Prepare to see Sofía Vergara as you’ve never seen her before: As an all-powerful drug lord. That’s the hook of Netflix’s latest crime drama “Griselda,” a limited series that dives into the rise and fall of Colombian drug queen Griselda Blanco.
The six-episode series comes from Eric Newman and Andrés Baiz, who are best known for their work on “Narcos” and “Narcos: Mexico.” Curious about the backstory of these characters and wondering where you’ve seen these actors before? Here’s everything to know about the stars behind the Netflix thriller.
Sofía Vergara as Griselda Blanco
Nicknamed the Black Widow or the Cocaine Godmother, Griselda Blanco was a prominent Colombian drug lord from the 1970s to the early 2000s. She was a key figure in establishing the cocaine trade between Colombia and cities such as New York and Miami. A devoted mother, she rises through the ranks of this male-dominated crime ring, but at great personal cost.
This will mark Vergara’s first major dramatic role. She’s best known for starring in ABC’s “Modern Family” as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, a role that netted her four Emmy nominations.
Alberto Guerra as Darío Sepúlveda
Darío is originally tasked with bringing Griselda back to Colombia after she flees to the United States. The more time he spends with her, the harder it becomes for him to turn her over. The real Sepúlveda was Blanco’s third husband.
Stateside, the Cuban actor is best known for starring in “Crime Diaries: The Candidate” on Netflix. He also starred in Season 3 of “Narcos: Mexico” as Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.
Martin Rodriguez as Jorge “Rivi” Ayala-Rivera
Blanco’s righthand man, Ayala-Rivera was a hitman for the Medellín Cartel. The real Ayala-Rivera was sentenced to life in prison after 1993. In the series, he’s portrayed as a ruthless killer, and one of the few people Griselda can trust.
Rodriguez is best known for starring in 2009’s “El Cuarto de Leo,” 2013’s “Time and the Wind” and 2014’s “Zanahoria.”
Juliana Aidén Martinez as June Hawkins
One of the first female police officers in the Miami PD, the real-life Hawkins was instrumental in bringing down Blanco. In the series, her story matches Griselda’s as they both struggle with finding their footing in male-dominated industries.
Prior to “Griselda,” Martinez appeared in episodes of “Prodigal Son” and “The Blacklist.”
Vanessa Ferlito as Isabel
Griselda’s friend from Colombia, Isabel initially wants nothing to do with this newfound life of crime. But as the series continues she comes to work for the up-and-coming crime lord. Isabel doesn’t have a clear real-life counterpart.
Ferlito is best known for starring in two seasons of “CSI: NY” as Detective Aiden Burn. She also starred as Claudia Hernandez in Fox’s “24” and has appeared in “Graceland,” “Bookie” and “NCIS: New Orleans,” as well as the films “Spider-Man 2,” “Death Proof,” “Julie & Julia” and “Stand Up Guys.”
Christian Tappan as Arturo Mesa
Griselda’s accountant, Arturo Mesa follows his boss from Medellín. He becomes instrumental in building their vast drug empire.
The Mexican-Colombian actor starred as William in Amazon Prime Video’s “Primate,” and as Molina in Netflix’s “The Great Heist.” He’s also starred in the series “Wild District” and the movie “Dogwashers.”
Alberto Ammann as Alberto Bravo
Blanco’s second husband, Alberto Bravo was the one who originally got this budding queenpin involved in the drug trade.
Ammann is known for starring in the movies “Cell 221,” “Upon Entry” and “Anna.” Stateside, he’s likely best known for starring as the Cali cartel kingpin Hélmer Herrera, also known as “Pacho,” in the third season of “Narcos.”
Karol G as Carla
A former sex worker and employee of Griselda’s, over the course of the series she becomes one of the drug lord’s most valued confidantes. Unlike most of the other characters on this list, Carla’s character was created for the show.
The Colombian singer, songwriter and mega-star is relatively new to the world of acting. Previously, Karol G provided the voice of Chima in the animated movie “Koati.” She also played herself in “The Queen of Flow.”
Camilo Jiménez Varón as Rafa Salazar
Rafa Salazar has connections to the Ochoa family, one of the biggest drug families in Colombian history, as well as one of the founders of the Medellín Cartel. In the series, he’s the one who teaches Griselda how to smuggle cocaine.
Previously, Varón starred in the TV series “Wild District” and “Thousand Fangs.” He also starred in the 2018 movie “Mile 22.”
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