He was one of the most ruthless drug dealers in history...
How could you NOT make a TV show about Pablo Escobar? Wait... there have been a a bunch and now Americans getting on the bandwagon? Fair enough.
As a show, Narcos is sexy, shot in a beautiful locale and the story just hooks you in. Truth is stranger than fiction. But there are truths about the show you should know too, like...
1. To get into the role, Brazilian actor Wagner Moura had to get fat and wear a fat suit to play the part.
He put on 40 pounds and put on the prosthetic belly because he said, “[Escobar] was always hungry because he was smoking grass the whole day long, and then, at night, he would go to the fridge and eat everything. And then, he would smoke some more grass.”
2. It was supposed to be a movie.
One of the producers said the ten hours allow them to explore the character better: "In a movie, when you have two hours, somebody does something horrible and you just don’t have time to redeem them. You have to temper the type of guy that your character is. In this case, every character, at one point or another, does something that you won’t respect or like and that you will question, and then in most cases, they will come around and you will find a reason to embrace them.”
3. The actors met up with their real-life counterparts who were still alive.
Pedro Pascal met with real-life DEA agent Javier Peña and Boyd Holbrook met his DEA counterpart. "They had their fun with us actors. We were these little schmucks that thought we were going to be like cool DEA agents, and they held guns to our head and stuff like that. We hung out and shared some stories."
And then, after speaking with the real Colombian officers and DEA agents...
4. They made sure that the drug war wasn't black and white...
Escobar's actor Moura explicitly said that the story wasn't "about good American cops that go to a Third World country to save poor people from a bad guy."
5. The director was inspired by Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas when he was picturing the ending.
Director José Padilha said the final outcome of the series was modeled after the film.
6. It may seem like the murders on the show are exaggerated but they aren't. If you didn't choose to take his silver... he'd give you his lead.
Escobar was directly responsible for upwards of 4,000 deaths which included 200 judges, 1,000 police officers, journalists and government officials.
7. One of the actors says it has the same epic feel as Game of Thrones.
“I think they’re very comparable to one another. The way this story exists in our collective understanding, it’s actually really quite Game of Thrones. I would say that Game of Thrones would take a lot of inspiration from the story of what went down in Columbia and the kind of war that was fought. Also, in seeing the episodes so visually captured, it does make me think a little bit about Game of Thrones.
8. Wagner Moura couldn't speak ANY Spanish so he went to Colombia six months earlier than the rest of the cast.
"I had to arrive in Medellin (Colombia) six months before the rest of the cast. I basically think I’ve read everything that was written about Pablo Escobar and modern Colombian history,” he says.
9. By the end of the 1980s, Escobar was in control of 80% of the world's cocaine supply. He was the seventh richest person on earth in 1989.
Once the white powder made its way into Miami, four out of five Americans who did cocaine were getting it from him.
10. The real Escobar documented EVERYTHING about himself so producers had TONNES of videos and photos for the production team to compare everything to.
11. His EXTRAVAGANT estate in Puerto Triunfo had a private zoo which had hippos, elephants, giraffes and flamingos.
12. Before Pablo was the kingpin of cocaine he sold tombstones... those are always needed.
He sold stolen cars. PS this is the way he was killed by authorities.
13. While Pablo and his family were on the run, his daughter was cold and sick...so he burned two million dollars to keep her warm.
His daughter Manuela literally got one of the most expensive remedies known to man.
14. At his peak, he owned 142 planes, 20 helicopters, 32 yachts AND if he needed a place to stay he had 141 homes and office spaces.
The Colombian authorities found that out when they seized his stuff in the late 1980s. PS I know he didn't own the White House.
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