>> tonight on a special edition
of "aqui y ahora," a film shootthat began with a lot of
expectation.weeks later, they had to face a
mortal enemy.>> by the last week of march i
got a call from my boss sayingthis cant continue.
>> "imperio de mentiras" seemedcondemned to failure when a
pandemic began knocking on thedoors of the set.
>> i woke up one morning feelingstrange.
>> they faced many challenges tocontinue shooting, including
scenes that were passionate.overcoming many challenges, they
told the story of murders,revenge, imaginations.
its a tale where the lovebetween elisa cantu and leonardo
velasco faced many tests untilthe last episode.
>> he was very much in love.>> everything is ready.
for the grand finale.>> in march 2020, they began in
mexico a production of one oftheir biggest telenovelas.
just as covid-19 began changingeverything.
im teresa rodraguez.>> welcome to "aqui y ahora."
it was "imperio de mentiras"which announced the return of
angelique boyer and andrespalacios.
we hear the story from themexican capital.
>> episode one, scene one, takeone.
>> march 2 last year, everythingwas happiness for the production
crew on "imperio de mentiras.">> i said to tell this story we
needed to bring our heart to it.people didnt just put their
heart into it, they put theirwhole soul into it.
>> giselle gonzalez, theexecutive producer, never
imagined those words would beprophetic.
>> i swear im going to killyou.
>> were -- what worried her wasthe normal problems of a
production where actors,including angelique boyer and
andres palacios, would be doingsomething new.
>> i said, i know you are use adifferent kind of wardrobe
because of the project you havebeen on.
here, i want you to be a normalwoman.
>> i knew that is what wouldhappen with giselle. she has a
specific style.actors know what her way of
working is.from the day she called, we
werent even reading the story,i said yes.
>> gonzalez wanted everything tobe realistic.
rich people who dress normally,middle class that looks
realistic as well.leonardo velasco only had three
jackets.>> he doesnt earn that much
money.so it was about having the
characters be credible.>> the changes also affected the
villains.>> the villain doesnt have to
be a blonde, green eyed actress.we did away with that and we
broke some of the physicalstereotypes.
we found people, we found actorswho were more normal, more every
day.that people can identify with.
>> it was unpleasant.>> this is how michelle gonzalez
brought to life the ambitiousfernanda in a villain role
never before seen.>> actors and actresses with
dark skin can be more than justa waiter, a gardener, a domestic
verb -- worker, we are more thanjust an immigrant.
>> walter is one of the twodirectors.
>> it looked to be an easyshoot.
>> the telenovela would showpassion, love and crime.
>> we had shot more than 20episodes.
you want to do the exteriorshots, then we would go into the
studio.>> it was halfway through march
2020 when covid arrived inmexico.
>> it was the project mostaffected by the pandemic.
>> mexico closed its doors tothe world, but before the
country was paralyzed, "imperiode mentiras" continued rolling.
>> the last week of march, myboss called me and said this
cant continue.more than anything else, what is
important is peoples safety.while we dont want a tragedy to
occur.>> in the midst of uncertainty,
the producer called together thecast and crew.
>> i said i understand we arenervous.
we dont know what we arefacing.
and this above all is about yourwell-being.
>> there was an uncomfortablesilence before susanna
gonzalez spoke.>> she said of course we are
afraid.we dont know whats going on.
of course im afraid, we are allafraid.
>> at that moment, it was, wefelt a sense of reassurance that
we would be ok and we would beprotected.
then, we thought maybe thisproject wont continue.
>> it might not have.>> of course, we had just
started shooting and thesituation, lets say the
panorama, wasnt certain as towhat would happen.
>> there were over 100 people onthe crew.
the thought of being withoutwork scared them, but so did
getting covid.>> when we had the first
contagion, that was michellegonzalez who plays fernanda.
>> i tested positive twice withthis rapid test and i can assure
you after the pcr, the five dayswhile i awaited the results,
what i did was, i drew up aworld.
i only have a son.he was thousands of kilometers
away.>> luckily, it was a false
positive.it was not a fate that a lot of
other people experienced, aspablo franco, the other
director, remembers.>> they had to deal with the
virus.but there is no industry in the
world that wasnt affected.>> "imperio de mentiras" was in
a difficult situation.>> it was terrible.
they told you on friday, then onmonday they tell you that your
call had been canceled.i thought, are you going to call
me and another day, maybewednesday?
they said no, the production isbeing stopped.
>> you are running and runningand thinking it is going to
catch up to me.>> for giselle gonzalez, it was
important to understand someactors may leave the production.
>> it was hard to know thatthere were older actresses who
said im not doing this.you start asking yourself
questions.would i risk it for this?
>> that is why the producerbecame the captain of a ship.
>> she is a very strong woman.she is very intelligent.
she is a very loving woman, soshe took care of us.
>> did you pray at any moment?tell us.
>> it was always about saying,god, help me.
help me have the strength, thetools to be able to guide this
ship.because regardless of how much
six -- how much experience youmay have, this is completely
different.peoples lives are at stake.
>> her main responsibility wasalways the safety of her
coworkers, but there weremoments when she thought of her
own life.>> you can also be on your way
home and you are thinking, deargod, help me not to bring
anything home.because you are thinking about
your family.and you see, for example, your
son, you think, please, no.please dont let anything
happen.let everything be ok.
>> with a million questions andalmost no answers, everyone was
thinking the same thing.20 episodes were partially
complete.what would happen?
would "imperio de mentiras"crumble or come back?
the when and how, as well as thespecter of covid.
>> when we return, in "imperiode mentiras" people seems to
aho>> if we are talking about
proportions, without a doubt"imperio de mentiras" has more
villains than it does good guycharacters.
the writers continued writingbetter and better scenes for the
antagonists.>> in "imperio de mentiras," if
there was something without alimit it the capacity of vevil
for the villains.eugenio serrano knew no
scruples.>> so many villains, so many
villains.but if there are no villains,
there are no obstacles.>> you have to add that flavor.
youve got to add thatseasoning, those ingredients,
beginning with alejandrocamacho, who truly, everyone saw
it, everyone saw him.>> i really enjoy playing this
kind of character.i give it everything ive got.
i give him all my virtues, myface, my breathing.
but i dont give him my soul.>> the veteran alejandro
camacho, who has playedinnumerable villains, had never
played somebody quite as bad aseugenio serrano.
>> he is perceived to be atraitor, perceived to be cruel,
even with his own children.he isnt kind to anyone.
not his wife, his lover.with the woman he wants to
marry.>> he is very passionate with
his character.but he is a very bad man.
he is willing to hurt his ownchildren.
>> if you had to face something,in those same circumstances,
with so many bad people becausethere were a lot of people, what
would you do?>> immediately i would know, i
cant get close to that person.i have nothing to say to that
peron.>> alejandro camacho, one of the
greats in latin america, knowsvery well how to bring a
spectrum of passion to a role.>> leonardo, he always had you.
in his sites.and you never liked him.
>> he is a police officer.i am a businessman.
there are classes.how can this nobody from this
other world dare get close to myniece?
what is wrong with you?dont you understand there are
social classes?that is what he was thinking,
right? >> of course.>> capable of blurring the line
between fiction and aninterview, eugenio is not the
only villain.there were women like navarro.
>> there were very powerfulpeople in the circle of lies,
corruption.art trafficking, money
laundering, arms, deaths.constructing all of her
strategies based on lies, she isa manipulative woman.
she is a woman who is veryambitious.
>> i deserve being in thiscompany.
>> she became a villain notbecause she wanted to, but
because of her background.as explained by cristina
michaus.>> carmen was probably abused
when she was younger.the telenovela doesnt go into
it but i think she has herreasons.
>> i am a millionaire.and now, --
>> in this last stage, finally,fernanda says what she is
she is not afraid of keeping upappearances.
>> what do you mean you spentthe night together?
>> that cantu family also hastheir own thing.
victoria robles complained abouther three daughters boyfriends.
>> it is unbelievable, the kindof man my daughters are with.
>> maria jose, the youngest, waskidnapped.
>> she was in a vulnerablesituation.
it makes her reassess what shethought was her life.
and only this man could saveher.
>> and elisa, the girlfriend ofthe police officer who
investigated the death of thepatriarch, and renata, with
mental problems, was in arelationship with someone who is
mentally weak.eugenios uncle sexually abused
renata when she was a girl.>> anyway you look at him, you
henny a -- eugenio serrano issomebody you wouldnt want to
babysit your kids, to go to themovies.
>> renata was a survivor of thisempire of lies.
she was married to marcelo arizmendi.
>> he lied to himself.he was ruled by ambition.
from the beginning, his storywas doomed to failure.
he was there with her to reach avery clear objective.
>> renata got married notknowing he only loved her
because of her money and power.>> he got into a lot of problems
and while he ended up the way hedid.
>> he ends up dead a fewepisodes into the telenovela.
he is killed in jail after theuncle sends an order to kill
him.>> i think that the lies dont
take you very far.>> what happened to augusto was
a terrible blow.>> in reality, the villains had
to end with the lies in thepatients -- and the patience of
the protagonists.>> the end of this story is
between angelique and andres,right? >> my character, the
antagonist, i knew he would haveto pay for everything he had
done.>> you knew that?
>> yes.it had to happen.
i thought that was fine.it was very good.
i wont talk about the lastscene.
>> right, because we are goingto see it.
>> but she got that idea after igot shot, and i thought it was
very appropriate, right?the way she balanced who lived
and who died.>> i ordered that he be
disappeared.>> of course.
what would happen to thevillains?
what would happen to fernandaafter her repentant mother dies
of cancer?and what would be the fate of
uncle eugenio finally, or thefate of victorino, the mother
who holds secrets?>> i think it is a story that
tries to reflect this extremeside of ambition, of avaricious,
of power.>> and empire of lies.
"imperio de mentiras.">> when we return, how will the
shooting of a simple hug or kissbecame a task filled with fear?♪
>> the executive producergiselle gonzalez was unwilling
to give up.she would do anything to get
"imperio de mentiras."-- to get "imperio de mentiras"
off the ground.every day, she found more
problems along the way.>> if giselle gonzalez decided
to ignore the problems and focusonly on getting her project
through this fight of covid, itdoesnt mean she found the
answers to all the uncertainty.reality challenged them at every
step.actress alejandra robles gil
remembers the routine.>> they would sanitize dressing
rooms.they would sanitize re-think.
>> somebody not taking care ofthemselves would endanger
everybody.>> clothing was sanitized all
the time.there was a lot of care with
hair and makeup.they were covered.
they had goggles, they had facemasks.
and they tried to keep everybodyseparate.
>> the executive producer wenteven further.
she prohibited any gatheringoutside of the set.
>> it is important when you goout, truly, dont go to any
gatherings, any parties and evenif it sounds too much, lets not
visit families dont live withus because you are putting
yourself in danger and you areputting the rest of us in
danger.>> i have been thinking very
much these last few days.>> it sounds incredible, but
director walter says these 100people all followed through.
>> we had discipline on the set.from the very beginning.
>> what are you doing here?>> three day there was something
new to solve and everything wasurgent.
transporting the crew wastedious.
only four people per vehicle,where before, 10 could travel.
apartments, gardens and mansionswould have their contracts
canceled.they had to substitute exterior
shots with interior shots.the telenovela had been planned
to be shot 80% outdoors.trouble had to be canceled.
>> we were -- travel had to becanceled.
>> we were supposed to take atrip to new york.
we had to make new york inmexico.
>> rehearsals were a marathon.>> terrible.
that was a terrible experience.you are used to, in the
rehearsal, to hear your actingpartner, to see how you are
going to react and you might noteven see their eyes because of
the face masks.>> things had to be suspended.
the risks were too high.>> there was a moment where you
thought, this isnt going tohappen.
this is too hard.>> i do think our producer
giselle had such drive andworked so hard.
she was so close to the set alltimes that she generated, well,
a way of saying we can do this.>> giselle, her positive
attitude, and the tranquilityshe transmitted to us helped us
survive so many months.>> tell me you werent afraid.
>> totally.of course.
but i dont have any children.my parents dont live at home.
and i have coworkers who do, andthey had such a wonderful
attitude.as though covid didnt exist and
we were able to act.>> with social distancing, how
do you do a sex scene, a lovescene?
or even a violent scene withcovid?
>> whenever there was a kissingscene, we would have tests
conducted that morning.if we couldnt do the vaccine we
would cancel it.>> physical contact occurred.
it was very difficult.there was pushing and shoving.
there was punches being thrown.there was a lot of action,
right? so how do you do them?>> actress patricia reyes
spindola, who played the motherof the protagonist, said the
mission was clear.>> i want the public to
understand why we do this.we do this because i think in
this pandemic, people need intheir homes, they cant leave
their house.they need a good product.
like "imperio de mentiras.">> despite every precaution, the
worst happened.>> we were filming on a friday,
and he called me on saturday.he said, i dont feel well.
and i said to him, go get thetest immediately.
>> i woke up one morning feelingstrange.
i had a headache.my joints hurt as though i had
run a marathon.>> covid hit them where they
least expected.>> he goes to get a test and it
was positive.>> nausea, i had nausea and i
lost my appetite.i did have a sense of smell and
my sense of taste.strange, because not everybody
gets the same symptoms.>> literally had to re-rind --
rewind the film to trace all theactors who had contact with
andres palacios.>> i was worried about angelique
because she had the most contactwith him.
fortunately, nothing happened.>> angelique boyer was safe but
there were other people, likepatricia reyes spindola.
>> they tested all of us.they stopped or bang days.
we all tested negative, then westarted up again.
>> when leonardo returned to thesaid it was a triumphant moment
that was captured on instagram.>> everyone was wearing face
masks.we all bathed in disinfectant.
and we embraced.it made me feel how loved i was
on this project.>> good evening.
>> i would like to introduce myboyfriend leonardo.
>> hello, i am leonardo.>> the ship was back on track,
but there were additionalregulations.
>> there was just one take,right? >> yes.
if there was going to be a slapor a fight, just one take.
that sets the bar very high butat the same time you have that
adrenaline that comes with justone take.
some things happen you dontexpect.
>> every day i would think, ihave the privilege of having a
job.>> after the break, how the
protagonists went from hatred tofighting for>> "imperio de mentiras is an
adaptation of the turkish series"kara para ask." it is the story
of leonardo velasco and elisacantu, the protagonists who
broke with paradigms.we hear about an almost
impossible love.>> for many, the good guys are
often boring but as ineverything in life there are
often exceptions.in "imperio de mentiras," elisa
cantu dreamed of something sheexplains her self.
>> i dont think i have ever hada character who loves and
defends her family so much.despite the fact that everybody
betrays her.the truth is, look.
poor elisa. she suffered somuch.
and she was always caring forothers.
>> i will do nothing, absolutelynothing for you.
>> she was good to the core buteverything turned out wrong.
to help her, leonardo velascocame into her life.
the good looking police officershe fell in love with.
>> i promised i would rescueyour sister and that is what i
will do.stay calm.
>> they didnt love -- live in adelicate as instance --
existence.it wasnt about meeting and
falling in love.>> what does leonardo see in
elisa?>> there is something peculiar
that would happen when we wouldread the scripts.
he would say, how are we goingto make this realistic?
this is not love at first sight.>> i dont want you in my life.
>> this isnt a question ofphysical attraction, right?
where you feel a hidden eroticcurrent.
these characters couldnt standeach other.
>> we would say to ourselves,this is so frustrating.
leonardo and elisa areconstantly fighting.
but there was a priority.>> it was leonardo who first
realized that it was an almostimpossible love.
>> this happened the moment thatshe became vulnerable.
my character, that is hisachilles heel.
this woman is alone, afraid.she has no help.
in this difficult circumstance.>> i need you, elisa.
i need you in my life.>> but he felt -- fell crazily
in love with her.he was crazy in love with her.
and he was obsessed with tryingto help her.
>> elisa, -- elisa was rude tothe man who would not confess
his love to her.>> what do you do when, for
instance, you are at thehospital and somebody brings you
his jacket, brings you somecoffee?
>> yes, she fell in love.>> we were in the hospital.
the least my character could dois protect her from the cold.
>> it was necessary to havethose little touches.
>> that was there in the text.it surprised me very much
because he is a very consideratecharacter, very gentlemanly.
>> leo was very much in love.>> do people like that exist?
>> of course they do.>> but leonardo velasco wasnt
just the good guy.>> would you read him his
rights?>> professionally he is also
with the good guys.>> you are doing a very good
job.you have just dealt a blow to
corruption that will have manyrepercussions.
>> he was also a character that,you know, we want kids to hope
to be police officers likeleonardo.
>> good cops?>> thats right, people who want
to be police officers not justbecause of the power.
>> you have been with me in theworst moments.
>> throughout 92 episodes, elisaand leonardo loved each other
without reserve, withoutscruples, without anything
separating a rich woman from apoor one.
>> i would say to myself, shewas in love with the protection
he offered her, that no one wasable to offer her before.
>> destroy my father and finisheverything.
>> in "imperio de mentiras,"there were just a handful of
good guys.the acclaimed actress patricia
reyes spindola was one of thefew good people in this story.
>> i want to dedicate this toall mothers of police officers
who i know must suffer whentheir children go to work, or
they send them a message but thesun cant -- the son cant
respond because they arepursuing somebody.
>> do you like being somebody sogood, playing somebody so good?
>> elisa exasperated me verymuch, very much.
♪>> throughout the telenovela,
elisa cantu was always kind,despite tragedy and tears.
>> hopefully, we will be able tosee her be happy, because she
deserves it.she is a very brave character.
>> when we say the customer isalways right, most people are
hoping that love will triumphand these characters will live
happily.>> when we return, crucial
moments in the last fewepisodes, and a secret of a
grand finale that even theactors didnt know>> it is clear
mentiras" survived because theyfaced difficulties and adapted
to new circumstances.what happened to the characters?
who won, who lost?we hear more about the cantu
family before the grand finale.>> you have told everything you
know.you insulted me.
>> episode to episode during thesix months univision broadcast
"imperio de mentiras," the cantufamily and uncle eugenio serrano
off and shocked us.she is the wife of augusto cantu
and the head of a band of ourtraffickers -- our traffickers.
victoria and eugenio married andbecame associates.
>> we are three women, threesisters, and we have a mother
who is in love with the uncle.>> victoria could only see lives
-- life through the eyes ofeugenio, not knowing he
sexually abused renata, one ofher three daughters with mental
problems.>> she was easy to manipulate,
according to the story.>> throughout the telenovela,
eugenio gives renata the babythat he had with his lover,
since renata couldnt havechildren of her own.
maria jose, one of the othercantu daughters, was kidnapped
under orders of uncle eugenio.>> she would have been found
dead in the forest if it wasntfor him.
>> he was the kidnapper.the illegitimate son of eugenio.
when eugenio tells him to killmaria jose, he saves her and
they fall in love.>> maria jose puts him on a
pedestal and sees him as a heroand it is complicated because
despite everybody telling herwho he has, -- who he is, she
cant see that.>> fernanda, one of the
villains, was one of elisasbest friends but she was
ambitious and was willing to doanything to leave behind her
past.she seemed immune to death and
fear.>> she is a woman who is afraid,
really.she is looking out for her son.
she has the desire to live, shedoesnt want to die and during
the last stage, everything shedoes is to save her son and be
with him.>> for leonardo and elisa, every
day could be their last.leonardo was facing up the
corruption headed by eugenio.>> he knows corruption exists,
that it is difficult to defeat.>> leonardo isnt afraid?
>> knowing what he is facing?is he not afraid of death?
>> yes come all the time, yes.i think he always had that fear.
but there was so much convictionto defend justice, to help those
in need, that pushes him forwardwith that fear.
>> something that broughtaudiences coming back was
peoples eyes, their looks.>> this is a project with a lot
of close-ups.everything was very close
because there was thatintimidation.
you had to give that impressionof nervousness, of being trapped
.>> one more step and you are a
dead man.>> in seconds, they told a full
spectrum of emotions withnothing else.
and music did its own thing.in "imperio de mentiras," a
melodrama with suspense, musicplayed a big role.
while they were recording, therewas no secret that nobody knew
the ending.nobody got the last script.
>> did you and walter now?did you know about the end?
>> no.>> it doesnt look like you are
telling the truth.>> i didnt know what the end
would be.and i liked it.
i liked how it ended.>> in mexico, we dont know how
it ends in the united statesyet.
>> thats right.there are several possible
endings.>> alejandro camacho and other
their sisters -- theirsuspicions but they didnt know
until it aired.>> were you in agreement with
the finale?>> yes of course.
>> they were recording threedifferent finales.
>> we recorded additionalscenes.
we did not have the script toknow the chronology, to know how
it ended.>> when i saw it on the air, it
was as exciting as anybodywatching it on tv.
>> is that true?nobody knew what was happening?
>> i dont know which finale isgoing to air.
>> so you didnt film one finale, you filmed scenes for three?
will the finale in the unitedstates be the same one as the
one in mexico people have seenalready?
>> well, you have to watch andfind out.
>> what did "imperio de mentiras" leave you?
>> as all -- as long as we areall working towards the story,
you will have a good product.>> much more empathy, towards
other peoples problems.feeling how blessed we are, that
we might be able to help otherpeople.
>> the questions viewers haveare the same.
what will happen to uncleeugenio?
what might happen to victoria?a woman who is not exactly a
model mother.and what about maria jose and
renata, two of the cantusisters?
and what will be, what willhappen to elisa cantu and
leonardo velasco?>> there is hope.
there are things that are goodin the middle of all this
sadness, in this tragedy we areexperiencing.
>> i asked the question severaltimes.
is it the same finale as theunited states?
>> that is the third time youhave asked me.
[laughter]>> im not going to answer that.
you have to watch it.>> she likes this.
she likes keeping us on the edgeof our seats.
we will be like that for thenext two hours so hang on tight.
>> it looks like the third timewas not a term for maria.
despite her assistance, theexecutive producer never
revealed the ending.>> you have to be patient before
watching the grand finale of"imperio de mentiras," next.
we will see you soon.♪