Director Koldo Serra on Parallels Between ‘Reina Roja’ Villain Ezekiel and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker | – Times of India

Director Koldo Serra, known for his work on acclaimed web series like ‘Money Heist‘ and ‘No Traces’, brings yet another gripping thriller titled ‘Reina Roja‘. Ahead of the release of the adaptation of Juan Gómez-Jurado’s hit crime trilogy, Serra sheds light on the complexities of villainy in the series. In conversation with ETimes, director Koldo shared his insights into the crime genre, the allure of morally complex characters, and the similarities between his new villain Ezekiel played by Nacho Fresneda, and iconic villains like Joaquin Phoenix‘s Joker and Star Wars’ Darth Vader. With his unique perspective and experience, Serra offers a deeper understanding of the series and its intriguing characters. Excerpts:
You came on board for Reina Roja right after ‘Money Heist’ and ‘No Traces’. What is it about the crime genre that excites you the most? And why do you think Hovik was perfect to play the cop Jon?
After ‘Money Heist’ and ‘No Traces’, I wanted to take a vacation. I said ‘no’ to all the projects they offered me, until I got ‘Reina Roja’. The possibility of working again with Hovik was exciting (laughs). I thought the scripts were so well-written and funny. The characters of Jon and Antonia had so much soul, that you couldn’t say ‘no’ to it. The team was like a dream so there was no discussion, I had to be there. When it’s a grey-shaded villain like Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker or Ezekiel in ‘Reina Roja’, it tends to stick with the audience. What do you think makes for a good on-screen villain?
You mentioned Joker as an example. He’s a character that, even though he’s a villain, you can connect with because there’s a lot of grey, not just black and white. Well, I think what’s really interesting is that the audience can empathise with them. In Ezekiel’s case, that empathy comes from understanding him, even if you don’t share his beliefs. I think it’s important to understand that he’s not bad without some other factors coming into play. And then, obviously, he’s very attractive. The bad side of things is always fun to interpret, and I think they were wonderfully represented in cinema through Darth Vader and now Ezekiel.
With its release on Prime Video on February 29th, audiences can expect a riveting narrative that challenges conventional perceptions of heroism and villainy. Starring Vicky Luengo and Hovik Keuchkerian in lead roles, the story follows Antonia Scott, as the “Red Queen”. With an IQ of 242, she is inducted into a secret, experimental police project. Together with Jon, a temperamental Basque policeman, she becomes involved in a twisted game of cat and mouse.

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