Sofia Vergara opened up about this scary reality she faced growing up

Jun 3, 2024

Sultry actress Sofia Vergara became famous starring on the ABC sitcom Modern Family.

But she didn’t always lead the glamorous life of a Hollywood star. 

And Sofia Vergara opened up about this scary reality she faced growing up.

Sofia Vergara talks about growing up in Colombia during the cartel heyday 

Actress Sofia Vergara became a star in the United States after spending 11 seasons playing a character, like herself from Colombia, on the critically acclaimed ABC sitcom Modern Family.

Now she’s going in an entirely different direction with her latest project, the Netflix limited series Griselda.

Once again, she’s playing a Colombian character in a crime drama that’s based on a true story.

Vergara is starring as Griselda Blanco – an actual Colombian drug lord in the country’s infamous cocaine trafficking industry who was nicknamed the “Godmother of Cocaine.”

The 51-year-old actress talked about growing up in Colombia during the height of the country’s cartel era on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast.

“I grew up in Colombia in the ’70s, the ’80s and the ’90s, and as you know, that was the time where Narco traffic, unfortunately, was touching the lives of every single person in Colombia,” Vergara said. “It was really rough times for the country, for families.”

She immigrated to Miami, Florida after her older brother was killed during an attempted kidnapping in Colombia in 1998.

“It was heartbreaking, but it was not only happening to me, it was happening to a lot of people in Colombia,” Vergara added.

She said that bombings, kidnappings, and violence were commonplace in Colombia then.

Vergara was attracted to the part of Griselda Blanco because of her own experience growing up in Colombia when the character she played was a major figure in the country’s drug trade.

She said that she was skeptical at first that a woman could be such an infamous drug lord.

“What are they talking about? There’s no way there is a woman that could do what these vicious men can do. There is no way,” Vergara said.

Stories about the cartels were plastered all over the media those days.

“We knew everyone. We grew up listening to their names at dinnertime, in the news, in the newspaper,” Vergara said. “It was all about that all those decades.”

One of the things that she wanted to avoid with the role was romanticizing Blanco.

“I was nervous because I didn’t want to romanticize this character, this woman,” Vergara explained. “But I was super interested because, like I said, I knew who these men were.”

Sofia Vergara was sued for trying to play Griselda Blanco

Griselda Blanco’s family filed a lawsuit against Vergara and Netflix for unauthorized use of the drug lord’s image and likeness for the show.

Her son Michael alleged that Netflix stole information he shared with some people that he hoped to turn into a production about his mother.

The lawsuit said that he talked about the idea with a producer who told him that Netflix was interested but the streaming giant never decided to work with him.

He claims that the show used information from his stories and never compensated him for them.

Playing a real-life crime boss gave Sofia Vergara a headache she never expected.

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