On 18th June, Movistar + premieres the third and final season of “Mira lo que has hecho” (Look What You’ve Done), the hit series created by Berto Romero and produced by El Terrat (The Mediapro Studio). We talk to Romero (Cardona, 1974) and discuss this comedy about love, parenthood, family, children and television, the work of comedians and the inevitable fact of growing up and becoming older. A fictionalized autobiographic work freely inspired by personal and borrowed experiences, in which the author, already on his final stretch, fearlessly enters this thorny terrain, and even reflects on the limits of humor, the excesses of capitalist society and death. Warning! the daily adventures of Berto, Sandra and their three kids is packed with laughter… and a few tears.
Had you decided from the get-go that you’d only do three seasons of “Mira lo que has hecho”?
We weren’t certain from the outset that there would only be three seasons. After season two, we began to realize that the story was wrapping up and that we would have to finish it off with a third season.
And what about the choice to bring down the curtains in a musical fashion, something that hadn’t featured in either of the previous two seasons?
Yes, above all, now we’re talking about the characters that Eva Ugarte and I play reaching maturity. The series outlines our journey to take the place of our parents. The first two seasons were more focused on the day-to-day issues with the kids, you know, like whether they’re pooping right, if they’re hungry, school issues, etc., but in these new and latest episodes, we touched on some more serious issues while preserving the show’s light-hearted, comical vein.
As in previous installments, “Mira lo que has hecho 3″ continues to draw on some really excellent comic actors. Some of whom weren’t all that well known before appearing in a series that will undoubtedly mark a before and after in their careers. And not only this, but then you go and recruit Clara Segura to play what is truly hostile and grim role, by the way.
Yeah, Clara’s character is the embodiment of rampant capitalism, savage neoliberalism, all wrapped up in a nice, pleasant coating. On top of that, they don’t see her coming in the beginning, and that makes her even more villainous. If she had shown up in a Darth Vader suit, now that would immediately made them realize that she was bad! But it’s not like that. Even though we rarely coincide on stage, Clara Segura’s collaboration has been a real gift. Working with Clara is a wonderful experience.
In this final season, do you think that maybe through your character you might have assigned yourself the role of spokesperson for comedians who have encountered censorship and difficulties peddling their trade freely?
Yes and no. Our intention with this series was never to lecture anyone about anything. This reminds me when we premiered the first season, reporters asked me if our objective was to give audiences lessons on parenting. I answered no, of course not. But now what’s happened? Well, I wanted to go out with a discussion on comedy and comedians, to vindicate the role of comedians and the monologists! After all, I’m a comedian and, fortunately, I’ve never suffered been subjected to the lynching some of my colleagues have. When I made that joke about Hitler, I was trying to put myself in their shoes and imagine what would happen to me. I’ve never taken part in any debate about the limits of comedy. When a comedian is attacked for what they say, my automatic reaction is stupor. I just don’t get it all. And currently, there’s a climate of collective hysteria among comedians, spurred on by the press and social media.
Episode four is a bit of a rarity within this season: suddenly, the two protagonists take a journey back to their childhood and youth, then we’re witness to a circus and you take on a more romantic comedy-style. A bit risqué on your part and on that of the other two screenwriters, Enric Pardo and Rafel Barceló, don’t you think?
The fourth episode of each season has always been special. It has its own ecosystem and its own universe. Also, in this season we deal with people’s fears in greater depth than ever before and as such, it’s darker than the previous two, so we wanted to include an episode where everything was lighthearted. I’m especially happy with that part about the circus, like the rest of the episode, which we invented totally, and I never really had to go through it personally.
In addition to dealing with the fear of having your home broken into and robbed or having to go on trial for a joke, in a very tender way the series also talks about what it’s like in today’s society to be elderly. And you do this through the character of your mother, played by Carmen Esteban.
Getting older, with everything that entails, is really screwed up, and we didn’t want to wallow in it either. The series looks at old age, but in a carefree way, without reinventing the wheel but just like any other problem in the life of the couple and their family.
But you know that viewers are going shed a tear with your mother. One question I ask all comedians is, when did you discover that you were funny, that you had a knack for humor?
Well, when I was little, I made an involuntary joke in a grocery store in my town, Cardona. My mother was asking this guy in a shop to cut the cheese into very thin slices. So, it seemed to me that they were cutting it too thin, and I said: “The cheese, thinly sliced, not grated ”. And people started laughing! I wasn’t the typical kid who made jokes all the time, but I did realize I had this superpower, and I kept it for special occasions.
Behind the scenes of “Mira lo que has hecho” is Javier Ruiz Caldera, who you’ve worked with before on movies like “Spanish Movie” (2009), “Three Many Weddings” (2013), “Spy Time” (2015 ) and “Superlopez” (2018). Can you tell when a director is a comedy specialist?
Yes, when you’re working with a director who’s used to shooting comedies, it’s a real breath of fresh air. Javier sharpens everything, and immediately lets you know if a scene is funny or not.
Why do you think actors never win Oscars for comedy characters?
Because they would lose or sell the statues!
Choose: if you were able to work with three of the all-time greatest Spanish comedians from the big screen; José Luis López Vázquez, Alfredo Landa and Paco Martínez Soria, which one would you choose?
I think Alfredo Landa. I would’ve loved to have worked with Landa.
One last thought based on a dialogue from the series. The wellbeing of the soul. Do you think laughter and comedy are good for the wellbeing of the soul?
Unquestionably. It is a symptom of health. The absence of humor is a sign of a decaying soul.