I was born in Medellín, Colombia in the 80s, a time when cartels and the drug trading business were all you could ever hear about Colombians. While many movies, documentaries, and television series have ventured into portraying the reality of Colombia under the cartel, to this day, no one has done what Sofía Vergara recently achieved with her new series: “Griselda.”
As a Colombian actress, I couldn’t be more thrilled about Vergara’s portrayal of Griselda Blanco in the new Netflix limited series. Not only is she a captivating actress, but she also brings an authentic Colombian perspective to the role, a fact that I find deeply meaningful.
Hollywood has often been criticized for its portrayal of Latine characters, often relying on stereotypes and superficial representations. With “Griselda,” we have a rare opportunity to see a Colombian story told by a Colombian artist who understands the nuances of our culture and the complexities of Blanco’s life.
A side of Sofía Vergara we had never seen before
Needless to say, Vergara’s performance is nothing short of phenomenal. She captures Blanco’s fierce determination, her vulnerability, and her ruthlessness with an authenticity that is both captivating and thought-provoking.
Also, she doesn’t shy away from portraying the darker aspects of Blanco’s character, but she also shows us the human side of this complex woman. Something we’ve rarely been shown with narcos.
As a Colombian American, I was particularly interested in seeing how Blanco navigated a world that was hostile to women, especially those who dared to challenge the status quo. In the series, her ability to rise to the top in a male-dominated industry fascinated me.
There was also a side to her that rose from deep poverty, prostitution, sexual and domestic abuse. Blanco’s story intrigued so many, not just for her ruthlessness and cruelty, but her ability to overtake the drug business as a woman in such a male-dominated field.
“Griselda” lays out the facts without glorifying the narcos culture that so often marginalizes Colombian society
With “Griselda” Vergara managed to do two things at once: showcase the story of a powerful woman while not empowering narcos culture. As Colombians, our country’s dark history with drug trafficking often marginalizes our people and country.
However, Vergara made it clear that she does not intend to glorify Griselda. Instead, she aims to provide a deeper understanding of the factors that shaped her life, including the poverty, violence, and displacement that she experienced as a young woman.
I applaud Vergara for her commitment to telling a nuanced and accurate story about Griselda Blanco. Her performance is a testament to her talent and her dedication to her craft, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to see a Colombian story brought to life in such a compelling way. Thank you, Sofia, for creating so many opportunities for Latino actors to shine in “Griselda.” Your work is a beacon of representation and inspiration for us all.