I’m Wagner Moura and I play Pablo Escobar in “Narcos”. Ask me anything!

Oi Reddit! It’s Wagner Moura, joining you from Bogotá, Colombia where I’m hard at work filming Season 2 of “Narcos”. This is my first time doing an AMA and I’m excited to answer as many of your questions as I can.

Here’s my proof: https://imgur.com/KXaVJh7

Before we get started, tomorrow is International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Please take a second to check out the 50 for Freedom Campaign—a project I’ve been working on with the International Labour Organization. Here’s a video I made to tell you more about it: http://50forfreedom.org/join-wagner-moura-in-the-fight-to-end-modern-slavery.

So let’s get started. On with the questions!

EDIT: Thanks guys! Since I don't use any social media platforms, this AMA was a really nice opportunity to connect with you all. I wish I had time to answer all your questions. I'm sorry. I had a great time talking to everyone and if I can, I'll try to get back here to answer some more questions later on.

Don't forget tomorrow is International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Please take a second to check out the 50 for Freedom Campaign—a project I’ve been working on with the International Labour Organization. Here’s a video I made to tell you more about it: http://50forfreedom.org/join-wagner-moura-in-the-fight-to-end-modern-slavery.

Comments: 1370 • Responses: 17  • Date: 

tankincolour1350 karma

I cannot wait for season 2. You are incredible!!

What was your favorite scene to shoot? Can you share your favorite behind the scenes story as well?

wagnermoura1338 karma

I loved working with Juan Pablo Raba, who played my cousin Gustavo. We had a lot of fun together. All the cast is amazing! One of the greatest things about Narcos is working with actors from Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile. For a Brazilian and Portuguese speaker it was really cool. About my favourite scene... I really enjoyed doing the last scenes in La Catedral during the final episodes (9 and 10). On those episodes it was a different Pablo, he had changed... and that aims to what we are doing in the second season.

Taurusan825 karma

What's been the hardest part about filming Narcos?

wagnermoura1558 karma

Being away from my kids and my wife... definitely

Lucoda641 karma

Did you ever expect that Narcos would become as popular as it did so quickly?

wagnermoura1064 karma

We knew Narcos was kind of a different TV show, but you know... No one knows... we didn't either. No one knows when something's going to be succesful. We are very happy and excited about it. The second season is gonna be awesome!

iamdikko466 karma

Good day, Mr Moura. I'm a big fan of your work on such films as "Elite Squad" (both of them) and, of course, "Narcos". Here are my questions (will be in english, though I'm argentinian, for reddit to understand):

1-How do you feel about the whole "favela theme" in films, do you think is good for the brasilian film industry or is it keeping it limited to just that?

2-Since now you speak spanish, have you ever thought about expanding your portfolio by working in a hispanic film?

3-How's your relationship with Jose Padilha off-screen?

Thank you for your time, Wagner. I love your work and I really hope we get to see you more on screen.

wagnermoura687 karma

  1. In Brazil, we have a tradition in doing political films. In the 60s, we had this movement called 'cinema novo' that was about trying to understand the country with a very interesting aesthetic that came from, I think, the Italian neorealism. So films like City of God and Elite Squad represent that tradition. Maybe with a pop commercial twist. But in the bottom, they still represent that tradition. We now do all kinds of films in Brazil. People around the world knows what's called 'favela films' because those are the ones who are generally picked for the international festivals and Brazil can't be blamed for that. 2. I love Argentinian films. The best thing that happen to me, was not only to be able to speak Spanish but to feel that I was part of something bigger than just being Brazilian. As you know, Brazilians are very isolated in Latinamerica. So I would love to work with Lucrecia Martel, Pablo Trapero, Juan José Campanella or Pablo Larrain from Chile and all those great Mexican directors. 3. With Jose Padilha we are very very good friends! It's the most intense collaboration that I have ever had. We both like politics and we both like films. Thank you, I really love Argentina. I do.

1whiteshadow346 karma

Loved the first season, and having lived in Brazil for a few years picked it up quick that you are Brazilian. Is the accent you portrayed accurate for the area in Bogota? What was most difficult about incorporating the "Pablo mannerisms" into the character?

wagnermoura709 karma

In Narcos we have actors from all parts of Latin America, so we actually have different accents. All of us tried to learn a little bit of the 'paisa' accent though I can't say we sound like actual locals. For me, it was particularly difficult because I didn't even speak Spanish before the show, but I have to say: when I am working on a character, accents are not my main concern.

SebastianBacchanalia309 karma

Hi Wagner, as you know, Brasil is often portrayed in the media around the world for the typical things like soccer, ass and caipirinhas. What are some things that make you proud of your country that people might not associate automatically with Brasil?

wagnermoura919 karma

Brazil is the leader in the fight against modern slavery. No country in the world has the laws against it that we have there. In Brazil anyone who's working for bondage, or is working in exhausting or degrading labour conditions is considered a modern slave. So our definition of 'slavery' is the most advanced definition in the world. And you know... we have beautiful people, samba, caipirinhas and the best soccer players in the world.

Chaves_228 karma

Hi, Wagner!

My question is about Tropa de Elite, more specifically the first one. Do you think the public misunderstood the real message of the film?

Also: do you prefeer Toddy or Nescal? sorry

wagnermoura400 karma

One can't never say that a public misunderstands anything, that would sound arrogant. The public is always right. What I think that happened was that the press in Brazil created a big confusion with the film. Saying that Jose Padilha behaves or thinks as Nascimento is as naive as saying that Coppola behaves like Michael Corleone and I can't accept that.


Was there anything different about working on a Netflix production as opposed to a traditional television station's production?

wagnermoura511 karma

Not really. In terms of doing it there's no difference. The difference is when you watch the entire series as if it was a big film, for me that's really cool.

Imagineallthepeeps176 karma

Do you worry that this type of shows glorify these criminals and play a part in propagating the criminal culture?

wagnermoura467 karma

Not at all. Narcos is about the birth of the drug trade. I, myself, have been learning a lot about something that resonates a lot with me as a Latin American man. Narcotrafficking is a reality and the war on drugs has been killing a lot of people, especially in countries that produce or export drugs, Latinamerican poor countries... Even though Narcos is not a documentary, I think is relevant if people get interested in such important political topic.

MelanieDorval156 karma

Hello Wagner! I just discover you in Narcos and I didn't know you before. So i take the time to watch all (yes, all !) your movies (even in portuguese with subtitles ! My boyfriend get angry with me haha). I'm really a big big big fan of you ! I read many news about your role as ambassador against forced labour. I'm Belgian and I live now in Cambodia (Phnom Penh) and there are many forced workers here (many Cambodian and Vietnamese children)… So my question is, as ambassador you speak a lot about this problematic situation (and it's very good !!) but will you go also see and so help (in real) these persons who are forced to work ? Like coming one or two days meeting them and also the politician of their country ? If your answer is Yes, I really suggest you to come here in Cambodia, they need help and speaking with someone famous (like you !) is very hopeful for Cambodian people. And also, does 50 for freedom will create actions (campaigns) on the ground in countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, etc? Thanks a lot for your answer ! Stay like you are, you are the best.

PS : And also, Do you lose already all the weight you take for the role of Pablo Escobar ? If Yes, you will have to take it back for the season 2, Is it not too hard for your health and body ?

If I go to Rio one day, I really hope to meet you (even only 2 seconds <3 :) )

wagnermoura308 karma

Melanie, thank you very much for your comments and compliments! I am in Bogota right now working on the 2nd season of Narcos, so my mobility is limited. But I do intend to visit places and countries where forced labour is a reality. I actually grew up in the North East of Brazil where forced labour was pretty strong in the agricultural sector. But even being here in Colombia, I managed to meet the President of Brazil, Dilma and the President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, and they were very entusiathic about getting their countries to ratify the ILO Protocol. About my weight... Unfortunately i can't loose it, when Pablo died he was pretty fat so I guess I will just keep on eating delicious Colombian food!

EsKiMo49150 karma

As someone who watched the whole season in 3 days, the series is fantastic and I want to say great job to everyone involved for making such a captivating series.

I have to ask, what state of mind did you have to get into to play such a ruthless and powerful character? What was that like and how much of that carried over into your day to day life outside of filming?

Plata o Plomo? One of my favourite lines of all time.

wagnermoura153 karma

Actors deal with the character's energy and of course we are dealing here with some very bad vibes. So you really have to take care of your own energy in order not to get drawn.

DaRealDB03106 karma

What was the funniest thing that you've witnessed on set?

wagnermoura173 karma

We actually have a lot of fun doing this series despite the subject we are dealing with. I don't remember any particular moment but overall it's really fun environment we have here.

blisteringchristmas95 karma

Hi Wagner! What was your favorite scene to film or act? Did you learn anything really interesting or strange while researching the part?

wagnermoura206 karma

I didn't know anything about Pablo Escobar or Colombian modern history before getting here. I think I've read basically everything that's been written about him. Colombia is a very complex country in terms of history, though they didn't have dictatorships like most latinamerican countries, they have a strong history of violence that doesn't come only from the Narco world. I am happy to be here in a moment when the peace process is being celebrated.

punecityexpat82 karma

Hey wagner, great fan of yours since the novelas!

One question, what are your opinions on the movies "tropa de elite" and your character in the movies, cap.Nascimento? Do you think he deserved to be elevated to the position of folk hero?

wagnermoura260 karma

I don't see how someone who tortures and kills can be considered a 'hero'.

Taurusan60 karma

Oi Wagner, what is your next big project?

wagnermoura209 karma

I am gonna direct a film about a brazilian guerilla called Carlos Marighella.

MerahCere54 karma

Hola Wagner, having recently returned from Colombia and unfortunately experienced the darker side of modern day narcos, most notably in Cali, I would like to ask for your reflection on modern Colombia and it's narco problems? Gracias y buena suerte con tu trabajo!

wagnermoura119 karma

Colombia is the 2nd biggest economy in South America. It's a very modern country that reconstructed itself within 25 years. Of course, Colombia has the same issues that any big south american country has. Social difference and violence among them. But Bogota was the most dangerous city in the world back in the 80's and that has nothing to do with the city I am currently living in.

Aevus53 karma

Wagner, tu tem tempo pra ler entre as gravações? O que tu costuma comprar quando vai na livraria?

wagnermoura103 karma

eu tenho lido muito Gilberto Freire, Caio Prado Junior, Darcy Ribeiro, Sergio Buarque. Muito sobre a formaçāo do Brasil contemporāneo.