“Who among you has sat down with Sean Penn?” A reporter jokingly (and seriously) posed to the cast and exec producer of Netflix’s Narcos after they took the stage at today’s TCA. The panel included Executive Producer Eric Newman along with cast members Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal.
In all seriousness the reporter wanted to know if giving such criminals as Pablo Escobar (or El Chapo, whose recent arrest coincided with the publication of a Rolling Stone interview conducted by Penn, leading to much speculation about a possible link) a platform was doing more harm than good. Speaking on his particular case, Newman said, “we took very careful consideration and I think we’re successful in not glorifying these people. As much as we may enjoy watching Wagner play Pablo Escobar and it’s certainly worthy of enjoyment, he’s a murderer. I don’t think the show in any way glorifies the narcotics business.” Pascal, who plays Javier Pena, further defended the series. “The show is actually clinical is about history and how respectful it is to every perspective,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong in terms of examining the grayness of all of it.”
Moura, who plays Pablo Escobar, won a Golden Globe nom for his performance. “I cannot say it was expected,” he recalled. “We were always very proud… I believed the show was at least different or unique.”
“I was particularly pleased, we all were, that Wagner was recognized for his unbelievable performance,” Newman added “Wagner, who learned another language to play a part, has truly gone above and beyond.” When asked if this attention has affected future seasons, Newman said, “it’s hard to adjust mid-stream. The first season comes out, we get the reception, we’re already headlong into season 2… The recognition hasn’t really changed how we approached season 2.” Newman also said there are still many more stories to be told. “Cocaine continues and killing Escobar [who died in 1993] did very little to slow that down.” Season 2 is slated to premiere this year but no exact date has been announced.