Marta Milans Exclusive Interview On White Lines, The Pier and Shazam!

Marta Milans
Marta Milans

Marta Milans is nicknamed as “Spangelina” in some circles due to her resemblance to Angelina Jolie and is originally from Spain.

Her career marked plenty of American films and television over the years. Most recently, she became a favorite of Spain’s talented writer/creator Alex Pina by starring in Netflix’s White Lines and Starz’s The Pier.

After viewing both shows, you’ll realize the incredible talent and beauty of Marta Milans. Both shows are incredibly addicting, and it’s a wonder why she hasn’t appeared in Alex Pina’s Money Heist yet. Nonetheless, she stars in the upcoming anticipated Spanish television mini-series Los Favoritos De Midas, based on a dystopian short story written by Jack London.

For American audiences, she made her most significant break playing Mama Rosa Vasquez in Shazam! It’s also confirmed she’ll be in the sequel plans.

LRM Online had an exclusive phone interview with the lovely actress about her career. We talked in-depth about the two Alex Pina shows from the cast, the set, and the storylines.  The shows are currently streaming in their respective channels, and White Lines ranked as one of the top viewing shows on Netflix in June.

Read our full interview below.

Marta Milans: Hi, Gig!

Gig Patta: Hi, how’s it going?

Marta Milans: How’s it going for you? I hear you binge-watched everything already.

Gig Patta: I did. You’ll be amazed. I spent my past 72 hours bingeing on White Lines and The Pier.

Marta Milans: Oh, my God! Wow! Now that is flattering to me right there.

Gig Patta: I want to say that’s probably about 22 hours of Marta.

Marta Milans: [Laughs] I hope we still have time and energy to talk to me, and you’re not like I’m sick of this in the Milans girl. Get out of here. [Laughs]

Gig Patta: I was pretty excited about those two shows. It was quite addicting. I didn’t know when to stop.

Marta Milans: Alex Pina has incredible talent. He grabs you by the gut and not letting go of you until you are done with the show. I don’t know how he does it, but he does it–that’s for sure.

Gig Patta: This weekend, I’m going to binge his other new show, Money Heist, which sadly you’re not in it.

Marta Milans: No, I’m not in yet. I’ve been harassing him into writing me into that series even if I get to play a tree or table for season five of Money Heist. I’m like, “Come on!” I got to be in all of his shows. [Laughs] Hopefully, he’ll listen to me.

Gig Patta: Then I’m curious, What about Alex that makes him so unique? You did work on two projects with him already.

Marta Milans: With Alex and me, we started working together on The Pier. Right off the bat, the way he had written the character as Katia, which was very much in my essence and my wheelhouse as Marta. We connected. I admired him profoundly as an artist, as a writer, and as a person.

When he started developing White Lines, he knew my work, and he knew me from working on The Pier. He pretty much wrote the role for me. It’s very much similar to my life. I grew up in Ibiza, myself. I left Ibiza, Spain when I was a young 19-year-old to go to college in New York. Then I stayed and made my life here in the US. I eventually became a citizen. I would go back and forth for other projects, but that’s very similar to what Kika’s life is in the series. It wasn’t that hard for me to get in the place and role of Kika. I owe it to Alex. He gifted me the part of Kika, and I will always be grateful for him.

Marta Milans
Marta Milans in White Lines

Gig Patta: [Laughs] That sounds terrific. That explains why you speak English so well. I’m stunned.

Marta Milans: [Laughs] Well, it takes a lot of years. It takes a lot of hard work. You can ask my manager about that. There were a lot of dialect coaches, a lot of workshops, a lot of drillings and a lot of language books. I have indeed worked my butt off. [Laughs] Living here certainly helps.

I speak six and a half other languages. I have an excellent musical ear with the languages. Currently, I’m working on my seventh, which is Russian. That is an entirely different ball game altogether. But, I’m not giving up. I will conquer the Russian language at some point.

Gig Patta: You speak English. You speak Spanish. You speak Russian. What are the other languages?

Marta Milans: I speak French. I speak Italian. I speak Portuguese. I speak German, even though I haven’t practiced it in a while. So you would have to throw me in Berlin for a few days by myself to make sure I get the grasp of it. Languages were always my thing. I always say, if my acting career, for some reason, didn’t work out, I could still become a spy or ending up working for the United Nations. There are other hopes for Milans down the road.

Gig Patta: [Laughs] You are a woman with many talents. Are there any other hidden talents that we don’t know about? Singing, dancing, or playing instruments?

Marta Milans: I played the violin for a year and when I was little. I don’t do that anymore. I sing decently. I did a song with one of my co-stars on White Lines, Laurence Fox is an incredible musician. There’s a song that we worked together. He wrote it, and I lend my voice. I was about to go on tour with him right before the pandemic. Unfortunately, everything had to be canceled due to COVID, but I love to sing. And I love to cook. If you hang around with me, you’ll hear me speak different languages, you’ll see me cooking for you, and you’ll listen to me singing. I’m not a boring person to be around. That I can tell you. [Laughs]

Gig Patta: I could undoubtedly say singing, cooking, speaking multiple languages is very sexy. [Laughs] Being on these two shows, you’re very sexy and essential yourself. Could you talk about playing this type of role?

Marta Milans: With the role of Kika, she’s certainly a rollercoaster of emotions. She’s a woman that’s full of life, full of love, full of energy, full of passion, and Mediterranean blood. That is very enticing. People gravitate towards a lot because she’s certainly a happy person. On the flip side, she can come across as immature and superficial in the sense that she runs away from problems. She’s a professional escapist–I like to call her.

She does come back to the island to face her life and her family. There’s a lot of exciting aspects to Kika that make her a sexy character in a way. She is portrayed against the character of Zoe, who comes from a very secluded background and a very sheltered life. She’s thrown into this world of music, dance, dangerous sex, and drugs. Kika is in the center of all of that. That contrast between the two is quite exciting.

Gig Patta: Alex does a terrific job of developing all these different types of characters. How did you manage to balance all this out for yourself on a show like this with all the other actors?

Marta Milans: First of all, we were so lucky with the entire cast because we connected and bonded so quickly. Since I did grow up in Ibiza and had a family home there when we got to filming, I had a bunch of the cast stayed at my house. We had the opportunity to get to know one another, to discuss the story and back history of the characters. Those things formed the make up of those relationships very well. You believe the relationship between the adult versions of us. You understand the bond of the young versions of the characters.

I feel like the series is very well told. Alex also is such a master of running back in time to use flashbacks. It melds very well. You go on this journey in the past and then back to the present. You believe that trajectory. You believed that they were like that in the past. And then they were like that now.

Gig Patta: Tell me more about the house that a lot of the scenes were being filmed at. It is such a beautiful mansion.

Marta Milans: There’s a couple of houses. Some of the scenes are shot in the house that belongs to Michael Douglas. It’s in Mallorca. I believe it’s on sale. For the home that the party takes place, it’s also in Mallorca at the northern part of the island. It belongs to a German person. It’s a very well-known house because they filmed Netflix’s The Night Manager there. Do you know, Raphael Nadal, the tennis player?

Gig Patta: Yes, I know of him.

Marta Milans: He got married there this summer on the property. We were all very excited. As we were filming White Lines, we told ourselves this is the house that Raphael Nadal got married. It’s an incredible location on where it is. I wish you could have been able to see it better than on the show. Where the house is located, it is positioned near this cliff, with the views of the house are magical. It’s one of the most incredible places I’ve ever seen.

Gig Patta: Wow. How does it feel to be filming in Spain? I know you live in the United States now, but you’re doing a lot of production over there in that country.

Marta Milans: Yeah, it’s true. I built my career here. I moved here and became a citizen here. My start was in Hollywood. Funny how things work in my life, then they started calling me to go back home for work. When Alex Pina makes the phone call–you go.

I’ve been fortunate to do The Pier in Valencia, which is another beautiful place. We had a wonderful time there last year. Then this past summer, with incredible locations of Mallorca and Ibiza, who could ask the better places to be in the summer working. It was like I’m not working. I get to wake up and do what I love in the most beautiful scenic backdrop. I’m going to pinch myself all the time, you know?

It was amazing. In the case of White Lines, it was different than The Pier. Although The Pier was an Alex Pina, it was shot in Spanish with an entirely Spanish crew. For White Lines, more than half was with an English crew. The show shot in English, even though Alex wrote the script in Spanish. So, it got translated. Half of the crew couldn’t speak Spanish very well and vice versa. There were a lot of things said that were lost in translation that made for really comedic situations.

It was certainly a wonderful anthropological experiment. Even our director, Nick Hamm, who directed the first two and the last two episodes of the show, would go off this tangent in English to our camera operators. Some of my co-stars ended up with a hard time following. It was assumed everyone understood what he was saying. Then they would go back with another take. He was like, “Oh my, God! It’s daunting. Spanish people are crazy.” [Laughs]

With this Calafat family storyline, some people would think Spanish people are crazy. First of all, it’s fiction. Secondly, not everybody is family. Not every mother wants to sleep with her child. This show is an Alex Pina drama. Let’s not forget that.

Marta Milans
Marta Milans with Veronica Sanchez and Judit Ampudia in The Pier

Gig Patta: I was telling somebody between watching White Lines and The Pier–I said to her that Spaniards surely like to have sex every couple hours.

Marta Milans: [Laughs] Well, that is certainly true. That is one thing that I’ll tell you that it’s not a lie about being Mediterranean. We love to share our love. We love people too well. It was portrayed in both shows. There’s a scene when a character says to me on the beach, “Your people worship sex.” That’s the truth. [Laughs]

Gig Patta: Do you enjoy doing more shows and movies in Spanish or in English?

Marta Milans: Listen, I love my job in any way, shape, or form. As long as I get to work in projects that tell exciting stories and touch people’s emotions, I’m happy even playing characters like Mama Rosa in Shazam!, which is such a massive worldwide success. That’s a box office hit and superhero film. But, I get to play this foster mom that takes care of all these kids that are unwanted and feel like they don’t belong.

Then I go to play a crazy outlandish, open-minded lover of life. It’s polar opposites. They still have something in common–a big heart. I feel people gravitate towards characters that have a lot of empathy. And I like playing those roles. It gives people a lot of hope, especially nowadays, with everything that is happening in the world. People need hope, feel happy, and be entertained. If I get to do that and get people entertained, then my job is done.

Gig Patta: Are you looking forward to another season of White Lines? I don’t want to spoil anything, because that’s the part of the addiction in the show.

Marta Milans: I know probably as much as you. We certainly are blown away by the success. Being number one in over 20 countries for Netflix, it’s clear that it speaks for itself. We’re very positive about season two, but we’ll see about what the big bosses have to say.

In the meantime, I’m staying busy. Hopefully, my sequel for Shazam will start production. We were supposed to start filming this summer, but unfortunately, COVID happened. We’ll have to be a bit patient with that. For me, I’m just staying busy, staying creative, and staying healthy. Let’s see how everything goes.

Marta Milans
Marta Milans in Shazam!

Gig Patta: So you’re coming back for the sequel for Shazam!, right? When I search you on the Internet–that’s all I see is you and Shazam!

Marta Milans: [Laughs] Honestly, I was talking to our writers and told them to do whatever they want. But, make sure that Mama Rosa has her cape, and she can fly. I want to fly in the sequel. I don’t know if they’ll listen to me. I don’t know if they’ll give me a cape, but Mama Rosa will be present.

Gig Patta: That’s interesting. If you had a superpower, you do want to fly? You want to play a superhero is what you’re trying to say.

Marta Milans: [Laughs] In the movie, all my kids fly. As one of the powers, I would love to fly with them. If you were to ask me what superpower I would want to have–it would certainly be the power to heal. I’ve always thought about that. Being able to heal people that are in pain, loved ones, and people that you don’t know–I don’t think there’s any better superpower.

Gig Patta: Absolutely. I’m not familiar with this Shazam comic books. I don’t know where your character goes in the comics or whether the movies are going to diverge significantly from the source materials.

Marta Milans: Well, me neither. At the end of the day, it’s based on the comics, but loosely based on the comics. There’s been a lot of freedom as far as what we’ve been doing. It’s similar to the first comic books, but not word for word. There’s quite a lot of room for a new adventure.

Gig Patta: Absolutely. I was addicted to The Pier. It seems like there won’t be another season, even though the second season came out earlier this year. It’s pretty much concluded.

Marta Milans: It was always to be a two-season part thing. It had a beginning, a middle and an end. Sometimes it’s good just to leave things as they’re supposed to be. In this day and age of dreaming and the constant content, it’s smart just to tell the story and let it be with a good ending. I think we did it in the right way for sure.

Gig Patta: What did you think about the beautiful ending for Katia in that show for The Pier?

Marta Milans: For Katia, it was the perfect conventional ending written by Alex Pina. It made me happy. If you think about it, the arc of that character, she started off being an unapologetic sex queen. She went around doing whatever she wanted, not having to worry about responsibilities or the conventionality of relationships. She falls in love with this guy that she keeps trying to control him and tells him that she doesn’t care. In the end, she wants to be loved and to have stability. That’s okay too. Nowadays, we tend to gravitate with “anything goes” relationships, but I am entirely for. Also, sometimes, we just want the conventional thing and this stability thing. That is also okay.

In assuming the role of Katia, she was always, “Oh, yeah! I don’t care. I don’t do this or that.” Then to have her go through his journey, she realizes sometimes being so unapologetic can hurt other people. It was what Alejandra’s husband does that ultimately destroys Alejandra. Alejandra is her best friend. She sees what that has done to her friend. Katia is usually the woman that does that to other women. She learns from that. A good lesson is learned from that. It’s the realization that sometimes not thinking about the consequences or not caring can hurt other people. That is not okay. It’s the right message for Katia. I’m proud of how Alex wrote a moral of the story in her character.

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Gig Patta: Now, I do want to talk about one more show, which I have not checked out–Los Favoritos De Midas.

Marta Milans: Oh, it’s not out yet. [Laughs] Don’t you worry. I’ll get it to you by the fall.

Gig Patta: It’s based on a short story, so is this a period piece?

Marta Milans: It’s based on a novel written by Jack London. It’s set in this dystopian future. Funny enough, with this pandemic happening with COVID, it’s about this man portrayed Luis Tosar, who’s a wonderful Spanish actor. He is one of the best talents we have in our country, who won so man Spanish Oscars. His character runs his company, a media company. He received an anonymous letter from a mysterious group of people that ask him to pay money or else. If he doesn’t pay the millions of euros, then people are going to die by accident in Madrid. He doesn’t pay, and people do start to die.

My character is this super powerful president of an international Netflix type of media company. I’m Spanish, but I come from the United States. I’ve been working there for years, and I try to bike it out. We became nemesis between him and me. You don’t know if I’m good or bad in the show. It’s a little bit like Robin Wright in House of Cards. She’s very well dressed, very smart, and very sleek. You don’t know if she’s evil or she’s just a big, powerful businesswoman with no shame or no morals. She’s very interesting. I’m very excited because it’s a very different role–very different character than Kika.

I haven’t seen anything. I don’t know what it’s going to look like. It’s in the hands of Mateo Gil, in which he was recognized for writing The Sea Inside. He worked on that film with Alejandro Amenabar. He’s been an incredible filmmaker for many, many years. So I was very excited to work with him, and I can’t wait for it to come up.

Gig Patta: I can’t wait to see you another in another project. That’s for sure.

Marta Milans: Thank you. I’m glad.

Gig Patta: As I’m starting to wrap things up since you played so many roles in your career, is there anything else you want to do?

Marta Milans: Oh my, God. For sure. There are so many things I want to play. I would love to be in a movie or TV show set in the sixties, seventies. I loved that period. I loved those fashion of the time. I would love to be in a World War II story. That is an amazing part of history. I would love to act in many different languages, as well. I would love to film in Italian. I would love to perform in French and German. The sky’s the limit. There’s nothing that I still don’t want to do. I’m incredibly ambitious in that way. Stay tuned for the long run.

Gig Patta: It seems like you still have a long checklist to do in your life. I wish you luck on that, but before I let you go–how can I convince Alex to put you into Money Heist?

Marta Milans: [Laughs] Listen. I’ve said this to him, and I mentioned this to him on live TV. I said, “Alex, you know me. I’ll follow you to the end of the world. I’ll be a Christmas tree. I’ll be a branch on a tree. Just write me into season five.” Just harass him on social media. He just opened an official Instagram account. Only send messages that we need Milan for season five of Money Heist.

Gig Patta: Thank you very much for this conversation. I know I’ve taken a lot of your time.

Marta Milans: Thank you.

Check out Marta Milans in Netflix’s White Lines and Starz’s The Pier, which are currently streaming online. Shazam! is now available today on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Netflix’s White Lines, Starz’s The Pier

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and IESB.net. He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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