In 30 COINS Season 2, most residents of Pedraza, a remote town in Spain plagued by inexplicable, demonic events, have lost their minds and are confined to a psychiatric hospital. Elena lies comatose in a Madrid hospital bed; Paco, shattered by remorse, tries to take care of her. As the horror intensifies around them, our group of heroes must face a mysterious new enemy (Paul Giamatti) – someone so perverse that even the devil fears him.
Ahead of the premiere of 30 COINS Season 2, Nightmarish Conjurings’ Sarah Musnicky chatted with actress Macarena Gómez about her part in the show. During their conversation, they discussed returning to the role of Merche and her approach to tackling her approach to playing complicated villains.
I love your character. She’s just so complicated and delicious in just what you have to work with. What is it like stepping into her shoes again for season two?
Macarena Gómez: It wasn’t that difficult for me. People think it was very difficult playing Merche, but it’s not. I think, Álex [de la Iglesia], he’s good friends with me so, in a way he wrote Merche thinking about me, thinking that I would be the right actress to play that character. To tell you the truth, I think I know why Merche is easy for me to play because there is a distance between her and myself. If I play characters who have a lot to do with me or try to be very similar to the way I am, for me, it’s very difficult. But when there is distance, I play more with a character I enjoy.
I’m not afraid of making mistakes. It’s like jumping into a swimming pool without knowing if the pool is full of water or not, you know? I love playing. I love playing with Merche. I also think there is something, I don’t like saying this about myself, but there is something about the way I look. With my eyes, my look is always very intense. Well, not today with my glasses, but I look very intense and very enigmatic. And that’s something powerful for Merche and something that I use a lot as an actress. I know that’s one of my gifts. My looks, the way I look. It’s a gift I have as an actress.
You mentioned her being powerful. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a woman, but looking at her in 30 COINS Season 2, there’s a huge vulnerability she has with her place in the world, even though she’s super powerful. She has this new power now. It was weird watching and seeing that she’s so weak too. Because here all these men trying to use her for their own purpose.
Macarena Gómez: I agree with you. She is really not powerful. She loves power. She’s manipulating people. She tries to make people believe that she’s powerful or that she loves power. Or that she feels very comfortable within power and within luxury and being wealthy, but I don’t really think she likes that. She uses the power she’s got or that she gets because she’s with the most powerful person in the world just to get her objective. Her goal in life is to get back with Paco, her husband, the man of her life, and to create a family with him.
If there is a third season, I don’t know what Álex would do. But I think Merche, she would throw away all the coins just to be back in her little village in Spain, with her husband and her kid. I think that’s her main goal, but she is manipulating people and using the power that was offered to her in order to get what she wants. And she wants her husband. So, she’s not a real villain. She becomes a villain because she has real feelings. She’s really in love. She’s capable of really loving, you know?
I think what’s why I like her so much. It’s always that fine line of like, what decisions a person makes that pushes them into that villainy, territory, right? She’s complicated. But also, at the core, her motivations are simple.
Macarena Gómez: I agree with you. You can’t judge the character you play, because bad people and monsters in real life, also have feelings. You probably think someone is a monster, but probably their mother, their father, their son, or their husband has seen that person as a very beautiful person because that person also has feelings. The monster also has feelings. So, when I play Merche, I don’t see her as a villain. I just see her as a person with real, real feelings who has to do bad things in order to get what she wants.
You can catch 30 COINS Season 2 over at MAX, with new episodes premiering on Mondays.
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