The producer behind Netflix drug dramas Griselda and Narcos has explained the difference between the fearsome bosses that each show depicts.


Pablo Escobar is the better known of the two, played by Wagner Moura in Narcos, with the Colombian drug lord being one of the wealthiest criminals of all time prior to his downfall.

However, Escobar once described Griselda Blanco as "the only man I was ever afraid of", which offers some insight into her own thoroughly warranted reputation as a dangerous individual.

Her life story is explored in Netflix's Griselda, starring Modern Family's Sofía Vergara, which comes from Narcos and Narcos: Mexico producer Eric Newman.

Contrasting Blanco and Escobar at a press conference, he said: "[Her womanhood] was at the centre of everything. It’s what makes her different… Men take credit for things, men want people to know what they've done.

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"And so, when we were doing Escobar, Gallardo and all of the Colombian and Mexican drug lords, there was no shortage of – often in their own words – them describing the things that they did. And it was all about conquering."

Newman continued: "Griselda, largely because she was the one who actually had the courage to be based in the United States, [was] very different.

"There's nothing more terrifying to a narco than being extradited to America, [but] she was already there during the job. She wasn't taking credit for things. As a woman, I think she knew it would be dangerous for her."

Griselda talking to her husband Alberto, looking stern
Sofía Vergara as Griselda. Elizabeth Morris/Netflix

The producer, whose other credits include mega-hit thriller The Watcher, went on to describe Griselda as "relatable" in that her initial forays into crime were to build a life for her children. However, he concedes that she eventually "lost her way".

He explained: "Unlike Escobar, who really just sought his own power and glory, in the beginning... she did it for her children. She did it because she was a single mother coming out of an incredibly abusive relationship, an outsider in this country, an immigrant.

"So, it was a completely different motive for us, and it allowed us to tell a much more intimate story, that takes her from an incredibly sympathetic place to a place where it's very hard to root for her."

Newman said that, for him, Griselda episode 5 (of six) is the point where the title character has gone "too far", while he told that the devastating consequences for the character prevent the show from being any kind of glorification.

Griselda and Narcos are available to stream on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.


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