Photos Of The Real Pablo Escobar Vs. 'Narcos' Actor Wagner Moura Proves He Was Perfect For The Part

Creating a docudrama isn't easy, although Netflix's Narcos, about the rise of cocaine and the DEA's efforts to stop drug kingpins, certainly makes the act of crafting a semi-fictionalized series look easy. Narcos second season premiered on Sept. 2, picking up with Escobar escaping from prison in 1992 (only one year before his eventual death in 1993.) While it seems that fans might not have much time left with the version of Escobar that they became familiar with through Narcos, it's as good a time as any to ask if the version of Escobar presented is truly an accurate portrayal. There's no denying that Brazillian actor Wagner Moura has put all of himself into his role as Escobar, but how do photos of the real Pablo Escobar compare to his fictionalized version on Narcos?

Narcos does their best to get Moura's appearance to mirror Escobar, but the show itself doesn't try to pretend that Moura is a 100 percent perfect representation. In fact, within the show, actual pictures of Escobar, as well as documentary-style footage, is presented to mesh the fiction of the narrative with the reality of what truly happened. The show recognizes that Moura is merely an avatar for Escobar — but, that being said, they don't look entirely dissimilar. Here are a few comparisons of Moura and Escobar, and you can decide for yourself if Moura gets the job done.

Mug Shot

Escobar's notorious mugshot, featuring a wide grin, is one of his most definitive images despite the fact that it doesn't feature his famous mustache. As for the similarities, it's clear that Narcos even went so far as to try and ensure that the Hawaiian-style shirt that Escobar wore was replicated as well.


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The hair and makeup team for Narcos does a fantastic job at hinting at some of Escobar's most defining visual qualities — his hair and mustache — without going over-the-top. More telling, however, is Narcos commitment to placing him in clothes that one does not associate with a gangster or criminal. Then again, Pablo Escobar wasn't an average criminal. It Pablo Escobar wanted to wear zip-up orange shirts or designer sweaters, nothing was going to stop him.

Through The Years

The first season of Narcos covers a wide scope of Pablo Escobar's life, showing him age from a low-level black market criminal to drug kingpin. In his older age, the show begins to age Moura, graying his hair and presenting himself in a less sleek, but still intimidating, fashion. While much of Moura and Escobar's looks line up, the biggest difference is the most unfixable – face shape. Escobar himself has a more oval-shaped face, while Moura's is more defined.

Moura does a solid job of embodying the role physically, but where Moura truly shines is in his performance as Pablo Escobar. Moura carries a seething intensity to every encounter that Escobar has, and as Narcos starts to cover the final year of his life in Season 2, expect even more great acting moments from Moura.

Images: Netflix (4)