Netflix’s Diary of a Gigolo: Is the TV Show Inspired by a True Story?

Originally titled ‘Diario de un Gigoló,’ Netflix’s Spanish-language series ‘Diary of a Gigolo’ centers around Emanuel Morillo, a highly-sought gigolo who entertains several high-profile women. His life takes a wild turn when he gets involved with Julia Bolonte, the daughter of one of his clients. His relationship with Julia paves the way for several startling consequences, including the death of her mother Ana Miró Sanz.

Created by Sebastián Ortega, the series progresses through the investigation of Ana’s murder, which unravels several hidden secrets concerning people close to her. The mystery series succeeds in offering an intimate portrayal of a gigolo’s life along with an engrossing murder mystery. Inspired by the same, we have dived into the origins of the show to find whether it is based on real-life connections. Here’s what we found!

Diary of a Gigolo is an Original Work

No, ‘Diary of a Gigolo’ is not based on a true story. The narrative of the show is originally conceived by creator Sebastián Ortega exclusively for the show, especially the storyline of Ana’s murder. Protagonist Emanuel Morillo’s life as a gigolo is also fictional but Ortega had seemingly conceived the same with roots in reality. The conflicts Emanuel confronts, especially concerning his emotions, open a window to the plights of male escorts working all over the world. Rather than depicting the glamorous world of the gigolos, the show explores the challenges they face emotionally through Emanuel’s character.

In an interview given in January 2022, Jesús Castro, who portrays Emanuel, opened up about how his character’s life is relatable to men who are professional male escorts. According to Castro, it was hard for him to discover the nuances of the world of the sex trade to prepare for his character. The actor also acknowledged the “suffering” of the male escorts who dedicate their lives to their profession. Even though Emanuel is a fictional character, he suffers with his emotions, especially when he is supposed to forsake his feelings for Julia as a professional, like real-life male escorts. Such relatability adds to the authenticity of Emanuel and the show’s narrative.

Emanuel’s life also reminds us of the life of Julian Kay, one of the most iconic gigolo characters and the protagonist of Paul Schrader’s renowned film ‘American Gigolo.’ Both Emanuel and Julian are generous givers of affection but they always fail to receive the same. When they do, through Julia and Michelle Stratton respectively, they face several challenges one after the other. Emanuel gets asked by Minou Arias to forget Julia while Charles Stratton comes in between Julian and Michelle. The similarities do not end there. Both ‘Diary of a Gigolo’ and ‘American Gigolo’ revolves around the murder of the protagonist’s client.

‘Diary of a Gigolo’ also succeeds in opening a gateway to the world of the sex trade as detailed as ‘American Gigolo.’ The exploration of lack of pleasure in conventional marriages, experimentations in sexual relationships, the separation of physical and emotional intimacy, etc. are some of the elements in the show that are connected to real life. In addition, the storyline of serolixine, a drug Ana and Julia’s company produces, in ‘Diary of a Gigolo’ also depicts the astounding severity of drug addiction as well. The protests against the drug and Bolonte Laboratories remind us of the numerous protests that had and have been happening against pharmaceutical companies and “pharma greed” in real life as well.

Read More: Diary of a Gigolo Ending, Explained: Who Killed Ana?