Sofia Vergara Griselda face transformation

Fake teeth, prosthetics and wigs: Inside Sofia Vergara’s transformation into Griselda Blanco

The drug lord’s family were not happy with how Netflix made her look

Griselda Blanco was the only person to ever make Pablo Escobar quake in his boots. “The Godmother” of a powerful drug empire importing from Colombia to Miami, she infiltrated the ’70s boys club of cocaine dealing and hustled harder than anyone in the game. And for Netflix new series, Griselda (from the maker of Narcos, Eric Goldman), Sofia Vergara is totally transformed from glam to gritty to take on the titular role.

“I couldn’t become [Griselda] exactly. But I wanted to disappear. I wanted Gloria Pritchett to disappear,” Vergara told The Los Angeles Times. So, in case you’re wondering exactly what went down in the Netflix makeup department for three hours every morning to make Sofia’s dream happen, here’s exactly how her appearance was altered to become Griselda Blanco:

Fake noses and 1.5 hours of supreme concentration

Griselda’s makeup designer Todd McIntosh has revealed he spent 1.5 hours doing Sofia’s makeup every day before they could move on to hair. In order to get the prosthetics to sit right, he actually applied Sofia’s face while she was lying down so gravity didn’t work against them.

First, they started with Griselda’s thin eyebrows, glued on prosthetics and started to blend the skin. When Todd secured Griselda’s nose, he told ELLE he’d “wiggle” the piece around to get the perfect positioning: “Once it was glued down. Sofía would sit up and then look at it in the mirror and in her eye, tell me if she liked it or didn’t like it,” he said.

A few issues with a full set of fake teeth

Griselda Sofia Vergara face

Credit: Netflix

Originally, Sofia started off filming with a full set of fake teeth. But, after a day on set, she basically couldn’t get her lines out. So, Todd changed the design and removed Griselda’s bottom teeth and instead painted Sofia’s natural teeth a “yellowy nicotine tone” to make them both match.

“Initially a couple of the test runs of them were quite crooked,” he said. “They wanted that something there, and it kept getting pulled back and pulled back till the teeth are not all that out of shape or out of place. But it was just enough to make that plain look from those beautiful pearly teeth.”

Wigs just weren’t working 

Griselda Sofia Vergara face

Credit: Netflix

The Griselda hairstylist, Kelly Kline, revealed to Business Insider that she’d originally put Sofia in a wig to transform her into Griselda but they ran into a problem: “Every time we tried to make her hair bigger or more exactly period, it just made her look too beautiful,” she said. “So every hairstyle is flatter and smaller than it really should be to make her look more real as opposed to just Sofia with a wig.”

Griselda’s makeup changes as the series and her character develops

Griselda Sofia Vergara face

Credit: Netflix

Griselda’s makeup channels big ’70s vibes throughout the show with triangle shaped eyebrows. But one modern invention Todd turned to in order to finish the look was a foundation which came with an airbrush unit, so he could apply the product without shifting Sofia’s prosthetics.

As the series went on, Todd opted for a darker makeup look to echo Griselda’s increasingly chaotic circumstances: “She was getting lots of black around her eyes, and we were sinking underneath her eyes with shadow, making her cheeks a bit more hollow,” he revealed. “We did go through a transformation as she was getting paranoid.” And who wouldn’t be, with the drug lords of South America and South Beach on your back.

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Featured image credit Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock/Netflix