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>> 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 feeling.she explodes. 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.

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