Sofía Vergara transforms in Netflix's "Griselda," portraying cartel leader Griselda Blanco. Premiering January 25, this six-episode drama, produced by the Narcos team, delves into the complexities of power and contradictions.
For Netflix's new series Griselda, Sofía Vergara, a former star of Modern Family, is playing a different kind of character.
In the limited series, Vergara will feature actors like Christian Tappan and Alberto Guerra, drawing inspiration from the life of Griselda Blanco, the woman who founded one of the most successful cartels in history.
Vergara will portray Griselda herself in six hour-long episodes of the Netflix series, which is set in 1970s–1980s Miami.
This is a far cry from her eccentric, enthusiastic, and stylish role of Gloria on Modern Family.
Netflix shared the teaser on X and wrote: "Queenpin. Innovator. Mother. Killer. She's a woman of substance."
The cartel boss employed a "lethal blend of unsuspected savagery and charm helped her expertly navigate between business and family" during the height of her plot in the 1970s and 1980s, according to a synopsis.
Griselda gained widespread recognition as 'the Godmother' due to her abilities.
Narcos and Narcos: Mexico, the showrunner and directorial combo of Eric Newman and Andrés Baiz, executive produce Griselda.
In an interview with Tudum, Newman said that from "the earliest days of [his] research for what became Narcos," he found Griselda to be a "fascinating character."
"I have always endeavored to humanize complicated people, many of whom have been considered evil, and Griselda offered both the greatest challenge and opportunity," he explained.
“There has never been a woman who came close to achieving the power, wealth, and respect that Griselda did. And no trafficker, woman or man, ever elicited the same level of fear," Newman continued.
"Griselda is a rise-and-fall story like none we have ever seen before. It’s thrilling, emotional, funny, scary, and tragic. Griselda is an antihero of the highest order and a series of contradictions at odds with herself.”
Vergara is often recognized for taking on humorous parts, but Newman called her a "force of nature" and said there was "no doubt" she could succeed in the part.
He said: "She was perfect for the role not only because she, like Griselda, is a single mother who came to America from Colombia with nothing and built an empire, but because it was unexpected of her to do.”
"Sofia has been thought of one way, a beautiful and brilliant comedic actress, and she is so much more than that.”
People are flooding social media in anticipation of Vergara's casting. Blanco has been portrayed by a wide range of performers in the past, including Catherine Zeta-Jones in The Cocaine Godmother and Jennifer Lopez in the forthcoming Hollywood film The Godmother.
One YouTube user said: "Finally! Sofia getting to play a dramatic role."
"As a huge fan of Queen of the South and Sofia Vergara I'm very excited for this," another added.
A third wrote: "Gonna watch it for Sofia."
Netflix will start streaming Griselda on January 25.