Griselda: Everything You Need To Know About The Netflix Miniseries

By Martha Davies

5 months ago

The story behind this hit show

Looking for a gritty crime show to get stuck into? Netflix’s Griselda – starring none other than Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara – is the perfect watch. From the electrifying true story behind the series to its killer cast and costumes, here’s everything you need to know about Griselda.

Griselda: A Guide To The New Netflix Show

What Is Griselda About?

At the centre of the show is Griselda Blanco, a real-life Columbian cocaine trafficker who played a central part in America’s drug wars in the 1970s and ‘80s. Griselda charts Blanco’s rise to prominence within the brutal, male-dominated drug rings of Miami, tracing her struggles, cut-throat successes and her ultimate downfall. Vergara executive produced the six-part series as well as taking on the lead role. 

Sofia Vergara wearing white leopard print shirt in Griselda.

Griselda. Sofia Vergara as Griselda in episode 102 of Griselda. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

With its explosive twists, dark secrets and shocking true story, Griselda is the ultimate crime show – and it’s also the embodiment of TikTok’s favourite new trend, the mob wife aesthetic. Sporting silky animal print shirts, patterned wrap dresses and two-piece power suits, Sofia Vergara perfectly inhabits the persona of the glamorous, cut-throat matriarch. But what was the life of Griselda Blanco really like?

Who Is Griselda Blanco? The True Story Behind The Netflix Show

Born in Columbia in 1943, Blanco grew up within La Violencia, a period of mass violence which began in 1948 after Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a popular politician, was assassinated on the streets of Bogotá. Blanco became embroiled in crime from a young age, working with and eventually marrying pimp and fraudster Carlos Trujillo.

Blanco had three children with Trujillo, but the marriage soon ended in divorce, and Blanco subsequently married drug trafficker Alberto Bravo. The couple set their sights on the US cocaine trade in the 1970s, going on to build a lucrative and highly successful operation. (Blanco reportedly had drugs transported via smugglers wearing lingerie with specially-designed secret compartments).

Griselda still featuring Sofia Vergara

Griselda. (L to R) José Zuñiga as Amilcar, Sofia Vergara as Griselda, Christian Tappan as Arturo in episode 102 of Griselda. Cr. Elizabeth Morris/Netflix © 2023

Although business was booming, Blanco’s relationship with Bravo was crumbling and she was also facing hefty drug charges. She briefly returned to Columbia in 1975 – and had a violent dispute with Bravo that ended in his death. It was this (alleged) murder that earned Blanco the nickname ‘black widow’.

However, Blanco was also famously known as the ‘godmother of cocaine’, and this is due largely to her drug operations in Miami. She relocated there in the late 1970s and swiftly began to threaten competing drug lords, reportedly facilitating a series of murders and hit-and-runs which contributed to a period of huge unrest in Miami at the time. Before Blanco’s downfall, her empire was enormous: she was transporting around $80 million worth of cocaine into the US every month.

Griselda still, with a private jet in the background

Griselda. (L to R) Camilo Jimenez Varon as Rafa, Alberto Guerra as Dario, Sofia Vergara as Griselda, Diego Trujillo as German Panesso in episode 103 of Griselda. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Capitalising on both her dizzying wealth and her terrifying criminal persona, Blanco became infamous in the US drug scene – but it all ended in 1985, when she was arrested in California after being tracked by American law enforcement for approximately ten years. She was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but pleaded guilty in 1998 in exchange for a reduced sentence. She was then deported to Columbia in 2004, before being assassinated in 2012.

Who Stars In The Show?

  • Sofia Vergara as Griselda 
  • Juliana Aidén Martinez as June, a Miami PD officer tracking Griselda
  • Martín Rodríguez as Rivi, Griselda’s right-hand man
  • Karol G (aka Carolina Giraldo) as Carla, one of Griselda’s closest friends
  • Alberto Guerra as Dario, one of Griselda’s love interests
  • Vanessa Ferlito as Carmen, Griselda’s former friend and colleague 
  • Christian Tappan as Arturo Mesa, Griselda’s accountant

Where Is It Streaming?

All episodes are streaming now on Netflix.