Two years after Modern Family wrapped up its decade-long run on ABC, Sofia Vergara is returning to the small screen as the matriarch of a very different kind of family. The Emmy-nominated actress is headlining Netflix's upcoming limited series Griselda, based on the life of notorious Colombian drug kingpin, Griselda Blanco. The streaming service just released a first look image of Vergara in character, and you might say she's gone through a dramatic makeover.
In addition to starring in Griselda, the Colombian-born Vergara is also an executive producer on the currently-shooting six-episode series alongside Eric Newman, who previously oversaw the hit Netflix shows Narcos and Narcos: Mexico. The real Blanco — who was known by a variety of nicknames, including the Black Widow and the Cocaine Godmother — died in 2012 after a lucrative career in the drug trade that lasted over three decades in both Colombia and Miami.
"Griselda Blanco was a larger-than-life character whose ruthless but ingenious tactics allowed her to rule a billion-dollar empire years before many of the most notorious male kingpins we know so much about," Vergara noted in a statement when the series was first announced last fall. At the time, Newman called Griselda a "passion project" for the actress and staffed up the show with other Narcos veterans, including co-showrunner Doug Miro and cast members Alberta Guerra and Gabriel Sloyer.
Vergara isn't the first glamorous actress to transform her appearance to play Blanco: Oscar-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones previously took on the role in the 2018 Lifetime movie Cocaine Godmother. (The film received largely negative reviews, with several critics criticizing the choice to cast the Welsh actress as a Colombian drug lord.) Jennifer Lopez is also reportedly developing a film version of Blanco's life story.
On Twitter, Vegara's new look has impressed a number of fans, although some aren't sold on the "glow up" that the real Blanco is receiving.
I didn’t realize that was Sofia Vergara! What a incredible transformation & I’m very excited to see her slay as drug lord Griselda Blanco! pic.twitter.com/D2tX5j9Kw6
— Josh ❤️ The Book Of Boba Fett #BlackLivesMatter (@supermangeek101) January 19, 2022
Sofia Vergara in a new show about Griselda blanco? OH YES pic.twitter.com/N4XUgM70Ue
— Moringa (@tostoneside) January 19, 2022
Love that you got a Colombian to play a Colombian. ♥️🇨🇴 Looking forward to watching.
— Katousha Kabasha (@bizwithkatousha) January 19, 2022
Ok. I can get behind this because I’m still traumatized with Catherine Zeta Jones playing Griselda.
— Vee 🌸 (@xo_caliente) January 19, 2022
Griselda was an obese lady. They picked one of the most fit actresses to play Griselda? I mean that’s okay, but try and make it believable.
— lazmatazz (@lazmatazz1) January 19, 2022
Griselda was ugly... Stop IT now.
— Patryk Montana vel Hodak (@PatrykHodak) January 19, 2022
Damn the GLOW UP Griselda Blanco is getting by having Sofia Vergara play her. If anyone makes a biopic of me i would also like the i tonya treatment pls
— Gaby Mendez (@heygabymendez) November 29, 2021