‘Griselda’ Filmmakers Spent a Year Designing Sofia Vergara’s Transformed Look | How I Did It

The “Modern Family” actress is wholly unrecognizable as a crime boss in the true-story limited series

Sofia Vergara stunned audiences who tuned into her Netflix series “Griselda” with a wholly transformed look, but the filmmakers and craftspeople behind the show spent a year fine-tuning exactly how Vergara would come across as crime boss Griselda Blanco in the true-story drama.

“We were working on that look for more than a year and we did a lot of tests with different noses and eyebrows,” director and executive producer Andrés Baiz told TheWrap in a new installment of How I Did It, presented by Netflix. “It was very, very hard and difficult to find. Sophia and I, we didn’t feel it until very late in the process.”

One of the keys to the transformation came in the form of make-up artist Todd McIntosh, who didn’t join the production until days before filming began when the prosthetics and teeth had already been designed.

“My job was to jump in, figure out how to make all of that work and then add in the beauty makeup and the actual character makeup,” McIntosh said.

Baiz said from the very beginning, the team wanted Vergara to look different but they didn’t want to “take it too far into the real Griselda.” Finding that balance was paramount to making the limited series work.

“As we move through the story and she is aging, we made a very conscious decision not to make her decrepit or aged,” McIntosh explained. “It was a little bit of stipple around the eyes, a neck waddle which is the first thing that starts to age. She looked haggard rather than old, which I think is the right look.”

Authenticity was also key to “Griselda,” not only in casting Vergara – who is bilingual – but also in the look and feel of the series as it captures Miami in the 1970s and 80s.

“Part of it is creating our own version of kind of a ‘70s film stock, very aggressive in the lighting at times, very gentle at other times” director of photography Armando Sales said. “Sophia is in the vast majority of the shots of the show. When she’s in her element, whether it’s because she’s using her wit and cunning to move forward or even the threat of violence, they’re generally powerful, centered frames where all the architecture is parallel lines and placing the background artists and the other actors in relation to her on like a power scale.”

Watch the full episode of How I Did It in the video above.

“Griselda” is streaming on Netflix.


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