Paulina Dávila talks about her role in the Netflix Hit Series “Griselda”

Paulina Dávila is the Colombian-born actress best known in Latin America for her roles in Netflix’s “Luis Miguel” and “Ella Camina Sola” for ViX. She has now made her US debut in Netflix’s highly anticipated series “Griselda” where she plays Isabel (“Isa”) opposite Sofia Vergara. The series is inspired by the life of the savvy and ambitious Colombian businesswoman Griselda Blanco, a devoted mother who created one of the most profitable cartels in history. We chat with Paulina all about the hit show, her upbringing and what’s to come for the rising star! Read our full Interview below.

Featured Interview:

Growing up in Colombia, how do you feel about the storytelling of the narco culture and how does Griselda differ?

I think it’s a matter of who is telling the story. Unfortunately, narcos are a part of our history, which is why it’s important that we should be the ones to tell our story. In “Griselda” you’ll see a different approach with complexity and layers. “Griselda” is not only a story about narcos, it’s about a woman trying to survive in a world ruled by men, abusive men with power. This story is about a woman, a mother, a friend, someone who was ahead of her time – it is said that she’s the one who taught the bad guys how to be bad in the first place. She got carried away though, ambition and power can be a dangerous combination, which also makes this a story about consequences and loss. This is why I think it’s important to tell this story, so that those lessons learned aren’t forgotten.

How do you relate to your character what characteristic does she embody that you feel most connected too?

I relate to the adventurous, loving, brave and strong side of Isa. She’s a loyal friend, she’s caring and thoughtful. She’s warm but tough. I like these qualities about her, and I feel I have some of those too, like being resilient and living life to the fullest. Isa’s had a tough experience, she knows that life shouldn’t be taken for granted.

When did you fall in love with acting and how have you evolved as an actress from your first role to now?

I always knew I was going to be an actor. I didn’t know exactly how though; I didn’t have a clear route but I knew I had to be prepared for when the opportunity came along. I’m still in constant preparation and I guess I love that there’s usually going to be a challenge involved. Acting has the power to transform you, the way you see the world, it widens your capacity to understand. I think I’ve grown in many ways through the years and experiences, but I know that this career requires you to be open and in constant learning.

What do you love most about Colombia?

Omg! So much and more every day. There’s something really unique about Colombia, in our identity. What I miss most every time I’m away is the nature there, people, music, food, dancing and of course my family and Santa Marta – a really special part on the Caribbean side of Colombia where I grew up.

How was is it collaborating on this film with the iconic bombshell that is Sofia Vergara?

She’s just magnificent in all she does and she leads by example. Sofia is generous, disciplined, and really fun to be around. It was inspiring getting to witness her process of becoming Griselda and sharing scenes with her where we wanted the friendship of our characters to be one that you’d want to have in your life.

Who are your SHEROES?

I think Sofia is one for sure! Growing up she was already a star to me, she came from a background similar to mine and through that made me believe I could make my own dreams come true too – that’s the power of representation. She has always pushed boundaries and opened paths for us who have looked up to her. She’s authentic, she knows her power and she’s very proud of where she comes from.

Griselda is a story of female empowerment what do you feel viewers should full understand from this series?

This is a story about women trying to survive, to make room for themselves in conditions where their world was dominated by men, where power was only held by men. These women supported each other in their quest for a better life and opportunities. It also tells a story about power and the consequences of the decisions she made. She was a pioneer but she was also ruthless and it was her choices that eventually took her down. 

Griselda takes place in the 80s which means the soundtrack is cocaine cowboy fun what 80s song is your favorite?

The whole soundtrack is amazing!! It also has a lot of Latin music from that time which broadens what the 80’s are to me when it comes to music, so I will pick one song in Spanish and one in English and It’s still hard to pick! In Spanish I would say “Gitana” by Willie Colón. In English I pick “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer. 

How is your personal creativity disrupting the landscape of Colombian media?

That’s a good question, I hadn’t thought about that. I guess everyone has their own thing and I hope mine resonates with people who like what I’m doing and feel represented by the way I do things and the choices I’ve made. I still have so much I want to do in Colombia, I’d love to tell more Colombian stories that give visibility to our cultural richness. I think shows like “Griselda” where a woman leads in a position of power are necessary as an actor, we need more roles like that, strong and complex women.

What makes you the happiest?

Traveling, exploring new places, adventures of some sort, surfing, spending time in nature, the ocean, Japanese food, wine and cheese, music, a great movie, comfortable shoes, silence, dancing, my friends and of course my family. I think I try to find happiness in all things, I remind myself to do so.

What is your beauty philosophy?

What you project has all to do with how you feel about yourself, so working on that will lead to beauty in every way. I see beauty all the time, the obvious and the mundane. I think that taking care of myself has a lot to do with beauty, not just on the outside. Beauty is a very personal thing and it shouldn’t be held to other people’s standards. Beauty is subjective and resides in the eye of those who witness it.

What are you most excited for this year of 2024?

Starting out the year with the release of “Griselda” seems like a good omen, a great start! I also start filming a new series the very next day after “Griselda” premieres, so it’s going to be a pretty busy start of the year for me. I’m excited to see where all this takes me as I continue with what I started last year, producing, writing and making music here and there. I think it will be a very productive, fun year and I’m ready for it! 

You are hippie beach girl at heart where have you traveled that you feel is a must to visit?

When it comes to beaches, I’d rather come back home, even though I’ve been to other beautiful and amazing places. Colombia is special, I love Tayrona National Park. This place is amazing for so many reasons, the beaches, the colors, the weather, the biodiversity, the mysticism around it, it’s just very unique. I also recommend a beach called Wachakyta, this place is heaven on earth to me, it’s never enough time spent on this paradise.

What is your favorite beach beauty essentials?

Sunscreen of course, I take really good care of my face when it comes to the sun. I have different types of protection for my skin, mineral water proof bar, spray, creams and I wear them on top of each other using layers. I like to lay in the sun with nothing on my body for a little bit before applying sunscreen, but only a very little bit. I also use hair masks since my hair tends to become dry and tangled after a long day on the beach, so I try to keep it moisturized. Lotion after sun and drinking a lot of water is also essential. My priority is to keep myself hydrated, that’s the real key for beach beauty.

Leave us with your motto?

Maybe …Life is now, all is one, it is what it is, or last but not least, hasta la vista baby

Team Credits:

Photography: Juab Retallack @ilretallack

Hair: Itzel Pacheco

Makeup: Belu Sáenz

Wardrobe Styling: Fernando Fernandez

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