Sandra Bullock was just one of the reasons why 2018s Bird Box became such a hit. Her phenomenal on-screen presence made the world of Netflix’s mega-hit sci-fi drama far more compelling. Sure, it’s sad not to see her reprise her role in the Bird Box spin-off, Bird Box: Barcelona, yet it’s proof that the franchise can shine on its own, giving other great actors a chance to delve into the Bird Box world and offer something totally different. This time Spanish actor Mario Casas takes on the lead role.
Casas has starred in many fantastic movies like I Want You, The Invisible Guest, and of course Three Steps Above Heaven. Now he’s headlining arguably the biggest movie of his career, a sequel to what was once Netflix’s most-watched film. Mario Casas sat down with Movieweb to discuss his role in the upcoming Netflix original movie, Bird Box: Barcelona, which releases on the streaming service July 14th.
Mario Casas’ Excited to Join the Bird Box Franchise
Mario Casas immediately expressed his joy to be a part of such a huge franchise and what drew him to the role in the first place, explaining why he wanted to be a part: “Well, the first film and how successful it was. And of course, in this film, the main character I think is very compelling. Sebastian [Mario’s character] and his light and shadows and his emotional relationship with his daughter.”
Casas is correct, his character is incredibly complex. He holds buckets of trauma, and his beliefs and tragic manipulation has shaped Mario into the broken character we meet at the beginning of the movie. When asked what his favorite aspect to his character was, Mario said:
“Most importantly, in such a big film that is so visually amazing, I think it was important to have a complex character who should also have a very deep emotional side, where you are asking yourself, Who is it? Where is he going? And you are wondering whether he’s good or bad… and I think it’s something that hooks the audience. I like when a character is not always a hero, and he has many more layers, and he has a dark side, and there’s ambiguity.”
The World of Bird Box
Mario Casas has spent the majority of his life in Barcelona. So when asked what it was like to see such a beautiful city, his hometown, receive a post-apocalyptic makeover, Mario stated:
“There was great work from the crew and the production department and Netflix. They literally destroyed some of the streets of Barcelona. I came on set, and there were literally three streets that were deserted and destroyed, and of course, there’s a green screen and there are other special effects, but there’s a huge deal of reality. People may watch the film and think that it’s digital, but there’s so much that is real, and it was amazing, the talent of the crews in Spain. I think that’s why so many people are coming from abroad to shoot here”.
Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects to Bird Box was how the creatures that caused the end of the world and the majority of the population to kill themselves were shrouded in mystery. We never got to see these creatures in the first movie, although there is concept art out there from the first film which was immediately turned down, for obvious reasons.
In Bird Box: Barcelona, audiences still don’t get a visualization of these creatures. However, the film does explore the idea that the image of the creatures are subjective based on the individual’s beliefs and past trauma. “Well, I would say that it has a lot more to do about trauma and how these characters have this lack of humanity.” The actor imagines the creatures more emotionally than physically.
I was thinking more of these creatures as feelings of fear, stress, loss, sorrow.
The Post-Apocalyptic World Is a Scary Place
The post-apocalyptic world of Bird Box, as with any dystopian hellscape, is a haunting place to live in. Individuals are forced to wear blindfolds to navigate the ruined world, so that they are able to avoid looking at the creatures and being forced to kill themselves in horrific ways. The grim nightmare of Bird Box isn’t such an easy landscape to survive in.
Over the course of two movies, we have seen a phenomenal cast of actors join the Bird Box franchise. The likes of Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story), John Malkovich (Con Air, Of Mice and Men), and artist/actor Machine Gun Kelly (The Dirt, Nerve) starred in the first movie, and now heavy-hitters like Mario Casas, Diego Calva (Babylon, Narcos: Mexico) and Georgina Campbell (Barbarian, Wildcat) lead the second movie in the franchise.
When asked who, he’d want alongside him in order to ensure his survival during the apocalypse, Casas quickly and enthusiastically stated: “Sandra Bullock! I’m a huge fan. Sandra Bullock, 100%.” Mario then continued by praising his co-star Georgina Campbell, who’d be pretty good to have in the apocalypse, too. “Georgina is amazing. She’s amazing. Georgina and Sandra Bullock.”
As humans, we are all consumed by technology, media, movies, TV shows, and video games. To a point where, if that was all taken away from us, we would all be completely helpless. What would most people even do? Play ‘Eye Spy?’ Many of us have our own tiny apocalypses when the Wi-Fi goes down, bored to death or apoplectic. So other than scavenging for supplies and avoiding death, the post-apocalyptic world would not only be completely bleak, but also boring as hell.
So if there was one movie that you could take into a post-apocalyptic world, what would it be ? When asked the same question, Mario answered, “Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, and Bird Box.” Two great post-apocalyptic movies that could not only keep Mario entertained but also provide some tips as to surviving the apocalypse. Check out Bird Box: Barcelona; you may very well add it to your survival kit.
Bird Box: Barcelona comes to Netflix July 14th.