The 23-year-old Spanish actor looks ahead to the third season of the Netflix teen soap.
Who killed Polo?
Netflix's addictive Spanish-language teen soap, Elite, returns for its third season on Friday, and a brand new tragedy is about to put everyone on high alert: Who is responsible for Polo's (Alvaro Rico) death? The answer, in classic Elite fashion, is sure to be complicated, as the wealthy students of Las Encinas become prime suspects.
Months before Polo's tragic demise at a party, he returns to the halls of the prestigious school as public enemy No. 1 after it comes out that he was the one responsible for killing Guzmán's sister, Marina. In the upcoming eight-episode run, his schoolmates and former friends begin to struggle with having Polo around, who has latched onto Cayetana (Georgina Amoros), as he attempts to worm his way back into their good graces.
"Season three is the big hangover for everything that's happened in [seasons] one and two. The characters become aware that their actions have consequences," Rico, 23, tells ET, describing the season as "mature" and "intimate." "[It's] definitely the most emotional."
With Elite dropping its new episodes in mere hours, ET sent over a handful of questions via email to Rico, translated from Spanish, to preview the madness that's about to ensue at Las Encinas, if Polo could have saved himself from his brutal fate and why it's the "most emotional" season yet.
Elite became a big hit when it dropped on Netflix in 2018. Were you surprised by the instant popularity of the show and fans' passionate responses?
When I'm shooting a project, I'm not thinking about what response it'll have from the audience. You always want it to be well received, that your work will reach many homes, but you never expect such a resounding success; that arrives without warning. It is true that with Elite from the beginning there was something special and gathered all the ingredients to become a global phenomenon and Netflix is the very cause for it. I'm happy for everything that's happened to us.
Polo has had a rocky journey the first two seasons. Does a part of you empathize with what he's gone through?
Of course, it was necessary to empathize with everything that was happening to the character in order to believe in his repentance and interpret him without prejudging him, because Polo never wanted to kill Marina even though he did. Getting into that debate is substantial and what makes the character complex and carries many edges.
When we spoke with co-creator Dario Madrona at the end of last season, he said he wanted people to "understand" Polo but stopped short of saying he's a redeemable character. After all Polo's done, do you think he is a redeemable character?
That's the big question that would define the character. I personally like that I don't have a clear answer. This is the debate I was aiming for earlier, and that's the beauty of the character. Does a young fellow who commits murder in a moment of maximum anger make him a being with a murderous instinct? Is it a fateful mistake that marks you for life? I like the viewer to decide whether to grant him forgiveness or not.
In the season three trailer, it's revealed that Polo is the one who dies. When did you find out about Polo's death? What was your reaction?
It was during the filming of the second season. I spoke on the phone with my manager, then I did it with Dario and to be honest, it did not surprise me. We talked about the possibilities we had for Polo and to be honest, with the plot, I think we had to give it an end, a dignified one to the standards of this character. Of course, I was very sorry personally because it meant leaving the series but it was fair, consistent and we all rowed in that direction.
Did you have theories about who killed Polo? Did it change with the more scripts you read and the more scenes you shot?
I didn't have any bets. I didn't think much of it either. I was more focused on the road we had to circulate until he died. The third season is not only revealing who and how Polo dies but the struggle to be accepted by others, by obtaining forgiveness from their friends, from Guzmán (Miguel Bernardeau). Almost a struggle for wanting to keep on living or not being able to go forward and condemn himself.
When you found out who was ultimately responsible for Polo's death, how stunned were you?
I wasn't surprised, it could actually have been anyone. Everyone had motives and that's what it’s played as well.
Is there any hope for Polo and Carla (Ester Exposito) to reconcile as a couple or even as friends? They both know each other's secrets, which seems like something that could bring them back together.
Carla and Polo are two characters that were conceived together. That link cannot be eliminated even if the characters circulate through different plots. And in the third season, it looks like that "umbilical cord" never dies.
What is behind Polo's interest in Cayetana? Are there real feelings there, or is it solely because she's become his unlikely ally in all of this?
It was and it is his life vest. She's the character who injects oxygen to Polo when he's in a limited situation. It’s an "exhaust valve." Because of all this, Cayetana is essential. In love with Cayetana? I don't even think Polo has thought about it yet.
Do you think Polo's fate was decided the minute he killed Marina? Was there any way he could have saved himself?
I attest that there were more options on the table because they have confessed them to me. Jaja! But that was a decision by Dario and Carlos. At the end, they opted for what you will see when you watch the season.
Lastly, how would you describe the chaos that's about to rain on Las Encinas in season three?
Season three is the big hangover for everything that's happened in [seasons] one and two. The characters become aware that their actions have consequences. I would define it as mature, intimate; it closes a phase. Definitely the most emotional.
Season three of Elite drops Friday, March 13 at 12:01 a.m. PT on Netflix.
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