Sofía Vergara Talks Transforming into Griselda Blanco: 'Wanted People to Forget Gloria Pritchett' (Exclusive)

The star, who produced and plays the title role in "Griselda," tells PEOPLE what it took to channel the drug queenpin on screen

<p>Courtesy of Netflix</p> Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco

Courtesy of Netflix

Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco

Sofía Vergara’s transformation to Griselda Blanco is proof you’ve got to work hard to be The Boss.

The actress, who executive produced and stars in limited drama series Griselda, is unrecognizable as La Jefa  — and she went through hours of hair and makeup to get that way.

Before all six 50-minute episodes of Griselda dropped on Netflix Jan. 25, Vergara opened up about the experience.

“It’s really amazing,” Vergara says of the buzz leading up to the series’ release while in New York City to promote it, as well as her new role with innovative haircare brand Schwarzkopf.

Related: Griselda PEOPLE Review: Sofía Vergara Is Sensational as Colombian Drug Lord Griselda Blanco

“The people that have watched it now have been so responsive and they've been telling me how much they love it. It's really exciting to see how the people are reacting to it,” she says, adding, “I'm very proud of it.”

Vergara also shared that she spent “three hours a day in hair and makeup” which included having prosthesis applied to become the godmother of cocaine.

Last June while launching her Toty brand, Vergara told PEOPLE “I had to change the way I walked [and] I talked. I didn't want it to look like Gloria Pritchett with a fake nose. I wanted the people to forget about Gloria — that was the main thing.”

Related: Sofía Vergara Says Griselda Role Required Her to Channel a 'Woman That Turned into This Monster' (Exclusive)

<p>Netflix</p> Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco


Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco

Vergara had an impassioned reaction to Kelly Clarkson calling the transformation “slight” on her talk show.

“What! Are you crazy?” Vergara interjected as Clarkson explained her POV on her look.

“No Kelly, it was hours! Don’t be jealous! It was a wig! Shut up!” Vergara said to laughs.

Related: Sofía Vergara Transforms into a Murderous and Makeup-Free Drug Queenpin in Trailer for Netflix's Griselda

Netflix even dropped a video spotlighting Vergara’s transformation into the notorious drug lord, which featured behind the scenes clips and details of the making of her look.

“Her physical transformation, that was one of the toughest aspects of the whole show,” said director and executive producer Andrés Baiz.

Related: Sofía Vergara Is Not to Be Messed with as Savvy Colombian Drug Cartel Leader in Netflix's 'Griselda'

“It was in Miami in the 70s and the 80s. Getting the look correct was very important to me,” added Vergara. “I needed to disappear.”

Her hairstylist for the show, Kelly Kline, reveals “We had five wigs, different time periods.” While makeup artist Todd McIntosh shared, “She’s wearing prosthetic eyebrow covers and then false eyebrows that are glued on and then a nose, and a plate of teeth slightly bucked.”

<p>Netflix</p> Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco


Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco

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Vergara told PEOPLE the process was also “hard” because “I had never really acted in Spanish, or done a drama, or become another real life person.”

When she saw “people thought this is another person, not Sofia,” she more than knew the effort paid off.

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