Alba González Villa, known professionally as Alba Flores, is a Spanish actress. She is best known for her roles as Saray Vargas in Vis a Vis and Nairobi in La Casa de Papel .
Early life and educationAlba Flores is the only daughter of musician and composer Antonio Flores and Ana Villa, a theatrical producer. The granddaughter of Lola Flores known as "La Faraona", niece of singers Lolita Flores and
Rosario Flores, and cousin of actress Elena Furiase.
Her paternal grandfather, :es:El Pescaílla | Antonio González referred to as "El Pescaílla" was also a Spanish singer and guitarist and considered as one of the fathers of Catalan Rumba. He was of Gitano ethnicity.
Alba studied dramatic interpretation from the age of thirteen, with secondary training in piano performance. In her brief career onstage, she performed in a number of roles, the most notable of these Luna de miel en Hiroshima , and the Romani version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
2005-2014: Career BeginningsIn 2005, Alba made her cinematic debut with Chus Gutiérrez's, :es: El calentito|El calentito, with Verónica Sánchez, :es: Ruth Díaz|Ruth Díaz, Macarena Gómez, Estíbaliz Gabilondo, and Lluvia Rojo among other performers.
In television, she first participated in an episode of the series the :es:El comisario | El comisario in 2006. In 2008, she landed a role in the Antenna 3 television series :es: El síndrome de Ulises |The Ulysses Syndrome. The same year she performed in the musical theater production of Enamorados anónimos helmed by dance choreographer :es:Blanca Li|Blanci Li and music composer :es: Javier Limón|Javier Limón.
In 2009, she recorded her father's song, "No Puedo Enamorarme de Ti ", for the soundtrack of a movie by :es: Roberto Santiago| Roberto Santiago's, :es:Al final del camino|Al final del camino, starring Malena Alterio and Fernando Tejero as the protagonists.
She trained at the Corazza Acting Studio by the renowned acting coach :es:Juan Carlos Corazza|Juan Carlos Corazza. She's one of the generation of actors of the studio, a list that includes Javier Bardem, an Oscar Awards winning actor. She participated in the studio's 2011 theater play, Comedia Y Sueno.
2013-2014: Television RolesBeginning in 2013, she was cast in a main role as the protagonist's Moroccan servant, Jamila, in the Antena 3 series El tiempo entre costuras , set in Spain and the Northern Protectorates in Morocco, following the Spanish Civil War. She then played an Indian woman in the movie made for TV based on the life of Spanish Missionary Vicente Ferrer. Filming took place in Anantapur, India.
This was followed by an appearance in the TVE series Cuéntame as an important witness in a plot involving corrupt police.
2015-2019: Career BreakthroughFrom 2015 - 2019, she played the character named Saray Vargas de Jesús, a Gypsy, who initially faced a 4-year prison sentence for Assault in Vis a Vis . The show suffered comparisons to Orange is the New Black before the premiere due to similar prison setting, however, after the initial episodes, was proven that the two shows are different in themes in which Vis a Vis is more of a high octane thriller Drama and Dark Humor as to the Comedy Drama of Orange is the New Black. Considered as a clever and thrilling breakout out hit by critics and fans alike, the show gave Flores her first breakout role in television. For this, she received her first TV Award, a shared Best Female Performer in Fiction Award with the female cast via Ondas Awards, a Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series Award for Spanish Actor's Union Awards and several other acting citations.
In 2017, Netflix bought Global streaming rights for the show. With a strong following, the show run for a total of four seasons and an additional spinoff called Vis a Vis: Oasis premiered in 2020. Flores, who played an essential character on the main show had a special guest appearance in the finale to close the series.
2017-Present: International Recognition with La Casa de PapelWhile working with Álex Pina in Vis a Vis, the producer called her and asked if she was interested in joining his new show La Casa de Papel . She didn't go to an audition process. Instead, Pina wrote a role specifically for her as one of the bank robbers on the show nicknamed Nairobi, an expert in counterfeiting and forgery and the team's Quality Control Manager who's in charge in printing the money in Parts One and Two and overseeing the melting of gold in Parts Three and Four.
After the series was cancelled after its one-season run, Netflix acquired the show's Global Streaming rights late 2017 and since then gained worldwide critical recognition, becoming Netflix's most viewed non-English series. Due to the massive popularity of the show worldwide, Netflix, ordered additional seasons prompting the producers, writers and cast members to return to the show. The series received critical acclaim for its sophisticated plot and engaging characters as well as winning several awards including best drama series at the International Emmy Awards. Her role as Nairobi brought her international recognition as well as numerous acting citations. She won a :es:Anexo:XXI Premios Iris|Premios Iris Best Actress Award as well as several nominations for her work as Nairobi.
Other WorksShe served as the Spanish narrator for the Netflix made documentary entitled Night on Earth.
TheatreIn between working in television she also performs in theatre plays. Some of her recent notable works are:
The 2016 Spanish Representation La Rosa Tatuada by Tennessee Williams.
The Troyanas, based on the tragedy written by Greek playwright Euripides about the Women of Troy after the end of Trojan War. She played Políxena, the daughter of the King of Troy who was sacrificed after the fall of Troy. It premiered on Mérida Internation Classical Theatre Festival. Flores was nominated for Best Supporting Actress Award in Spanish Actor's Union Awards for her performance.
The musical play "Drac Pack" written by her Vis a Vis co-star and friend Najwa Nimri and the Spanish version of La excepción y la regla by German Playwright Bertolt Brecht wherein she was nominated for Best Theatre Actress on :es:Premios Fotogramas de Plata|Fotogramas de Plata.
Personal lifeHer father, Antonio Flores composed a song dedicated for her entitled "Alba" with lyrics, " So pretty, brunette, as gypsy as she was". She was nine years old when her father died, 15 days after her grandmother, Lola Flores died.
Aside from acting, she is also a multi-instrumentalist and performs on stage thru theatre plays.
Flores is vegetarian and has campaigned on behalf of the Latin division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, saying that, "You have to leave the animals off the plate."
Openly lesbian and a Gypsy on her father's side, she has been an active ally and advocate for the LGBT and Spanish Gypsy community as well as campaigning for environmental causes and women's rights. She participates in talks and advocacies about feminism.
|2006||:es:El comisario|El comisario||Sohara||Episode: "Y dime tonta"|
|2008||:es:El síndrome de Ulises |El síndrome de Ulises||Arabia Salazar||Episode: "Volver"|
|2013||Vicente Ferrer||Shamira||TV movie|
|2013||The Time in Between||Jamila||5 episodes|
|2014||Cuéntame cómo pasó||La Chelo||Episode: "En la boca del lobo"|
|2015–2019||Vis a vis||Saray Vargas de Jesús||Main role; 40 episodes|
|2017–2020||Money Heist||Nairobi||Main role|
|2020||Vis a vis: El Oasis||Saray Vargas de Jesús||Episode 8|
Awards and nominations
|2015||Ondas Awards||Best Female Performer in Fiction||Vis a vis|
|2016||:es:Anexo:XXV Edición de los Premios de la Unión de Actores| Spanish Actor's Union Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series||Vis a vis|
|2017||Premios Feroz||Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series||Vis a vis|
|2017||:es:Anexo:XXVI Edición de los Premios de la Unión de Actores| Spanish Actor's Union Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series||Vis a vis|
|2018||:es:Anexo:XXI Premios Iris|Premios Iris||Best Actress||Vis a vis|
|2018||:es:Anexo:XXVII Edición de los Premios de la Unión de Actores| Spanish Actor's Union||Best Supporting Actress in Theatre||Troyanas|
|2018||Premios Feroz||Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series||Money Heist|
|2018||:es:Anexo:XXVII Edición de los Premios de la Unión de Actores| Spanish Actor's Union Awards||Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series||Money Heist|
|2019||:es:Anexo:XXI Premios Iris|Premios Iris||Best Actress||Money Heist|
|2019||:es:Anexo:XXVIII Edición de los Premios de la Unión de Actores| Spanish Actor's Union Awards||Best Lead Actress in a Television Series||Money Heist|
|2019||Premios MiM||Best Actress||Money Heist|
|2019||Zapping Awards||Best Actress||Money Heist|
|2019||:es:Premios Fotogramas de Plata|Fotogramas de Plata||Best Theatre Actress||La Excepcion Y La Regla|
|2020||:es:Premios de la Unión de Actores| Spanish Actor's Union Awards||Best Lead Actress in a Television Series||Money Heist|
|2020||Premios Feroz||Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series||Money Heist|
|2020||Platino Awards for IberoAmerican Cinema||Best Supporting Actress||Money Heist|