YTread Logo
YTread Logo

'Narcos' Wagner Moura On His Role As Pablo Escobar | Los Angeles Times

Jun 01, 2021
Hi, welcome to our Emmy Contender Chat at the Los Angeles Times. I'm Lorraine Ollie and I'm a television critic for the Los Angeles Times. I'm here with Wagner Moura, who just came off two seasons playing Pablo Escobar on Netflix


, so welcome, thank you. I really appreciate it such a pleasure to be here so how often do you get the comment that you look very different Wendy that's a huge compliment I was I was a I actually lost a lot of weight and then I gain it back again I mean when I'm in rio with my kids im just eating stuff in them but i gained like 20 40 lbs to play problem and i lost like 15 of those and im still working on it wow thats nice someone say i dont look like him so uh I liked it because you are doing it in two seasons so what is that like three years it was like two years and ask more than that because I had to arrive and if I had arrived at Bullitt in Colombia before everyone, even the great ones, I mean because when I the director invited me to play this


and at that time six didn't even know what was being considered to play Pablo another thing between me and the director and then i decided to go to colombia to learn spanish and be there too well, you know so i spent like six months living there by myself before everyone else arrived and in total i think i spent two almost three years to two and a half years of two thousand and seven months amazing wow and it's amazing that you learned spanish for this, yeah you know it's not just okay I had to take on this


I had to know do some background on it no you actually had to learn another language yeah which is that must have been Don to everyone and yeah , but at the same time, it was probably the hardest thing I've ever done as an actor because I had to learn a language to play a character that was really, really difficult.
narcos wagner moura on his role as pablo escobar los angeles times
We should Portuguese in Brazil. I didn't mean I ha d I mean, I couldn't understand, oh, it was Spanish, but it's very different, right? and, at the same time, it was something that drew me very strongly to the character because it was as if he was there. I was thinking that he was learning. your language to play with you so it was very yes it started from the beginning very basic so it made me dedicate a lot to it you know i sorted it out so it's okay so I'm taking it like you're okay born and bred and four, yeah right okay how much did you know about Escobar and the Colombian cartel because this is going on like in the 80's and 90's?
narcos wagner moura on his role as pablo escobar los angeles times

More Interesting Facts About,

narcos wagner moura on his role as pablo escobar los angeles times...

I know from our perspective in the US we saw it as part of our war on drugs and all that, how it was when you were a kid, it was cool, we're Brazil, it was kind of close to Colombia and we have the drug trade, It is a big problem in Brazil among South America. because we are the countries that produce and export drugs even though I didn't know much about Pablo iiiiii it was my memory that I really remembered when I was a teenager I remember the fat dad on the roof remember the image of him and dad, yes, and that was something that caught my attention, so when every time I was invited to play him, the first image that came to my mind was the image of him, dad, but I didn't know much about him, actually me and on my trip to Colombia, my whole adventure in Colombia was also, of course, learning the language and learning to speak Spanish, which was like I said the basics, the basic part, yes, but I was also there studying you know more than a column in history you know why Colombia it's a country i had to understand the country to play that character because it said


is also a very very political show yes in a way so i couldn't Pablo Escobar was heavily involved in beauty politics while he was or did not live or so I had that I had that I can't say now that and that was great for me because one of the things that for us Brazilians are including the biggest things for me, but when I was playing Marcos was the feeling that it could be part of something bigger than just being Brazilian Brazil is a culture where we don't feel like we are part of South America because we speak Portuguese we are this great country right we consume our own culture so being there and talking about traffic of drugs, which is something that resonates a lot in my daily life again in Brazil and only working with actors from Chile Colombia Argentina Mexico all the way I felt for the first time that I was part of something that you know. a culture that was actually bigger than then being Brazilian and it was really cool for me, a big part of it, I mean, that's what was so interesting to watch and by the way, the interpretation that you did of him was just fantastic because here's this man you know he's knowing there's a lot of mourning images of him you know depending on Colombia like where you were some people saw him as a hero ultimately others as a vicious but empathetic villain with some of yours You took on that role and brought empathy. to this character that you know, I don't think a lot of people have been able to do that and I wonder if you got into that, how much background on him did you look at or was it like you were formulating this in your head? ok like I'm a father I know what it's like to have kids just man Anka you know I didn't it wasn't because I had a cell phone I had that I think I've basically read everything that was about Pablo Escobar in both Spanish and English so I a And as I said about the history of Colombia, I observed a lot of it to forget all that and create my own version of Hablo Escobar.
narcos wagner moura on his role as pablo escobar los angeles times
I knew so much about him that because at the end of the day that's what actors like, I think all of us, even when you're playing a character that actually existed, it's your version of him if another actor playing Javier Bardem is going to he plays Pablo Escobar in a femme right version and I'm crazy to see him in his Raynham version well because he's a great actor and it's going to be different like I don't want to compare Pablo Escobar to Hamlet but it's the same when I said I played Hamlet wasn't and I love seeing other versions of Hamlet because he's a CH actor who will bring something different to the table and, for example, I felt like I was trying all the time to make connections between my own life and the fact that I was away from my family. and he was always running and you know that I had children that I had so I was not seeing them all the time so those were things that I contributed to my personal experience and because you know that you are recording this in Colombia and how you say it with Pablo and with the whole cartel at the time, it was much more than drug trafficking, it was political, it was law enforcement, it was the government, what was the reaction of the people there because everyone? it was affected if they had lived through that period in different ways you were wondering what the reaction was it's an open score in colombia yes it did Bobo Tom it was the most dangerous city in the world 20 years ago 25 years ago it's so it's his and now it's the Colón a very Bobo very nice ties it is a very modern city and there they changed a lot the way they were rebuilt it is incredible so there are many people there who do not like the idea of ​​being stereotyped as you know the account ry where it did the country of cocaine and I understand that but at the same time I personally feel it's important to talk about our past you know our to understand the future is to is to I like political movies and politics and Now I'm directing a movie in Brazil about a Brazilian guerrilla called Carlos Marighella, my boy, who was a leader of the resistance in Brazil against the dictatorship, which is a subject we avoid in Brazil, you know why taking a ship was a bad thing. in our history but i feel you have to bring those things drug trafficking is probably the biggest problem in our countries you know in the south american country in the south american countries i am not a person i personally think that judge should be legalized because that's what you know, it's proven that the war on drugs is a huge failure, especially for the countries that we produce and export trips because that's where the war that he's leading is taking place, he said that's where the poor pe People in the slums are being killed in a war and so I think when you have a series like Marcos, when you bring a serious one, when you can really understand how this all started, it brings this issue to the one you know. to our daily conversations, you know, yes, so I think it's politically important, in Colombia it was divided, I think a lot of people didn't like it because it's a recent scar, everyone knows someone who was murdered, right?
narcos wagner moura on his role as pablo escobar los angeles times
That's what I was wondering how that would stay out of that and and and more than that, it's an American series, I'm talking about them, you know, it's with the Brazilian guy playing pub, so it's not a, it's not a, no it's easy for them though for us at Anna and I tell you our concern from the beginning was that we never want the narcos to take seriously cool American cops going into a South American country to save people from a bad guy who we really wanted it to be as real as possible e and the DEA guys where we do real characters in the United States were involved in basically everything that happened in South America in the last century from the beginning so they are real characters but they're not the idea of ​​right and wrong and evil and It's a lot like what you said in public school.
Baro is sure to be bad. People could see him as a human being and as a core. That's right, yeah, yeah, and that's how we try to portray all the characters on the show. although to make a similar representation of this is an American series and you know the concern that it was going to be seen as here come these Americans and Xavier yeah and he didn't do that yeah well what I thought was really interesting is also What do you know, while in Brazil you are knowing that after you are not here not so much and I think that with the drug traffickers that has definitely changed, but the whole cast, as you said, you have people from all over Latin America and that is real.
Very fascinating, what was it? I mean, yeah, that must have been great, well he was blown away, he was really cool, like I said, well that was probably one of the best things for me. countries and feeling the connections that we had as human beings as South American Latinos, we have Latin Americans, it was really important to me, yes, and only in terms of American television, American cinema, farz asks a very generic question, but I mean only in terms of Of the influences you had I must let myself go back for a second growing up Did you want to go into acting?
Did you know that this was what you were going to do or am I a journalist? I worked but I've been acting since I was fifteen like doing why I was working in the newsroom the newsroom in my hometown and going to theater at night but you know it was always my thing my passion was knowing how to do something with you you know how to create Yes, no, that's right, so in terms of American movies, our American television was there. There were things that at that moment were influencing your will. You are like resilience, of course. we grew up watching them, our concerns for sure come from Steven Spielberg: you know, the Francis Ford Coppola Martinez courses, all the great American masters of cinema are very well known, and I know you had done it.
I'm just wondering what was your path to narcos that you had done was it a Brazilian movie it was a series yes I did this movie I also called it directed by the same guy who directed narcos which is yes Regina ok both very political, there were also two movies called the party of the main squad wanting those were movies that try to understand how the police operated in Brazil and because again speaking of this war that is taking place in the favelas of both South American countries there are t two ways three forms three very main a main actors roles to understand this work the police the drug dealers and the people who live in the favelas those are the people who are involved in these in this work that is where people are dying the internet and in this war and padilha at that moment they decided to make a film about the police about one of these three cares, I wanted to make a documentary about him, but then the police never I would go on camera and say oh, we are corrupt and we kill with torture. and then he decided to make a feature film and those films became very, very popular in Brazil because there was an immediate connection with the people and he is filmed in a very risky document in the comments as a black dog with the camera in hand and everything wrong, so I can't write with handheld cameras and as you know we improvised a lot so people in Brazil had a very strong connection that there's a social and political connection to those movies and at the same time look like entertainment and that's a very difficult balance for Chucky to fool them and so yes these movies were very popular there and also abroad the first week of the elite squad we got a Golden Bear in Berlin with the first movie and it became very well known even here in hollywood yeah and you got golden globe nomination for four it's not going well it's very interesting because narcos works along that same prison prism you know the police you don't know on the favelas, but you meet the people in that last episode and this is not aspoiler because I'm assuming most of you know look at all of our didn't make it out alive you know that very well. for him yeah i was just reading about that you know the attention to detail in that last scene if im dying on that rooftop europe can you talk a little bit about that crazy because we actually filmed that scene on the same rooftop where Pablo he was killed off and I spent like I said two years making this character and working with those people and the crew and everyone, so we all knew that was the end of the road for that character and the fact that he got shot I mean I fell for it. place where the audience was what was written there was a very emotional day I wouldn't know how to describe exactly how we felt David something there really was an energy around that scene there was and I like this you know like the way we shot it and me very well directed by my biostat a colombian director mmm yes i mean there was something strange to say but there was something really beautiful and moving and tragic about it but it had this beauty that they didn't expect , yes, it was there, but you also know from you that the end of Pablo and Marcos narcos was crashing, yes, yes, I think the third season just finished, which is about the Cali cartel, the idea that the idea .
It was always that - the idea was always to do something serious about drug trafficking and we knew that Pablo would last like one or two seasons and if in the first season we followed ten years of his life I think and in the second he was like a year it was really dynamic, very fast and more the second season world war was more was more I think it was more dramatic and the first season was more epic in the sense that we were really trying to explain how the drug trade works and in the second season we were real and focusing on Pablo and Iran and in his excitement, you know he missed the curve and the curve starts to go down, yes, it goes down so we don't see that we couldn't see the powerful guy and that it was very important to me as a Metro because I felt throughout that I was making a great movie because I knew how my actors in general when they are doing television do not know how their character is going to end well and I knew exactly what was going to happen to my character?
I could build this Ark, this joke, the land, so the second season was very second, it was very important to me, to all of us, but they're going to keep going, so I think now it's Kali, which is very interesting. It's also the Cali cartel, they were very different from running sophisticated drugs, so like I said, for us, actually for everyone because drug trafficking is a big problem around the world, but it resonates a lot for me as a Latin American. to understand how this happened how it started how the different nuances of you know of layers and types of people who made this right where it is today.
I came up a little early, but I also like the responsibility because the stereotypes and the idea of, I mean, that comes with a lot of responsibility when playing Escobar. I don't know because, in terms of Brazil, we had talked about this. to people who ask you, oh, the Olympics, you went to the Olympics and you say that at least that's a positive way of thinking about Brazil now, yeah, I don't know, I mean with playing Escobar, did you feel a great responsibility in a It's a way of not playing with those, I'm sure, yes, I tried not to think about it again, but I knew all along that it was a, it was a big problem, it was the history of Colombia is divided into yeah, a little bit before and after and de la Paulo, he was a horrible person, he was, he was, he was The number of people that were killed when he was alive is crazy, but then again I think it was.
I always believed that it was important to tell that story trying to make the people you know know it very well, without even wanting to say back in Colombia. where people are basically aware of all the good stuff yeah Netflix is ​​all over the world and I think it's oh yeah and we actually have questions from some viewers so this is from Rebecca what was it like living at 40lbs extra and that mustache that Rebecca gave her professional courtesies, yes the poor paws were very sad, very difficult at first, it was great because he just ate deliciously and again, I guess it's just work and I miss professionally.
I'm doing this to find out why but at the end of my body and I couldn't my body this - I'm still talkative I mean I wrapped like I didn't know I wrapped like a year ago and I'm still trying to get back to my previous weight , which is really how It's easy to gain weight it's really hard to lose it and I felt something about it and yeah, girl in LA, but I felt like it did and I felt like that wasn't my body, you know, no, it wasn't my body, so i was feeling like really low on energy and you know it wasn't good it wasn't healthy at all my bloody blood messages were all crazy so no i would never do this again but it's like in a way and i think you said this it's like getting rid of


in a way you're like getting rid of the pounds so yeah so when i rapped i did his diet like this vegan thing yeah not just to lose weight but to get rid of his weight I made it.
I lost a lot of weight. I did win it back a little bit, but that was really important for you to know the weight of that. Yes, most mornings getting rid of weight was getting rid of energy. another question from rodrigo now that


is out of the scene will you be involved with the show behind the scenes any chance for flashbacks no, i don't think so, you know, no, i would love to, you know, maybe at some point, like in the fifth season , come back as another character. yes, but no flashbacks, no, I'm done with Pablo, right? and you said, um, you were directing, sorry, a movie, yeah, you're acting in an hour?
I thought now just do a little light roll on the fun like you got this heavy deal. I would love for you to know what I have done after Pablo. I have this absolute publicity in a fit for speaking out selflessly. in a panel on stereotypes and how latinos are portrayed in movies, and my goal is to produce content to produce movies, we're letting people not see the way they're usually seen, you know, or sexy latina women or drug dealers or violent things. i really want i have this project about this brazilian un a guy named Sergio Vieira de Melo was a very important guy in the UN, he was supposed to be the next secretary general, he was killed in Iraq at a time when they attacked the UN headquarters in Iraq so I'm trying my goal now is to produce things where Latinos are seen you know with different models for all of that I think representation matters and me and I'm doing this and I wanted to ask you a couple of these quick little questions that we did towards the end of these interviews.
What was the last show you binge-watched other than Narcos? I mean you look at stranger things mmm and I forget. Oh dear whites. Oh, Kasich is really a great program. and watch them wait which show you loved would you like to sit and watch someone else enjoy for the first time that's a very strange worded question yeah ok i didn't get it yeah i know you know what let's skip that one where i don't write that question I just want you to know if you could go back and be in a classic program, what would it be?
I listen to ice now I now I would love to be poorer. Sorry nightlife Saturday Night Live at some point there will be but it is not, it is already a classic for me , although it is a new house of cards program. a I can be funny thank you so much this job is really fun thanks for tuning in and you can see more of these chats on the LA Times chill thank you.

If you have any copyright issue, please Contact