Netflix’s Griselda Takes Audiences by Storm as Sofía Vergara Delves into the Complex World of Griselda Blanco
Sofía Vergara, renowned for her comedic roles, graces Netflix screens in the riveting limited series “Griselda.” This six-part saga, premiering on January 25, has swiftly become one of Netflix’s most-discussed shows, captivating audiences with its portrayal of the notorious Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco.
Griselda Blanco, known by various aliases like the Black Widow and the Cocaine Godmother, rose to infamy in the late 1970s in Miami as a single mother and eventually became a prominent figure in the cocaine trade. The real-life Blanco met a tragic end in 2012 at the age of 69, shot dead in Colombia. Vergara, not only the star of the series but also its executive producer, has taken on a role far removed from her beloved character Gloria Delgado-Pritchett from “Modern Family.”
The limited series quickly soared to the top of Netflix’s charts, claiming the No. 1 spot on the streaming service’s Top 10 television chart in the U.S. and the Global Top 10 chart for English-language shows. With over 20 million views in the week of January 22-28, “Griselda” also dominated as the most-watched English-language show in 89 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.
Vergara, to challenge herself, Vergara embraced the opportunity to portray the complex character of Griselda Blanco. Speaking about her role, Vergara acknowledged the character’s multifaceted nature, stating, “She’s not a hero, and many of the things she did were very terrible. But she was also very interesting. There were so many nuances to explore in terms of who she was — as a cartel leader and a fearless businesswoman in Miami in the ’70s, and of course, as a woman, as a mother.”
The actress emphasized the careful approach to avoid glorifying Blanco in the series. Instead, the goal was to uncover the deeper layers of Griselda’s story. Vergara clarified, “How beyond all odds, a poor, uneducated woman from Colombia managed to create a massive, multibillion-dollar empire in a male-dominated industry, in a country that was not her own, through tactics that she devised that were both ingenious and cruel.”
This isn’t the first time Griselda Blanco’s life has been dramatized. Vergara’s portrayal follows other adaptations, including the 2017 Lifetime movie “Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story” and the 2021 Netflix docuseries “Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami.” Vergara’s immersion into the character, both physically and mentally, has been a topic of ongoing conversation since the series’ debut.
The actress, known for her distinctive comedic roles, shared her dedication to the role, expressing, “I needed to disappear. I didn’t want anyone to think of Gloria Pritchett or me. I wanted to get inside Griselda’s head and understand her mentality, where she was coming from.”
In a recent appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” Vergara’s physical transformation drew praise. Clarkson commended the hair and makeup team for a “seamless” makeover, to which Vergara revealed the extensive efforts, including changes to her teeth, wig, and nose. This transformation not only altered Vergara’s appearance but also proved to be a profound experience, prompting her to reflect on the real Griselda Blanco and her existence during Vergara’s own time in Colombia.
As “Griselda” continues to captivate audiences globally, it marks a significant departure for Sofía Vergara. It reinforces the power of storytelling in shedding light on untold stories, even those as complex and enigmatic as the life of Griselda Blanco.