LILLE, France — Ana María Orozco, who broke through to international renown playing the protagonist in the original Colombian “Ugly Betty,” will play one of the female leads in “Perdida,” an Atresmedia Original Series, made with Mediapro’s Madrid-based Big Bang Media, which underscores the ambition of current Spanish scripted content.
The series will go into production in the next coming days. A thriller with strong family context, it turns on Antonio, to be played by Spain’s Daniel Grao (“Euro Pudding,” “Julia’s Eyes,” “Gigantes”). An attractive middle-aged Spaniard, Antonio is arrested in Bogota for charges of drug smuggling. He’s placed in one of Colombia’s most notorious prisons, with his lawyer the only ally who believes in his innocence.
Cut to 13 years earlier, in another life Antonio lived on Valencia’s Mediterranean coast, happily married with a young daughter. But she goes missing, turning Antonio’s life upside down.
Orozco will play Milena, described by Atresmedia as a strong, determined, a telenovela actress who longs to upgrade to higher-end high-end international productions. Years into her career, Milena gets the role she thinks will be her breakout, but must face her humble past on the streets of Bogota.
Announcing Orozco’s casting at Series Mania, Atresmedia did not reveal how Antonio and Milena relate to one another.
Made under the Atresmedia Series label, at standard 50-minute episode international length, “Perdida” underscores the scale-up in Spanish fiction ambitions as series are made to stand-out in a market of 477 million native Spanish speakers and beyond.
Only just a few years ago, few Spanish series were shot on both sides of the Atlantic and mostly lensed in sound studio. But as Atresmedia’s Laura Miñarro pointed out at a Spain in Bloom roundtable at Lille’s Series Mania on Monday, the latter’s no longer the case.
“We are developing a slot of thrillers all shot in exteriors,” she explained. “Now it’s making a big difference. We have gone from 80% shooting indoors to 100% outside. That’s wonderful, very important.”
On “Perdida,” the companies will film for over three months in more 120 unique locations between Valencia, Spain and Bogotá, Colombia.
John Hopewell contributed to this article.