×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: ‘Narcos: Mexico’ Star Diego Luna Talks Drug War, Corruption

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In this week’s episode, Diego Luna, the star of the Netflix series “Narcos: Mexico,” talks with Variety about the impact that working on the Netflix series has had on him.

“I’ve been travelling around the world promoting the show and I realized the show was promoting me because it’s huge everywhere,” Luna said. “We went to the Phillipines, we went to Mumbai…we went to Europe. Anyway, the show is huge and this is a new season, but I would say it’s not like the next season. It’s just a new show because we’re starting everything from scratch. We’ve gone back in time and now we tell you the story of the Guadalajara Cartel and what’s happening in Mexico parallel to the story you already saw of Colombia.”

Luna stars as Félix Gallardo, a real drug kingpin who formed the Mexican cartel in the 1980s. Luna, who is himself Mexican, said that he hopes the show will make people understand the true cost of the war on drugs and how Mexico factors into it.

“It’s really important for us in Mexico to get the word out about what’s happening there,” he said. “And that’s how the show starts. It’s been more than half a million people killed in this war on drugs in a country that–we happen to be there. We’re the door between countries in development and the first world. The big market is [the U.S.], the producers are down [in South America], and we’re in between. It won’t stop until we realize it’s not a Mexican issue. It’s our issue. It’s a global issue.”

Luna went on to say that he sat down with series showrunner Eric Newman before there was a script to discuss the show and his character. Newman told him that he wanted to tell a human story of the people on all sides of the drug trade, both the criminals and the cops.

“The main protagonist is cocaine, not a cop or a narco,” Luna said. He also said that the show documents “the mess that corruption has created on both sides of the border.”

“The government was no victim,” he continued. “The government was a very important part and on top of the pyramid, you know? That I did understand doing this. And the other thing, since we are talking about inclusion, getting to work with the best Mexican actors all in one project–there’s a few missing, obviously–but I got to work with amazing people that I admire, that I’ve been following, that inspire me. And knowing that they’re going to be part of this show with this reach, that’s exciting.”

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content