Pedro Pascal electrified fans of “Game Of Thrones” with his performance as Oberyn Martell, but it’s his latest project that has people talking. Pascal plays DEA officer Javier Peña in the Netflix original series “Narcos,” which has been renewed for a third and fourth season and it seems like it’s just getting started. Pascal sat down with Jimmy Kimmel to discuss the upcoming season of “Narcos.” *Spoilers Ahead*
Pedro Pascal explained ‘Narcos’ is about more than just Pablo Escobar.
CREDIT: Jimmy Kimmel Live / YouTube
The show is more about the overall drug trade from South America into the United States.
“I think, a lot of people thought, ‘Well, once Pablo Escobar is dead on the show, then that’s it, there’s no more show,'” Kimmel told Pascal. “But the show is going to continue.”
Of course, Kimmel tried his hardest to pry any kind of secret about the show out of Pascal.
CREDIT: Jimmy Kimmel Live / YouTube
Pascal couldn’t offer much, but he did let us know who the DEA’s next target would be.
CREDIT: Jimmy Kimmel Live / YouTube
“People know a lot less about the Cali Cartel, including myself,” Pascal joked.
And he seemed really excited to learn about the Cali Cartel for the role.
CREDIT: Jimmy Kimmel Live / YouTube
“They were richer than Pablo. There were four of them. They took over Miami after Pablo was killed,” Pascal told Kimmel. “And they already owned New York so there’s a lot. There’s a lot of cocaine in season 3.”
Check out Pascal’s full ‘Narcos’ interview below, including what some Colombians think about the show.
Netflix’s show “Gentefied” is finally out and we all get to see the love story written to the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights. The show is complete with discussions of the complexities of gentrification, bilingual jokes, and a cast that is the embodiment of #RepresentationMatters.
The show centers around the Morales family’s taco shop made up of patriarch “Pop” (played by Joaquín Cosío) and his grandchildren Erik (played by JJ Soria), Ana (played by Karrie Martin) and Chris (played by Carlos Santos). It is set in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, an area with a population makeup of 94 percent Latinos, a median age under 25, and where the average income is under $34,000, according to a Los Angeles Times profile.
In “Gentefied,” the Morales family is trying to save their weathering taco shop Mama Fina’s Tacos from being eaten up by the interests of corporate real estate developers and Westside yuppies. In order to keep Pop from closing the doors, Erik, Ana, and Chris try their hand at making fusion tacos or encouraging the children of patrons to read more books in exchange for free tacos.
Ana’s strong activist girlfriend Yessika (played by Julissa Calderon), and Erik’s baby mama and first love professor and podcast host Lidia (played by Annie Gonzalez) make up the rest of the circle.
The type of support Lidia gives to Erik is a kind of #BrownLove we are all here for. We are also excited to see queer Afro-Latinas represented in a show about the importance of embracing everyone’s Latinidad.
Calderon and Gonzalez are just as impassioned off-screen as their characters are on-screen when it comes to issues affecting Latinos.
“Gentefied”encourages its viewers to love who you want, no matter what las chismosas de la vecindad say.
Mitú recently chatted with Calderon and Gonzalez at the Netflix Los Angeles office to talk more about how gentrification has affected them personally and what messages do they want to extend to audiences members as characters Yessika and Lidia.
“I think that’s what this show is doing, it’s just creating space for a group of people who never felt seen or heard, and we are so honored and humbled to be part of a project like this,” Gonzalez said about what Gentefied means to her.
The show’s characters portray the push and pull that gentrification can cause.
Oftentimes it is at the expense of minorities who are already struggling to pay rental prices. We have seen this happen in communities across the nation with Boyle Heights currently in that fight.
“Gentrification, it affects the minorities. Even though you look at statistics, and we are the majority as far as population is concerned (we make up a large population), we’re still the minority when it comes to politics, and anybody else that has the say on how things are ran.
I’m born and raised in East LA, so I’ve seen first hand how gentrification has affected the people in my community, my family members,” Gonzalez said.
The writers of “Gentefied” are able to have such a high level of authenticity because its cast and crew have lived these changes themselves.
Gonzalez said her own grandmother had to move east to Ontario, Calif., to find affordable housing. Calderon said the Carol City area of greater Miami she knew growing up has completely transformed with different developments, pushing out flea market shop owners and going as far as to re-brand itself as Miami Gardens (now home to the Hard Rock Stadium.)
“And yes, this story is in East LA, but this is resonating with so many different neighborhoods all around the country,” Calderon added.
Calderon then shared a story of her grandmother’s Washington Heights neighborhood in New York which is now crawling with hipsters, a change she was taken a bit aback by.
“Before, no one would even walk in those neighborhoods, so it’s definitely interesting to see the turn of events, and unfortunately it’s affecting people of color—always,” Calderon stated.
Although these gentrification changes are affecting people of color disproportionately, the show portrays a sense of hope and proactiveness by its characters to not only save the cultural roots of their neighborhood but to also help open the minds of the older generation who are grappling with their sense of a changing world.
Calderon’s Yessika character proudly displays her Afro-Latinidad and lesbian love affair to the world while fighting back.
Yessika shows #BlackGirlMagic is sparkling in the streets of Boyle Heights.
“I think my character has two messages—one is that she is a Black girl who speaks Spanish and she is proud of it. She owns the skin she’s in. She owns this curly ‘fro that she has. She knows where she comes from,” Calderon exclaimed. She continued, “my character is just not a sell-out. She stands for what she believes in and she doesn’t care if she’s going against everyone else. She’s aware of what’s at stake and she’s aware of what’s important, and she’s for the people.”
Calderon has embraced her full Afro-Latindad through Yessika and is ready to see the impact that representation will have for the next generation.
“I just want these little girls in these neighborhoods to be like, ‘OMG! That’s me!’ I can see that, because I don’t recall seeing that as a child on TV. The novelas we used to see, everybody was very white-washed, blue eyes, blonde hair—that was the go-to market. We’re changing that sh*t.”
Gonzalez wants her character to convey a clear message of empowerment while attaining your wildest dreams.
Lidia proves you can do it all (and do it in your style of hoop earrings and turban headband!)
“Lidia, she’s strong, confident, educated, born and raised in the ‘hood, [who] doesn’t need to code-switch to convey her intelligence. She’s empowering the Latinidad to get an education, but not to abandon their roots, thinking that her community is worth pouring into,” Gonzalez had to say about her character.
Gonzalez added the show’s characters can resonate with audiences because each person knows someone like these characters. She said the example of the love story between Erik and Lidia, in which they each allowed each other to be equally sensitive and powerful, allowed her to find healing within herself.
“I found so much healing through Erik and Lidia’s story via my parent’s severed relationship. I felt I was able to make the ending they weren’t able to have,” Gonzalez shared in the interview.
The show’s creators, Linda Yvette Chavez and Marvin Lemus knew that these types of stories would resonate because it’s their stories.
It’s a side of America that is finally being shown but was always there.
The cast and storylines of “Gentefied” prove that the Greater Los Angeles area (and all neighborhoods in general) need to learn that pockets of working-class neighborhoods ARE worth pouring into and exploring—because the small businesses, the parks, the art, the people—they all have value. Having a supermercado instead of a Whole Foods grocery store does not make the history or culture of a city any less important.
Netflix’s “Narcos: Mexico” Season 2 comes back to continue the story of enigmatic drug lord Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo and the subsequent rise and fall of the Guadalajara cartel he founded in the 1970s, with Diego Luna reprising his role as the mysterious Félix Gallardo.
The show depicts how Félix Gallardo’s eloquence and strategic thinking helped him attain a swift rise to the apex of the Mexican drug cartels.
For a man of which not much is widely known about, Luna reveals in this exclusive interview with mitú how he was able to dive into his character.
When preparing for this role, Luna said there wasn’t as much research material about El Padrino(Félix Gallardo’s alias) compared to the personal stories of other real-life personalities, such as El Chapo.
“The good thing for me in playing this role is this man was a very discreet person, he understood the power of discretion,” Luna says.
It was important to see what people said about him—what people say or feel when they were around this character, this perception of him helps a lot. I had to do research and see what was a common answer—people talk about how intelligent and precise and strategic he was, and that’s how I wanted to portray and build this character,” Luna told mitú over the phone.
Season 2 picks up after the murder of DEA agent Kiki Camarena, with Félix Gallardo enjoying political protection at his palatial home in Mexico.
It’s evident in the beginning scenes of this second season that his rags-to-riches story is starting to unravel and a bit of paranoia is starting to set in that he may have a knife (or gun) at his back at any moment.
A running allegory used by the characters’ dialogues of the Roman Empire’s eventual collapse and Julius Caesar’s ultimate end foreshadows what we all know will happen to Félix Gallardo—his drug empire will eventually collapse in a smoke of cocaine dust.
From crooked Mexican politicians and cops to ranch hands trying to make extra money delivering cocaine across the border, the show demonstrates the complicity among the cartels and how far the cartels’ reach.
“Narcos: Mexico” attempts to show that good and evil isn’t always black and white. The story highlights the gray area where even those committing corrupt acts are victims, Luna explained.
“Some of the characters that take action are victims of the whole system,” Luna said in Spanish.
The side of Mexico shown in “Narcos: Mexico” has been criticized by some as a side of Mexico stereotypically seen in the media.
However, Luna sees it as a side of the country that is real and must be discussed in order to move forward.
“When this season ends, I was 10 to 11 years old [at the time.] That decade was actually ending. It’s interesting to revisit that decade as an adult and research that Mexico my father was trying to hide from me [as a child],” Luna explained.
Luna says that this type of storytelling is important to understanding the fuller picture of Mexico.
The need for this type of storytelling—the stories that put a mirror up to a country to see the darkest side of itself—is vital, regardless of how complex it is to write scripts about all the facets of a country marred by political and judicial corruption.
“In this case the story is very complex, it’s talking about a corrupt system that allows these stories to happen. We don’t tell stories like that—we simply everything. With this, I had a chance to understand that complexity. The journey of this character is a presentable journey. Power has a downside, and he gets there and he thinks he’s indispensable and clearly he is not,” Luna said.
Outside of his role on “Narcos,” Luna is a vocal activist and is constantly working to put Mexico’s art and talent on an international stage through his work, vigilantly reminding his audience that Mexico has culture waiting to be explored past the resort walls of Cancún and Cabo.
“The beauty of Mexico is that there are many Mexicos—it’s a very diverse country. You have the Pacific Coast that is beautiful and vibrant and really cool. By far my favorite beach spots in Mexico are in Oaxaca, and all the region of Baja California. You also have the desert and jungle and Veracruz and you have all the Caribbean coast and the city is to me a place I can’t really escape. Home is Mexico City, and it will always be where most of my love stories are and where I belong,” Luna said in a sort of love note aside to his home country.
As much as Luna can talk endlessly about his favorite tacos in Mexico City (Tacos El Güero for any inquiring minds) and the gastronomic wonders of its pocket neighborhoods such as la Condesa, he also wants the dialogue around Mexico’s violence to be shown under a spotlight, as searing as it may be.
“We can’t avoid talking about violence because if we stop, we normalize something that has to change,” Luna said.
Perhaps “Narcos: Mexico”can bring some introspection and change after all. Let’s hope the politicians are watching.