Brazilian actor, Wagner Moura plays Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series Narcos. The actor plays one of the most notorious Colombian drug kingpins in the world, which wasn’t an easy task. The actor had to gain 40 pounds to come close to looking like Escobar, in addition to that he had to fill some pretty big shoes, which is why throughout the filming he went through a roller-coaster wave of emotions.
The actor sat down with NPR to talk about his experience filming this series. “He wanted to be loved, accepted…he was a human being, you know, he was a person. For Pablo Escobar, it’s the same. He was probably the worst thing that happened to Colombia, but he loved his kids, he had his wife, he ended up doing good things for poor people in his city. So all these contrasts are what make use human you know, all of us. And all of us, we all have—of course in different levels—we have a dark side and a good side,” he says.
Moura had to put himself in Escobar’s shoes, he spent so much time doing research about him, trying to figure out how he would play him. “I think I’ve read everything that was written about him, but I did that in order to forget all that and then to create my own version of him. … I ended up doing things — for example, the way I was holding the pants and the way Pablo walked — I didn’t try to do that on purpose. And then people were [like], “You know what? You know that Pablo used to do [that].”
This is the second season of Narcos and will be Moura’s last with the show. The 40-year-old actor says that he wouldn’t take on another role that would demand as much as this one did. “I wouldn’t change my body again. I meant that’s — I think that’s something for young people to do, you know. I can’t do that anymore. My cholesterol was — it was horrible,” explains Moura. The actor shed the 40 pounds off doing a vegan diet, but we can only imagine what gaining that much weight could do to someone’s body! Narcos debuts on Netflix today.