Why Narcos: Mexico's Diego Luna Didn't Consult The Real-Life Drug Lord

narcos mexico diego luna season 2 netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

Narcos: Mexico is returning to Netflix to continue the story of the rise of the modern war of drugs in Mexico, with cartel leader Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo unifying traffickers to build a drug empire. Diego Luna, also known for his work in the Star Wars franchise, plays Gallardo for the series. Tackling the dramatized role of a real-life figure presents some challenges, but Luna chose not to reach out to the drug lord himself for insight into playing him in Narcos: Mexico, and now Luna explained why.

Revealing that he would "try to ignore it as much as possible" if Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo or any of his associates ever reached out, Diego Luna shared with ET why he decided not to gain insight directly from the real-life drug lord:

It's not something I need to know. To me, the purpose of doing this is what can be said about the big picture. I'm not here to give you a take or an angle no one has seen before, because that would be pretentious. And also, it's not a character that you can find anywhere. It's not like Escobar, where you have documentaries, you have other films, you have recordings, you have books, you have notes. Gallardo is pretty much a character that people don't actually know, so that gave me some freedom.

Considering Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo is currently behind bars, it likely wouldn't have been impossible for Diego Luna to make contact with the real-life version of his Narcos: Mexico character. Unlike Alejandro Edda, who attended the trial of the real-life El Chapo while tackling the role for Narcos, Luna prefers to focus on the big picture. Few would likely argue that Gallardo is nearly as well known as Pablo Escobar or even El Chapo, so Luna has a certain "freedom" in playing Gallardo.

Since Narcos: Mexico ended Season 1 with Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo ordering the murder of a DEA agent, Season 2 should turn up the heat on the drug lord and bring the narrative closer than ever to the present day. Diego Luna shared that the names viewers will hear throughout Season 2 are "people that actually are there," with most of them still alive and many of them still operating. Gallardo was arrested in 1989, so Narcos: Mexico presumably won't make it all the way to the present day, but the show is getting closer.

Only time will tell how much of a future Narcos: Mexico has on Netflix. While there will likely be ways the show could continue by the end of Season 2, Diego Luna himself has another high-profile project in the works: the Disney+ series based on his Star Wars character, Cassian Andor. Although Luna was "disappointed" at the end of Rogue One, he is already excited to return to the Star Wars universe with the Rogue One prequel.

If this live-action series is a hit even close to The Mandalorian and doesn't catch up to Rogue One in the Star Wars timeline, it could run for a while. Unlike the Obi-Wan Kenobi project, Luna's Rogue One prequel isn't described as a limited series that would begin and end with one stretch of episodes. At least Narcos: Mexico fans will always have the first two season streaming on Netflix!

Season 2 of Narcos: Mexico goes live on Netflix on Thursday, February 13 at 12:01 a.m. PT. For some additional viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, check out our 2020 winter and spring premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).