Interview: Actor Wagner Moura and Director Andrés Baiz of Netflix’s ‘Narcos’

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Will Season 2 of the Netflix original crime drama Narcos be up for nominations at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in September?

The Television Academy ballot deadline ended this week and the nominations will be announced on July 13. The Spanish-language international blockbuster threw its hat in the race this year, submitting for top categories including Best Drama Series, Best Drama Directing and Best Drama Actor for Wagner Moura’s performance as world-infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Last year, Narcos earned some not too noticeable Emmy nominations such as Best Main Title Design and Best Main Title Theme Music, even though the episodic show took the Golden Globes by storm with nominations for Best TV Drama Series and Best TV Drama Actor.

This year, Netfix spearheaded a highly competitive month-long renegade campaign to promote multiple original series during the Television Academy’s “For Your Consideration” (FYC) voting period. The internet TV-streaming network rented out a large space called FYSee in Beverly Hills to hold red carpet events, panels, screenings and interactive art-installations targeting voters.

A special red carpet event was held for Narcos followed by a panel and screening.

In an interview following the event, Moura said he’s proud of his portrayal of Pablo Escobar, who was killed in Season 2, but is looking forward to moving on from the Latin-narco genre.

“The show was never meant to be a show about Pablo Escobar, but a show about the drug trade,” the Brazilian actor tells Enclave, explaining how everyone on the show understood that his character would be killed off earlier in the series.

“My feelings were mixed, because at the same time I thought it was time to wrap,” Moura says. “I felt relieved, because I was living with this guy, you know, this heavy energy in my life for two years. And I dedicated a lot to it. But at the same time, of course, it’s a part of your life that you’re leaving behind.”

Asked if depictions of the dark world of narcotrafficking in Latin America reinforce a negative stereotype of Latinos, Moura says he believes it does.

“It’s us again playing drug lords and drug dealers and violent characters. But, at the same time, I think it’s important for us to talk about our past,” he says. “I think we all have the responsibility to think about how Latinos are represented in the movies and television, but at the same time, like I said, there’s a political … importance in talking about something that’s part of our culture and our daily lives.”

Andrés Baiz, who directed has directed eight episodes of Narcos so far, and whose previous work includes directing episodes of Metástasis, the U.S. Spanish-language version of Breaking Bad, says he is looking to change the narrative about his native Colombia and its people.

“I wanted people to understand Colombian history and Colombia as a country, because Colombians through the years have been labeled as, you know, traffickers,” Baiz tells Enclave.

“But people outside of Colombia have never understood what we went through during those years, and how the War on Drugs affected each of the citizens.”

Season 3 of Narcos is set to depict the ’90s takeover of the Cali Cartel.

 

Featured image: from left to right: Executive Producer Eric Newman, Star Wagner Moura, Director Andres Baiz (Credit: Sharis Delgadillo)

Sharis Delgadillo is a storyteller, activist and multi-platform content producer with experience in broadcast journalism and communications humanizing diverse voices and championing U.S. Latino narratives towards more inclusive portrayals. Sharis has more than 10 years of experience in media including a master's degree in broadcast journalism from USC with unique reporting experience in Israel and South Africa. She recently covered the Democratic National Convention, Sundance Film Festival, and South by South West, and developed communication campaign strategies for legislative reforms.

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