While rehearsing for the Billboard Latin Music Awards, co-host and Latin Grammy winner Pedro Fernández spoke to the press about his upcoming project, Malverde: El Santo Patron, coming to Telemundo, Tuesday, Sept 28.
Based on actual events, the high-octane production centers around Jesús Malverde, one of the most prominent and most controversial Mexican characters of the last 150 years. Set in the ‘1900s, at the start of the Mexican Revolution, this is the story of an outlaw who ultimately became a legendary figure, a religious icon, and protector of the innocent, poor and dispossessed.
“Malverde is the most important project of my career. It’s that simple,” said Fernández. “It’s a project that has been super important to me. I’m very happy and very grateful that they allowed me the opportunity to be me and show people the amazing and magical life of Jesús Malverde. It’s an incredible project, and the production is just spectacular. Set in the year 1910, I think the production has just been…I can’t even begin to describe it. Telemundo set out to create this pueblo, a pueblo of that time, with everything that existed. There is such an impressive realism. The clothes are amazing, and the music is authentic. My co-stars have all done amazing work. Our director Miguel Varoni, the direction of Carlos Bolado and Sergio Osario, and just the whole production is a project that the public cannot miss. It’s a project that will entertain and fascinate you because there’s just something about it all that is just amazing, and I hope the public doesn’t miss it.”
From his turbulent childhood as an orphan in Sinaloa, Mexico, to his young adulthood during the Mexican Revolution, when he encountered war, danger and romance. The series will show how Jesús Malverde rose to unexpected power and became a “Robin Hood” type figure admired by women from all social classes. However, as the federal authorities grow more concerned with Malverde’s steadily increasing influence in the early years of the revolution, it will take more than love or God to safeguard the hero known as “El Santo Patrón” from those out to destroy him.
Preparing to bring such a legendary figure to life was no easy task for Fernández, but that was precisely what drew him to the role. “I got to work on something so distinct, but that is the job, and it’s what caught my attention,” he told the press. Adding, “I get to do a character wholly new and different. Ride horses, dress in all the appropriate attire, run from fire, explosions…the preparation for this takes time. It’s a physically and mentally demanding job, as well as the acting part. The preparation for the role was tough, but I am so pleased with what we have realized.”
During a press conference at NBCUniversal’s Summer Press Tour, Executive Producer Karren Barroeta called Telemundo’s latest venture, Malverde: El Santo Patron, “a unique story” unlike any other the network has done before. “This is not a story about a drug lord,” said Barroeta about Mexicos most mythical outlaw, Jesús Juárez Malverde.
Mexican actor Mark Thacher, who plays “Vicente de Río,” says that these types of stories are fascinating for the public to watch because those types of people walk a fine line between what is right and wrong. “It’s tough not to fall in love with this kind of character that helps and is also there break the system a little,” said Tacher. “They are always searching for new ways to bring joy to people even though they become a concern. So that is why I think we’re always in love with these kinds of characters because they are almost always on the brink of either success and failure.”
Isabella Casillo, who plays “La China,” said that what drew her to this project was the real mystery that surrounds Malverde. “It’s this magical mysticism that fills Malverde,” she said. “When it’s something that people never really get to get ahold of. Yes, we have an amazing team at Telemundo who did their research and actors who did their research. But still, some characters aren’t a person per-say that we know of, but they are based on, for example, all the Mexican women who fought for Mexico’s revolution. So all of us come to represent many characters who existed back then. The writers did an amazing job doing research and finding online and in books and documentaries everything that we knew about him. But I think we don’t really know if he was real or not, and that is what makes this series and Malverde magical.”
Malverde: El Santo Patron, premieres on Telemundo Sept 28.