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Netflix’s “Griselda”: A Deep Dive into the Life of a Notorious Colombian Drug Lord

Premiering on Thursday, Netflix’s highly anticipated limited series “Griselda” promises a gripping narrative that delves into the notorious life of Griselda Blanco, portrayed by Emmy-nominated actor Sofía Vergara. The six-part drama, created by the producers of “Narcos” and “Narcos: Mexico,” offers a unique perspective on the rise and fall of Blanco, known as “The Godmother” and “Black Widow,” in the tumultuous drug trade between Colombia and Miami during the 1970s and ’80s.

Blanco’s legacy has resurfaced not only for her criminal exploits but also due to recent legal action taken by her surviving son, Michael Corleone Blanco, and his wife, Marie. The couple filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County against Vergara, Netflix, and others involved in the project, alleging the unauthorized use of family members’ “image, likeness, and/or identity.” The lawsuit also claims that recorded conversations with Blanco were used without compensation. Seeking damages “in excess of $50,000,” the plaintiffs aim to block the series’ release through an emergency temporary injunction.

Amidst the legal challenges, the creators of “Griselda” shared insights into the making of the series with NBC News. Doug Miro, co-creator of “Narcos,” expressed admiration for Vergara’s passion and understanding of Blanco’s complex journey. The narrative explores two powerful women on opposing sides of the law, namely Blanco and June Hawkins, a retired Miami police detective integral to Blanco’s conviction.

Vergara’s transformation into the notorious drug lord required meticulous efforts from the creative team. Departing from her usual comedic roles, Vergara spent hours in the makeup chair each day, undergoing extensive changes to embody Blanco authentically. The series aims to humanize rather than glamorize Blanco, showcasing her as a deeply flawed protagonist with a complex narrative.

While facing criticism for perpetuating stereotypes, the creators argue that “Griselda” serves as a cautionary tale. They emphasize the tragic consequences of Blanco’s choices and highlight the value of storytelling that explores the flaws and mistakes of its characters. Despite the controversy, Vergara hopes the audience takes away a profound understanding of how power can corrupt individuals, transcending factors like gender, politics, and societal norms.

As “Griselda” prepares to make its debut, it promises a riveting exploration of a criminal mastermind’s life, challenging viewers to confront the complexities of power, crime, and human nature.