at the same time, very empathetic, because Barbara comes with her little backpack and her traumas, something that she will have to face throughout the eight chapters of this story.”, warned the protagonist, who had to have several talks with criminologists to compose this role.

In addition to exposing the insecurity and inefficiency of the police and justice in the foreground, this proposal will try to make the viewer reflect on this “express” way in which we are living as a society lately. “This character has made me think that you have to stop more and see where you want to stop,” Maggie Civantos confessed to THE NATION very mobilized by what this project meant on a personal level.

-What can you tell us about? Express?

-This series is very particular because it combines many genres. It is very entertaining but, at the same time, it talks about very complex issues; strikes a chord with deep, interesting characters. The protagonist is Bárbara, a criminal psychologist who decides to set up an anti-kidnapping rescue team on her own. This team is very diverse, which is going to add a lot of adrenaline, action and thriller to the plot. In addition, each chapter deals with a different case.

-Bárbara has a strong dissociation: on the one hand, as a victim of this type of insecurity and on the other, as the head of a team to counter this type of crime…

-Exactly. She brings together this group of people who don’t know each other but who have a common goal. It is very nice to see how the ties between them are developing, how what they do unites them, and how the team is growing in this sense. And on the other hand, we see his personal traumas and his relationship with his own family. In this point, the plot is very close to the reality that, today, we women who have the demand to be number one in our jobs and also the best mothers live. I think that in this sense a series of very current issues are touched on that make this story a very authentic, entertaining and exciting proposal at the same time.

Maggie Civantos as Barbara, a victim who sets up an anti-kidnapping rescue teamThe nation

-How was the composition process of this character? From what we see, in principle you had to leave behind the blond…

-It was a proposal from Ivan [Escobar, showrunner de la serie]. It was something that I had been thinking about, but I always wanted it to be linked to the need for a character and it came. Regarding the composition came a bit given by the script. I always wanted to make her lame, although at first they wouldn’t let me (laughs). As for the psychology of the character, I tried to think about how he places himself in relation to this trauma he has after having lived through a kidnapping. In each chapter, we will see how he has a lot of empathy with the victims, but at the same time he suffers from it. And that sometimes makes it difficult and not act in the coldest and most objective way possible. Deep down, it’s all very recent and he still hasn’t resolved his trauma.

-What was the most interesting thing about playing this psychologist?

-Creating a leading character, decisive, with strength but who -at the same time- is vulnerable and empathic because of what has happened to him in his past was my biggest challenge. Also, the whole family part of having a teenage daughter and dealing with those issues. It was a challenge but, at the same time, what I enjoyed the most.

– Is there something you have in common with Barbara?

-Yes, his vulnerability and determination. Also, I identify with the fact that she is very stubborn and that when she wants something she perseveres. Then I have many differences in which I say: “But why does this woman react like this?” But in general I feel very reflected. Especially in this of living to a thousand, running for all the places at the same time; I think it’s something that represents many women. This character has made me think that you have to stop more and see where you want to stop. It is a conclusion that I have drawn with Barbara.

"The plot is very close to the reality that, today, we women who have the demand to be number one in our jobs and also the best mothers live"
“The plot is very close to the reality that, today, we live as women who have the demand to be number one in our jobs and also the best mothers”

-The pandemic has also come to make us reflect on many of these things… How did it change you?

-Absolutely. Express It was the first production I did after confinement and this situation of so many months without working has put me in a position to see where one wants to stand from now on. Where and with whom. Undoubtedly, this has helped me to reaffirm certain reflections that had been going around in my head. Hopefully this series will help the viewer to rethink how we are living.

-The plot not only talks about living in an increasingly hasty way, but also about having an ineffective justice system and having to “take justice into one’s own hands”… How are these issues that have a great impact on the actor addressed? the society?

-With a lot of responsibility. Above all, in the way it is told, since the subject is quite delicate. But in reality, my work does not come so much here, but rather the work of the writers, directors and a whole team behind it. I can focus on my little plot and work on it with care and delicacy, but there are things that are stipulated in the script and it is a more collective work, and I think we have achieved it. I believe that these issues, which are so complex, have been treated with great respect.

-The series also talks about fears. We’ll see what Barbara’s fears are, but now tell us about yours… What things are Maggie afraid of?

-The series wants to demonstrate how fear has very different manifestations and can collapse you. Barbara is completely stunned by fear and there comes a time when she has to face them. Although I am full of fears (of all kinds), in that sense I am very different from her. When something scares me, the first thing I do is face it, because otherwise nothing good can come of it. I’m a bit of a kamikaze, I always confront them in one way or another. It’s like I dive headfirst without a parachute and then I see. In that sense, the character is much more cautious; I, however, believe that there is no other way to face them. Also, if you think too much that makes you more afraid, then I don’t think about it, I do it and that’s it.

Express premieres this Sunday on Starzplay
Express premieres this Sunday on StarzplayThe nation

-You are always characterized by playing strong and empowered women: Macarena in Vis a Vis, angels in The Cable Girls… What does a project have to have for you to say yes?

-In my case, it is not that the character leads but that he has a good representation within the story. A character who takes charge of his actions, who is well represented, who has respect. As a woman I am concerned that the representation is as close as possible to reality and that it is not at the service of the plot.

-In the series, your character necessarily changes jobs. What would you do if you had to change your profession at this point in life?

-Mmm, I think I would be a dancer. Yes, I would be a dancer or do something related to education.

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