Griselda Blanco (Sofia Vergara) smokes a cigarette in a dark room.


Sofía Vergara transforms into the 70s drug lord Griselda Blanco in Griselda.

24 January 20244 min read

The story of 1970s drug lord Griselda Blanco is the stuff of legends. That she hasn’t featured prominently in any drug-trafficking shows is likely because Blanco is so much larger than life she’s almost unbelievable as a character. “During Griselda’s time, the idea of a woman being at the head of a cartel was just crazy,” explains Sofía Vergara, who both executive-produces and stars as the feared Griselda, or La Madrina, the godmother. “No one could believe that she was capable of doing the horrible things that she was doing. It’s like a horrible crash on a freeway; we all turn to look.”

Working together with the Narcos team, co-creator and executive producer Eric Newman and director Andrés Baiz, Vergara embraces an intrigue-packed series that allows the four-time Emmy-nominated former Modern Family actor to showcase her wide-ranging talents and venture into new territory. “I had never really acted in Spanish before or done anything that wasn’t comedy. When you go into something new, you have more insecurities,” she admits, “because I wanted to do the best job that I could. But it was a fun challenge.”

Griselda Blanco (Sofia Vergara) wears a sequined top.

Griselda Blanco (Sofía Vergara)

Despite Vergara’s nerves, onscreen she is entirely transformed into the glamorous and dangerous Griselda in all her iterations: first as a mother fleeing an abusive spouse; then as an up-and-coming drug dealer trying to make a better life for her family and community; and eventually as the power-hungry, paranoid, and violent kingpin of one of the most profitable cartels in history. 

“Imagine Tony Montana packing a lunch box,” says Vergara of her character, referencing Al Pacino’s antihero in the movie Scarface. “She definitely was not as famous as someone like Pablo Escobar, but we’ve never seen a drug lord organize a shipment of cocaine from Colombia, and then go home to take care of her three kids.”