Arts & Entertainment

Season 8 of narconovela ‘El Señor de los Cielos’ centers on kingpin’s return

Mexico City, Dec 2 (EFE).- The dramatic return of a kingpin who had apparently met his demise is the main attraction in the eighth season of “El Señor de los Cielos” (The Lord of the Skies), an American television series based on the life of notorious Mexican drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes.

Filming of some of the new scenes took place this week at a housing complex in the Mexico City borough of Tlalpan, where lead actor Rafael Amaya, who portrays cartel chief Aurelio Casillas, sat down for an interview with Efe.

He said the new season of that Spanish-language series is “basically the same, but improved and updated, with new stories and intrigues.”

“There are lots of story lines, a lot of parallel narratives. I can’t say much, but we’re innovating and trying to create something that has rarely or never been seen before,” said Amaya, a native of the northwestern Mexican city of Hermosillo.

But he stressed that the main novelty is the return of his character, who had been presumed dead in the seventh season.

“We’re storytellers. We’re lucky to be able to manipulate space and time,” he said in justifying Casillas’ “resurrection.”

More than 600 episodes have been broadcast since the first season debuted in 2013 with Amaya portraying a character inspired by Carrillo (1956-1997), the former head of Mexico’s Juarez Cartel who became known as “The Lord of the Skies” for the large fleet of planes he used to transport drugs.

“Carrillo is part of our culture. He was a very famous and successful drug trafficker … And we see drug trafficking and violence every day on the news. That’s the reality,” he said. “It’s holding a mirror up to what’s happening in our country, but we’re not paying tribute to anything or anybody.”

The eighth season of “El Señor de los Cielos,” a series aired by American Spanish-language TV network Telemundo and produced by Argos Comunicacion and Telemundo Studios, is set to premiere on Jan. 17.

Many other well-known faces from earlier seasons – Mexican actors Carmen Aub and Ivan Arana and Colombia’s Alejandro Lopez – will return, but the new season also will see some new characters played by Africa Zavala, Yuri Vargas and Ruben Cortada.

In an interview with Efe, Zavala admitted to feeling nervous about joining a series that won an International Emmy Award for Non-English Language US Primetime Program in 2014 and was named Premios Tu Mundo’s series of the year three consecutive times (2015-2017).

“It’s been a really cool challenge joining such a successful series, and the truth is that everyone treated me great and made me feel at home from the start,” she added.

Zavala has taken on the role of Mecha, who she said is “a very hard-working woman, very self-assured, who doesn’t like injustice and will have her romance with Aurelio.”

This week’s filming took place at a building that in the series is Mecha’s home in the northwestern border city of Mexicali – a small restaurant where she devotes her time to cooking.

“(Cooking) is what I most had to rehearse. Because cooking isn’t my strong suit, I’ve had to put a lot of effort in and a lot of funny things happened in those kitchens,” she joked. EFE


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