ⓘ Professor, Money Heist. The Professor is a fictional character in the Netflix series Money Heist, portrayed by Alvaro Morte. In the TV show he is a main charact ..


ⓘ Professor (Money Heist)

The Professor is a fictional character in the Netflix series Money Heist, portrayed by Alvaro Morte. In the TV show he is a main character, he is the mastermind of the heist who assembled the group, and Berlins brother.


1. The character

The Professor is the leader of the gang, and the one who carefully plans and organises the assault on the Royal Mint and the Bank of Spain in Madrid. With a remarkable culture, but with a nerdy appearance and components. The idea of the first heist is to avenge his father. His grandfather had fought against the fascists in Italy.


2. Characterization

Elena Pita of El Mundo described the character as "enigmatic". Morte said the character was a "workaholic". Morte linked the Professor to his role of Oscar in El embarcadero, both of whom "had to be demonized, and for this I had to generate empathy in abundance. And that causes an identification: you feel the close character and you find similarities with known beings. But if the viewer does not empathize with the Professor or Oscar, the series does not work."


3. Development

Early in development, the professor was intended to be the narrator of the series. Writer Javier Gomez Santander compared the writing process to the Professors way of thinking, "going around, writing down options, consulting engineers whom you cannot tell why you ask them that", but noted that fiction allowed the police to be written dumber when necessary.

The Professor was designed as a charismatic yet shy villain who could convince the robbers to follow him and make the audience sympathetic to the robbers resistance against the powerful banks. However, developing the Professors role proved difficult, as the character did not follow archetypal conventions and the producers were uncertain about his degree of brilliance. While the producers found his Salva personality early on, they were originally looking for a 50-year-old Harvard professor type with the looks of Spanish actor Jose Coronado. The role was proposed to Javier Gutierrez, but he was already committed to starring in the film Campones.

Meanwhile, the casting directors advocated for Alvaro Morte, whom they knew from their collaboration on the long-running Spanish soap opera El secreto de Puente Viejo, even though his prime time television experience was limited at that point. Going though the full casting process and approaching the role through external analysis rather than personal experience, Morte described the professor as "a tremendous box of surprises" that "end up shaping this character because he never ceases to generate uncertainty", making it unclear for the audience if the character is good or bad. The producers also found that his appearance of a primary school teacher gave the character more credibility. The Professors glasses were initially red and more prominent, but in the end the producers preferred a more discreet option and in a darker tone. Morte, who does not wear glasses in real life, developed a tic of pushing back his glasses during casting; this was left in the show for the originality of the performance. The idea of origami was proposed by Morte.

Creator Alex Pina saw Raquels story as a formerly abused wife falling in love with the Professor "as very powerful, very romantic"; that they come from two opposite sides was "intended to enhance the genre" and something that the producers "wanted to exploit and it has worked.” Le Monde said, "The game between Professor and Raquel, the inspector in charge of the negotiations, is brilliant. A step of two with fluidity and anticipation. To ignore ones enemy is to condemn oneself to defeat. It therefore requires to enter into his intimacy. Morte said the Professor would not necessarily prioritize love over other risks in part 3, saying that if "he didnt have that other dark part, it wouldnt work either. The Professors trick that hooks us so much is that we never know what goes through his mind, what he is thinking. I try to give that ambiguity." The characters anger about Berlins death spawned the characters motivation for part 3, and was an idea Morte gave the producers. In September 2019, Morte considered the Professor a "very interesting character" who had story left to tell. Morte said about part 4, "the teacher makes a descent into hell."


4. Reception

The Professor is one of the fan favorites of the series. For the role as the Professor, Morte was nominated for the Premios de la Union de Actores es in 2018 in the category "Best television actor", won the 21th Premios IRIS es in 2019 for "Best actor", and is nominated for the Premios Feroz in 2020 for "Best leading actor of a series".