Rafael Amaya as Aurelio Casillas in “El Señor de los Cielos.” (Telemundo)
Telemundo‘s hit soap “El Señor de los Cielos” returns on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 more crude and daring than ever. As the network’s most successful and controversial series, its 3rd season promises to shock and delight its fans in the U.S. who have been anxiously waiting for its premiere.
Aurelio Casillas, portrayed by Rafael Amaya, will return more dangerous than before, being confined to a cell that will push him to his limits in his pursuit of becoming a legend. His war has caused him to lose everything, so with nothing more to lose, all that’s left is his vendetta against his enemies and subject his country to crime and corruption.
The character of Aurelio Casillas has become hugely popular despite its obvious moral faults – largely due to the actor’s charisma and talent. The series has placed itself as one of the most watched and influential in Latin TV history, and poses the question of whether or not someone as supposedly evil as Aurelio Casillas can justifiably be hailed as a hero as well.
At a recent press conference at Universal Studios’ CityWalk in Universal City, Calif., Telemundo made the official announcement and screened the trailer for the upcoming season.
Amaya was also on hand to answer questions and discuss the development of his character.
“We are very fortunate to have a technical team that’s very professional, and that knows how to truly develop the story in a manner which the public can accept and assimilate,” says Amaya. “It’s not supposed to be taken as an example to follow, and people get that. As engaging as it might be, this is completely fiction.”
Amaya also responded to questions addressing the success of the series to his portrayal of Casillas.
“I feel very happy and proud to be a part of this, in this compromise with the fans and the people I work with,” he acknowledges. “I just provide a face for the cameras, but really the success is due to the people who actually make the show a reality. We’ve developed such magical chemistry I never believed possible. It’s impressive and a blessing that I don’t think I’ll experience again.”
Both in film and television, there have been characters so powerful that they have consumed the actors who portray them, either by becoming a part of who they are, or simply jading the actor from the profession all together.
Amaya assures the press this would not be happening with him.
“I’ve seen it happen to some actors, but It’s not something I’m concerned about,” he says. “I love what I’m doing, and if what you’re doing is real, you can always change and adapt it without letting it overwhelm you.”
The actor admits that the series has launched his career and allowed him to travel, as well as allowed him to play out fantasies through his character.
“We have an amazing stunt team that is very supportive and also keeps us safe,” he mentions.
This 3rd season was written to be edgier and more daring than the previous two outings, with more turns and surprises, as well as chronicling life in a country deeply submerged in violence and corruption.
Amaya also sacrificed his body for the role, admitting that an inmate can’t exactly have a gym physique, and one’s appearance deteriorates while in prison.
“I had to lose weight for the role, but it’s part of the sacrifice you need to put into the work,” he says. “After 9 months in jail you’re tortured, malnourished and abused. I also cut my hair. We made some adaptations for the sake of originality.”
The biggest surprise is that Amaya will be going to real prison in Mexico, a part of his preparation for the series, and where he will get to interact with other inmates and will also be doing a live podcast to interact with fans.
“I will be broadcasting live 24 hours before the premier so people can get a true insight in the life of an inmate a day before he’s released,” he says. “You can get an app through Facebook, which will let you interact. It’s very exciting and we’re very proud of the whole project. I want to thank all my fans for the support throughout.”
Most of the fan-favorite characters are returning for this new season, and will feature Amaya as Aurelio Casillas, Carmen Villalobos, Mauricio Ochman, Fernanda Castillo, Carmen Aub, Leonardo Daniel, Carlos Torres, Lisa Owen, Jesus More and Tomas Goros.
For more information on “El Señor de los Cielos,” visit Telemundo.com.