Spanish prison drama Locked Up is riveting.
Framed by her lover for corporate fraud, young Macarena Ferreiro finds herself locked up in a high security women’s prison surrounded by tough, ruthless criminals.
Macarena (Maggie Civantos) is our resident fish-out-of-water, trapped in a high security prison after helping her sleazy boss-boyfriend commit fraud. Luckily, she meets Curly (Berta Vázquez), who’s all smiles and jokes and, “Nice to meet you, wanna be my prison wife?”
But life on the inside isn’t all fun, games and romantic propositions in the shower room. Zulema (Najwa Nimri) is the terrifying Top Dog.
She keeps a scorpion as a pet and has inmates who cross her boiled alive
We caught up with 3 of their cast
What’s the atmosphere like on set? Are you all having fun and being silly or is it serious and focused?
NAJWA: We cry a lot.
BERTA: We have a lot of mood swings. Days where you laugh a lot, days where you are very tired, physically and emotionally. But every day we were happy to go to work.
MAGGIE: We had to be very focused on the work but at the same time [points to Najwa] she’s so funny.
BERTA: She is!
NAJWA: I need to laugh. If I cannot laugh, for me the world is over.
BERTA: I remember you crying one day at the end of the first season – “I can’t keep working with this character, I’m suffering.”
NAJWA: I was super tired. And everybody loved the violent thing. It was a weird moment because I thought everyone was fucked up in the head. I didn’t like that my son liked me. I thought, “No, this is a bad person”. I got super responsible and I thought, “I have to take the heart of this girl and put it on the table”. I don’t want them to love me only because I’m violent. They have to understand that I’m sick.
All the characters are so intriguing. Maggie, do you think Macarena had any lesbian experiences before she went to prison?
MAGGIE: No, she didn’t have any. I can understand my character very well because I think the same. Maybe you think you are very straight but one day you fall in love with someone. Maybe because you need some kind of love or you really fall in love with a person. I think that’s the case with Macarena. She’s straight but one day when she’s in jail she finds Curly. At the beginning it’s weird for her.
BERTA: I think love is not about gender. I think it’s about the needs we have inside of us.
Berta, do you think Curly was interested in women before she went to prison?
BERTA: I think Curly’s the type of person who loves both. I think actually she had a boyfriend outside, they told me, but she tried with both girls and guys. She’s very open.
Are there many queer characters on Spanish TV or is that quite a new thing?
MAGGIE: On Netflix you can find a couple. It isn’t very frequent.
BERTA: We do more traditional series.
MAGGIE: But I feel like it’s changing. Now it’s easier to find gay characters. It’s society. Now you can speak about that.
NAJWA: Being gay in Spain is kind of –
BERTA: It’s something cool right now.