An up-and-coming child actor from Malaga has recently fulfilled his dream of securing a role in a major web-television series. The Netflix production, Warrior Nun, is based on the comic book character Warrior Nun Areala and focuses on an orphaned teenager who discovers she has superpowers after mysteriously waking up on a slab in the morgue. The girl soon realises that she is the chosen Halo-Bearer for a secret sect of demon-hunting nuns.
Filming of the series, which premiered earlier this month, took place on location in Marbella, Ronda, Antequera, Malaga and Seville, and it features local 11-year-old Lope Haydn Evans, who plays Michael Salvius, the ailing son of a scientist.
Lope was born in Malaga to a Spanish father and Welsh mother, and, even though he loves Malaga, he is proud of his Welsh roots: he enjoys visiting his relatives in Wales, especially as he gets the chance to enjoy "real sausages and play football on soft grass".
He has been a student of Novaschool Sunland International (in Cártama) since he was three. His mother, Rachel Evans, is the principal of the school, and she is also the drama teacher, so Lope has always been encouraged to sing and act. Rachel explained how his first preschool teacher told her that her son had incredible stage presence and charisma, and from an early age he was often chosen for lead roles in school productions.
Lope is bilingual, so he can perform in both Spanish and English productions and, as he points out, the person who inspires him the most is Antonio Banderas.
"I think Antonio Banderas is an amazing actor who can play serious roles and funny ones. I like him in The Mask of Zorro, Shrek and Spy Kids. I think he is special because he is a big Hollywood star, but he hasn't forgotten his roots," Lope told SUR in English.
The young actor was selected for the part in Warrior Nun after his mother sent in a video. He was invited to take an audition - although he admits that he was a little confused with the storyline at first.
"I was given some lines to learn, but they were a bit strange because I didn't really understand the story. I did my best to figure out how I should play the part; I pretended to be sad, because the character I play is very lonely," Lope said.
Lope soon began to relax on set, especially because the other actors treated him with affection. Recording was long and tiring, he recalls, and when not needed on set, Lope would go through his lines with his mum.
"The production company were great: they would let me know when Lope was needed on set and they tried to avoid long waits," Rachel said.
Lope added, "The other actors were great, especially the Warrior Nun [Alba Baptista], who was really nice to me. I also enjoyed being with Peter de Jersey [the British actor who plays Kristian Schaefer in the series]. He really likes superhero films like me; we decided that my superhero name would be Bubble Boy because my bed on set was like a bubble."
There has been no word concerning a second series yet; however, the ending of series one and the part which Lope's character plays in it suggests it will be continued. Lope is keen to get back to the role if the chance arises, and he longs to return to special effects and makeup.
"I loved having my makeup done because they sprayed my face white to make me look ill. I also loved it when they made me glow blue, because I look like someone from Avatar," he said.
Lope is now represented by an agent and he is hoping he will have more exciting opportunities soon. Even though he intends to consider genres outside the fantasy world, the charismatic actor does have a few stipulations regarding future contracts.
"I just love acting, so I don't mind what type of series or film it is, just so long as they have an eat-as-much-as-you-want buffet on set," he added.
Lope's mum is hoping a second series will materialise.
"I couldn't be prouder of Lope; he was only 10 years old when the series was filmed. To be able to convey the emotions of the character with such conviction, I find remarkable," she concluded.