Do you consider yourself a film buff? Are you one of those people that have been addicted to T.V series for a while? If you have said yes to one of these questions, or even a resounding yes to both, then read on. We will have a look at the most important shooting locations in the Spanish capital for both films and series. I will give the precise coordinates so while you are enrolled in one of our Spanish courses at International House, you can plan your theme route.
If you love movies, and especially Spanish films, I’m sure that the first name that comes to mind is Pedro Almodóvar. In Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervious, the Manchego director used the heights of the building in calle Montalbán nº7, to shoot the famous penthouse scene (40.418492, -3.690113). From here you can see iconic buildings of the capital such as the Telefónica Building or the Instituto Cervantes. Quite nearby, is the rooftop bar of the Círculo de Bellas Artes which is open to the public and see a very similar panoramic view as in the film. In Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! Átame, a very young Antonio Banderas acted in a scene shot in the Plaza de la Villa (40.415492, -3.710283). In the Flower of my Secret, La flor de mi secreto, we can recognize a night scene in the Plaza Mayor (40.415660, -3.707462). In Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom, Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, Almodóvar portrays the neighbourhood of Malasaña and The Madrid Scene La movida madrileña. We know today that the studio flat in calle Palma was the place where the scenes were shot. (40.426443, -3.702497).
Another great Spanish director that has chosen Madrid is Alejandro Amenábar, who shot Tesis at the Complutense University (40.445991, -3.728089). There is also Open your Eyes, Abre los ojos, where the actor Eduardo Noriega finds himself in a deserted La Gran Vía (40.420411, -3704052).
La Gran Vía was also chosen by the Madrid director Alex de la Iglesia, in his wild masterpiece The Day of the Beast El día de la Bestia. The most famous scene in the film is without doubt the Carrión building and its Schweppes advert. (40.420425, -3705872).
Some big foreign film production companies have chosen to shoot on location in Madrid. This was the case of The Bourne Ultimatum, where various aerial scenes of the Paseo de la Castellana are seen, (40.453507, -3.689549), as well as La Estación de Atocha (40.405823, -3.689673). The film, which was directed by Paul Greengrass, with Matt Damon in the cast won three Oscars.
If you are more into T.V series, I’m sure you have seen La casa de Papel. The famous Madrid Plaza Callao (40.420082, -3.705890) was the site for the trailer, with thousands of 50 euro bills raining on people. In the first season of the series, the robbery takes place at The Mint Fábrica de Moneda y Timbre, but in reality we see the façade of CSCI (Spanish National Research Council) in calle Serrano 117 (40.441330, -3686154). In the last season the action takes place in the Banco de España, but again the scene was really shot in another place, the Ministry of Public Works, Ministerio de Formento, (40.444310, -3.693417).
Don’t think twice and come to Madrid. A week of movies awaits you at International House.
Sergio Rodríguez Pont