The new season of Cidade dos Homens (City of Men), an O2 Filmes production for the Globo Network, will air 12 years after the last adventures of the duo of Acerola and Laranjinha, which ran from 2002 to 2005.
Pedro Morelli, the overall director of the mini-series, tells us that this season will bring back the charisma of Darlan Cunha and Douglas Silva, and the public will also have fun getting to know their sons:
“There are some serious dramatic events, a succession of conflicting facts that will remove the equilibrium from the lives of these friends. We’ll have adventure, tension, drama and lighthearted scenes featuring the fathers and their sons. The return of the series marks the return of a powerful story that will resonate with everyone.”
The actors Darlan and Douglas comment on what it was like to relive their characters and the expectations for the return of City of Men:
What was it like to relive your characters after so many years?
Darlan Cunha – It was an enormous surprise to relive Laranjinha and Acerola, to relive City of Men. The program represents thousands of people, places and realities, and everyone identifies with it no matter what their social class is. It revolutionized television and cinema and affected people’s lives. Many people who were fairly well off watched the program and ended up becoming curious about these poor communities and went to visit them. There are NGOs and projects that use episodes of the series as a reference. I’ve always considered City of Men to be the best work I’ve ever done. Douglas and I had a lot of fun doing the mini-series. It’s very good to act opposite him; it just flows perfectly. At the end of the day we leave the set joking and go home feeling better than when we left.
Douglas Silva – It’s very good for me. It’s funny, because we worked for a long time together, and today even though we’ve been apart professionally, we still have those nostalgic moments, remembering all that time together. The chemistry is still there, and during the filming we could see that our friendship is still there too. It’s this relationship that’s really cool. It’s a very moving story, because it deals with a father fighting for the life of his son. Before Acerola lived like a boy and didn’t have much responsibility. Now it’s very different. He’s much more mature; he’s the breadwinner, married and has another child on the way.
Episode 1 / Season 1
During the filming with the children, did you remember what it was like to film the first few seasons?
Darlan Cunha – Seeing Luan and Clayton as our sons and passing the baton to them as the new Laranjinha and Acerola, I feel that they’re in a much better place than we were, because in the beginning of City of Men we were doing something that no one knew. It’s great to be a pioneer in this, establishing this base that they can build on, doing beautiful work and giving continuity to this series is so important to me and Douglas and everyone who watched it. The biggest fans today are the youths who were children when City of Men was on the air. It’s great to see that it’s timeless and continues to have this effect on people.
Douglas Silva – It’s funny, because at times it seems like a remake. Clayton and Davi get into scrapes, but now their fathers help them escape. It offers the story of Acerola and Laranjinha, but it also has the emotion of the relationship between fathers and sons and the lightness and grace of seeing the two of them as fathers, something that no one imagined at the time. It’s funny, Davi looks like Laranjinha and Clayton looks like Acerola, but they’re very different generations. They’re from the smartphone generation, for example.
Episode 2 / Season 2
Much has changed in your lives during the last 12 years, but can you still identify with the reality of life in these communities?
Darlan Cunha – This return to City of Men shows that a lot has changed, but the conflicts are the same. Laranjinha’s son has a heart problem and needs to have an operation. Through the public health service he’d have to wait eight to ten months, minimum, but he has at most three months to live. A public hospital’s also out of the question and in a private hospital it would cost around R$ 40 thousand. He has nowhere to get this money. But the boys get involved in a shootout in which all the drug dealers and policemen die and they grab a backpack full of money and a pistol. Acerola is desperate to return this money to the drug dealers, but Laranjinha sees this situation as his only chance for his son to get that operation. Through this situation we deal with the drama of the characters, but we also touch on social issues and public health.
Douglas Silva – In the story, Acerola is focused on living a quiet life and passing on the correct teachings to his son. Douglas has also grown. I’m a father with a daughter and I’m also going through this. I try to incorporate this experience into the character. I left this community at the age of 11, and even though I still have my relatives and friends there, today I’m further away from this reality. However, it’s difficult when you’re educating a child to maintain the teaching that you give them at home. You give the correct teaching at home for him to conduct himself well when he’s on the street, but the street frequently ruins all of this, and this is still a harsh reality in these communities.
Episode 5 / Season 3
The public feels affection for your characters. What are their expectations in terms of the return? Have they been commenting on it?
Darlan Cunha – Ever since City of Men ended, and after the film, people have always been asking me why it ended. As the years have passed, people have asked what will be our next project together and when is the program going to return. When I received the proposal to return it was what the public was waiting for. People are really anxious to see what it’s going to be like. The expectations of those who have already seen it are very high, but they’re even higher for those who haven’t seen it. The public’s very curious about what we’re up to.
Douglas Silva – The public has always had a lot of expectations. They haven’t let the spirit of Acerola and Laranjinha die. It’s curious because they’re different generations, but I in particular like that there are those who are 25, 30 years old who say they grew up watching us, which I think is very cool. The series is so good that it’s transcended generations. It’s affected so many people because it deals with a subject that no other production dealt with at the time. It’s serious and comic at the same time. People identify with this a lot, following the scrapes that these two get into, but they have fun at the same time. And now we’re going to continue telling this story.