Sofía Vergara unveiled a deeply personal facet of her life that served as the emotional catalyst for her portrayal of Griselda in the Netflix hit
the Griselda star shared in a recent interview with The Daily Mail about what factor compelled her to opt from playing a lovely mother in The Modern Family to a drug dealer in the new Netflix series Griselda.
She said, “I went for a new job but I was also moving away from the situation in Colombia in the 90s with all the narco traffic. Then my brother was killed not long after I moved to Miami. I didn’t want my son to grow up in that environment.”
The murder of Rafael – the eldest of four Vergara siblings – was devastating for her family. Vergara added, “Unfortunately, in Colombia at that time, the tentacles of narco traffic were everywhere,” adding, “I cannot tell you that everyone was a drug dealer, because that’s not true.”
She continued, “But, for example, if you were an architect, who was buying the apartments? If you had a car dealership, who buys the cars? The narcos. You knew who the narcos were. Everything was touched by it. My brother was a nice guy – a good guy. But he took a wrong decision and unfortunately he paid for it. We all paid for it.”
The Chef star defined his murder as “heartbreaking. When there’s a death of someone super special and a good father and a good brother, it destroys the family. My mother and father were never the same.”
While reflecting on the trauma of his brother’s death, she shared, “My other brother, who was very close to him, became an alcoholic and then a crack addict because of the trauma.”
Vergara discussed, “Tragedies like this played out in families across Colombia. ‘I don’t know a single story of a drug dealer who had a happy ending. At some point, they’re in jail, or dead, or running away, or they can never see anyone any more or their whole family is destroyed.”
After relocating to the United States in the late 90s, she discovered Blanco's story and was surprised that Blanco wasn't more widely recognized in Colombia.
Vergara revealed, “I grew up in the 70s, 80s, 90s, which is when narco traffic was horrible in Colombia. We all knew who they were. They were always in the news. Then, many years later, I read an article about this woman who was a very big drug lord. And I’m like: ‘A woman can do that? It’s crazy!’ So I got really interested.”
Initially, she rejected the notion of creating a biopic during Blanco's lifetime. However, after Blanco's assassination outside a butcher's shop in her Colombian hometown in 2012, following almost two decades of imprisonment in Florida for drug and murder charges, Vergara started considering the possibility of producing a drama based on her life.
“Now there is a story where the bad guy ends up in a bad situation,” she said.
Subsequently, she came across Narcos on Netflix, a portrayal of the drug cartels and their destructive impact on the Colombia of her upbringing.
Vergara disclosed, “I was like: “My god, where are these people? They could totally understand what I want to do with this character.” So I met with Eric Newman and he went crazy.”
Sofía Vergara starring Griselda, the miniseries, premiered on Netflix on January 25, 2024.
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